What do you think about a National ID Card?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

A number of recent articles claim that the US Government is considering a "National ID" card in its' efforts to fight terrorism. For example, http://drudgereport.com/id.htm http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/svfront/ellsn092301.htm http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,2-2001331435,00.html

I tried to participate in one on-line poll, but they had no choice for my feelings - so I decided to ask the question here. The several times I've posted questions, I've often gotten excellent, well-reasoned feedback from this forum, so I'd like to to know what you think about it.

My "current" opinion is that.... 1) I agree that if everyone in the country, both citizens and others, were required to have some form of such an ID, people who overstayed their visa's could be found. Several of the terrorists from 9-11 had done exactly that, and there are reports of others using false identities.

2) I also think that a secure, national ID system would help deal with the growing problem of identity theft - I've had two close relatives who have been victims of this crime. There are many ways to design such a system, but, for example, it could combine validating the card against biometric data on record regarding the card holder. For example, see details of the "FaceIt" system proposed for Washington National Airport - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14273-2001Sep23.html

3) I work in emergency medicine, and it would be a great help if the card were also used for current medical information. The "unconscious combative person" that the cops want to arrest, may easily be a diabetic or seizure patient who is having a serious, but treatable medical problem.

4) But, I would also want to have my privacy protected, and hence, would only support such a thing if there was a constitutional amendment that specified that "US Citizens have a constitutional right of privacy, and as such, information gathered by systems on US citizens cannot be retained without a court order." Or something along those lines. I want something very strong, since the potential for great abuse is there.

5) Perhaps it would call for a state-based ID, rather than a federal one, or perhaps even private ID's - such as from banks. The system would simply have to be able to validate information against any provider, not necessarially based on provider.

6) In fact, the use of a capacitence radio based system would enable much wider screens looking for illegals. (It's the basis of those Ez-tag car passes used to pay tolls...) Having the card in your wallet would be enough for most systems to note and clear you. That would enable wide-spread, non-intrusive monitoring, with a clear process to delete records on US citizens.

These are just some thoughts. Please consider them, and pass along what you think about it?

Or, is there a better way?

Thanks for your time!

-- Rich Marsh (marshr@airmail.net), September 24, 2001


Rich, Oh! that does make sense; an ID card that would limit the criminal and protect the honest citizen, help the medical field.... Who would be in charge of this protection? The Condits of our Government? I think we need a good "housecleaning" in our Agencys, before we give up any more of our freedoms. After what happened in New York ,I just don't trust our checks and balances are working in the government ( who ever the gov't. is!). love to all Judy

-- Judy/W (judywhalen@aol.com), September 24, 2001.

This is a "Republic" under the Constitution or was. IT's not A Communists/Socialists State yet!

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

If the government did there job ie @ the State Department, INS, the boarder patrol, customs, fbi, nsa,cia and the other 40 or 50 agencies; there would not be this problem in the US.

The National ID has been defeated in congress several times and with good reasons.

As for the polls , they use the "Delphi TECHNIQUE" system. They only want there answers not yours. Delphi

Like every one else, I've tried to keep up with current events my current events page and with so many unanswered questions things are starting to really stink on this one.

As for giving up whats left of my Freedoms to this Government or the UN?

I say HELL NO !!!!

The US Government has to much control & power now over the people and still doesn't do it's job. Why give them more?

FREEDOM and LIFE never has had any warranty or guarantees and never will.

just my 2

-- awdragon (awdragon@yahoo.com), September 24, 2001.

Can't be done. Illegals are not going to go through checkpoints. Example the Mexican border. So the only thing you are going to accomplish is inconveniencing the legals. Also, all the terrorists were legally in our country albeit they eventually let there visas expire but remained. Once they are in the country they are untouchable because it would be discrimination. So you will just be punishing the citizens of the U.S. with god knows what kind of checkpoints your thinking about to make the national ID effective. Don't forget, once your inside this country you are home free to do whatever you want unless you commit a crime. EVEN then the INS has been too busy to do anything about it!!!!!!!! on tons of occasions. Example: In CO a van load of illegals will be stopped for a traffic violation. The cops call the INS, the INS says they are too busy. The illegals are allowed to go there happy way. National ID - stupid idea, sorry its a fact.

-- Guy Daley (guydaley1@netzero.net), September 24, 2001.

