- Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano signed a bill today
that prohibits the implementation of the REAL ID in Arizona. SB2677 received
a Final vote of approval in the House last week by an overwhelming margin
of 51 to 1. Napolitano's signature was uncertain until today when she
signed the bill into law.
- The bill prohibits implementation of the REAL ID Act
of 2005, which was passed by Congress as part of a supplemental spending
bill for tsunami relief and the War on Terror. The bill did not receive
a hearing in either the House or the Senate, and the public was largely
unaware of it until it had already been signed into law.
- "Everyone thinks that the REAL ID is just about
protecting us against terrorism," said co-sponsor Senator Karen Johnson
(R-18). "But it really represents a cash cow for technology companies
as well as the birth of the National ID card, complete with all the biometric
information that technology can handle face recognition, fingerprints,
- "Corporations which specialize in selling identity
cards stand to gain millions of dollars in profits if the Real ID Act is
implemented," said Johnson, "so, of course, they're eager for
everyone to be required to carry a National ID card everywhere they go."
Two of those corporations are Digimarc ID Systems and L-1 the
Number 1 and Number 2 companies for the manufacture of state driver's licenses
and identity cards. L-1 is considered the main driver behind the REAL
ID and last year had nearly $100 million in federal contracts involving
identity cards. Digimarc spent $350,000 in the first six months of 2007
lobbying Congress on the Real ID Act. Apparently the two companies are
soon to be merged, resulting in a powerhouse corporation, pushing the "identification-as-security"
concept to the maximum in order to increase company profits as they add
more and more biometric features to state driver's licenses.
- "It's misguided to think that identification equals
security," says Johnson. "Identification is just identification
it doesn't prove intent and it doesn't stop terrorists. Indeed,
terrorists will forge documents as they always have to obtain
the identification they want to commit crimes. Making U.S. citizens carry
identity papers to board a plane or enter a government building stinks,"
says Johnson. "It's odious, onerous, and a violation of our civil
- "I refuse to be tagged and numbered," said
Johnson. "Requiring people to carry papers takes away their freedom.
There are other, better ways to stop terrorism and to protect us against
criminals. The federal government needs to butt out and let the states
handle driver licensing. It's not the business of the Dept. of Homeland
Security to tell us how to run our state."
- Real ID SB2677
- 1. Proponents always claim that the
sole purpose of the Real ID is to prevent another 9/11-type attack by disrupting
terrorists travel. That is bogus. If the government really wanted to
prevent such an attack, they would secure our borders, which would (1)
cost less than implementing Real ID, (2) would be more effective at keeping
terrorists out, and (3) would be less intrusive and less inconvenient for
American citizens. Until the borders are secure, all the rosy pleas for
the Real ID are just so much hogwash.
- 2. The Real ID will cost the states
billions of dollars. The Dept. of Transportation estimates that in Arizona
alone, it will cost $40 to $70 million to implement just in the first year,
and $15 to $20 million in subsequent years. But they really don't have
a clue they don't know what the regulations are going to be yet.
They are just estimating. It will depend on what the Rules say when they
are finally issued.
- They already do some things that will be part of the
requirements. For example, they already check citizenship, or whether
or not someone is legally authorized to be in the country. So that would
not be an additional expense. But even factoring in that some things required
by REAL ID are already being handled, the $40 to $70 million is over and
above what we already do!!!
- 3. The Real ID is an invasion of privacy.
Why should so much personal information be compiled on one place for so
many people to have access to?
- * medical history
- * social security number
- * insurance information
- 4. The Real ID increases the risk of
Identity Theft. Identity theft is a major problem in Arizona already.
Throwing everyone's personal information including social security
numbers, birth dates, medical information, driver's license and auto licensing
information, etc. into one massive data base just makes it easier
for identity thieves to harvest identities for fraudulent purposes. The
Real ID requires all Arizona driver's license information to be compiled
with all the information for the other 49 states and the District of Columbia
into one massive database that will be accessible by thousands of clerks
and government employees throughout the country. This is a horrendous
idea an invitation to identity theft on a massive scale.