I felt that these links might be interesting for those curious about the history behind the Real ID Act and the national ID card debate. In addition
to this, since 9-11 (and prior to it,) there have been repeated attempts to create ongoing data mining programs. The tenacity and redundancy with
which they have been attempted is pretty remarkable. Every time one failed, was shot down by congress, or was found to simply not work, a new one has
been created. Here are some examples since 9-11, along with the National ID Card links (more or less in chronological order):
Polls indicated Americans actually favored National ID Cards following the September 11 Attacks:
In July of 2002, CNN reported concerns over Operation TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System):
In November 2002, congress rejected National ID cards and terminated the TIPS program, a data mining operation:
The same month, CNN reported concerns over another data mining program, the Total Information Awareness program (later renamed to Terrorism
In October of 2003, CNN reported concerns over another data mining program, the MATRIX program or "Multi-state anti-terrorism information exchange."
This came shortly after congressional dismantling of the Total Information Awareness program:
By March 2004, support for MATRIX was dwindling, with states pulling out including New York:
By July 2004, the government was rethinking another data mining program called CAPPS II (successor to CAPPS,) which would have used ticket purchases,
hotel reservations, and other financial transactions and travel information to gauge terror threat level on a passenger by passenger basis. The
program was drawing heavy privacy related criticism, and was supposedly being curtailed:
However, the Department of Homeland Security instead chose to reshape and "reimagine" the CAPPS program in another form:
In December 2004, congress passed an Intelligence Reform Bill establishing the position of National Intelligence Director and requiring new standards
for DMV licenses and birth certificates: www.cnn.com...
In May 2005, the Real ID Act was passed, prompting fears of National ID card creation:
What the Real ID Act entailed around that time:
The Secure Flight Program, similar in many respects to CAPPS, also met with criticism and review as a potential data mining system:
(Note: I'm not sure what the fate of this particular experiment
was, but now there is a Registered Traveler Program which many view as a neutered form of these data mining initiatives whereby registered travelers
receive perks such as not having to remove their shoes prior to boarding, shorter waits, etc.)
In 2006, this article suggested that implementation of the Real ID Act might be economically and organizationally unfeasible on a state by state
Despite those challenges, this thread's OP and other recent articles emphasize that its implementation appears to be a definite goal of the federal
government, whether states like it or not. It also seems clear that the federal government seeks to conduct data mining in some form, given the sheer
tenacity with which it has pursued that goal in so many forms.
It occurs to me that it would not be difficult to incorporate debit cards, credit cards, ID cards, medical records numbers, etc. into a single RFID
chipped card, and then sell the idea to the public that terrorists used fake versions or stolen versions of such cards to carry out a new major
attack. Thus, the only "safe" means of using these new "all in one" RFID devices would to implant them. Making it mandatory would likely cause
enormous social upheaval, but making them seem attractive and convenient while offering perks or benefits to those who readily adopt the new system
would likely sway many.
I'm not talking about a "mark of the beast," as I myself am not religious (though I can see the parallels,) however I see the potential for changes
in our society that I would be less than happy about to say the least. Coupled with a persistent data mining system, everyone could become akin to
processes running on a metaphorical computer.