Don't ever believe bureaucrats who want information in exchange for a promise not to release it to anyone. The information on the tax- payers' database in our county is supposed to be private, but as a non-profit CEO I was easily able to beg for it for fundraising campaigns, and only had to write the county commissioners a short note explaining what I wanted to do with the information. And the thousands of recipients of our mass mailing never once asked how we got the information on them to do the mailing.

This is the information age, and information on private citizens is BIG BUSINESS. There are entire companies that do nothing else for a profit than compile information on people and sell it without their knowledge or permission.

Rich, if you get your wish of a national ID card, you can count me out of it, even if it takes an act of civil disobedience.

Have a nice day.

-- Gale Abirac (mcabirac@brandywine.net), September 24, 2001.

I won't even carry a discount card from the grocery store! It's nobody's business what I buy or when I buy it.

I am certainly not going to advocate some kind of government tracking system. This is a slipery slope, folks. Don't give up your freedom because you are afraid.

-- Heather Hauser (Magoomus@yahoo.com), September 24, 2001.

Hey guys, I'd like to hear logic, not emotion.

So you don't think that the government should be trusted with dangerous things like sissors or stones. That's fine - that's why I posted the question here, because I wanted to hear if you could identify a way, using appropriate checks and balences that your concerns can be addressed.

ID cards can be done that cannot be faked, nor even stolen, properly designed. Many companies already do this sort of thing now. The trick is real easy - half the information is on the card, and half is in the computer - they have to match or its' bogus.

I think that the potential value of the concept should allow us to see IF it can be safely done. After all, done properly, it can find ALL those illegals streaming across the border... plus those who aren't supposed to be here anymore.

To me, "LIBERTY" is "freedom from government interference."

The potential of this concept is such that I have to ask, this group in particular, "How could it be done, so that it doesn't limit our liberties?"

-- Rich Marsh (marshr@airmail.net), September 24, 2001.

I thought I already had at least three or four ID's -- Social Security Card, Driver's License, Fishing License, Hunting License.

Bank/Brokerage accounts are tied to SS No. Why not just use one number with a photo ID like Driver's License with 3-d hologram and bar scanner coding like California already uses. Maybe add a microchip like you can have added to your dog's license, so he doen't get euthanized by the pound if captured.

-- PHO (owennos@bigfoot.com), September 24, 2001.

Ok lets answer by question

identity theft - take the responsibility for your own IDs, "don't give out information except on a need to know basis", don't just trash paper info, make sure who ever you do business does the same, make Congress inforce the control of the info they have & a crime to distribute it by any company.

How can a person be - "unconscious & combative at the same time? If the cops want to arrest him they shouldn't knock him unconscious!

There are things call medical ID out there for those that CHOOSE to use them.

The Constitution covers your right of privacy. Reread the BILL OF RIGHTS - then ask yourself what good it does!

Do you really think that a terrorist or alien would worry about a ID, they get passports from the State Deptartment, they get there green cards from INS. If they can't controll it now ,What makes you think a NATIONAL ID would change things.

You might want "ORWELL" I don't & thats your right just as much as mine to refuse it.

that makes 4

-- awdragon (awdragon@yahoo.com), September 24, 2001.

This is an idea that looks good on the outside, and is fraught with danger on the inside. "Digital Angel" technology is already available, and would just be so easy to install to "protect" everyone. I,too have been a medic and EMT, and would appreciate having medical ID bracelets, but its not worth giving up my soul for. That is the choice that many Christians feel such an ID system would give them.

On the other hand, those who must not receive the "mark of the beast" in their hand or forehead already know that they will be shut out of this society and possibly have to die for their convictions.

Please, look at the consequences of a mandatory national ID. Even if you don't believe this analysis, a lot of other people do.

-- seraphima (gardener@com.post), September 24, 2001.

I think the point, that it would hassle the legals without having much effect on the illegals, says a great deal. It's rather like trying to keep criminals from owning guns by not letting anyone own any.

And I might need to be an illegal myself, some day. The government should be more afraid of me than I of it, or at least, more afraid of the displeasure of its citizens, than its citizens are of it: a free citizen is the final check on tyranny. The national ID card, at present, is innocuous enough -- but it weakens the citizen with respect to the state, and that must not be allowed.

"A free country is a dangerous place to live." For that matter, so is a dictatorship: you pay the coin of freedom for pretty much exactly nothing. Are the world's tyrannies any safer from terrorism than we are here?

"Your papers, citizen?"

Sieg heil, y'all.

-- L. Hunter Cassells (mellyrn@castlemark-honey.com), September 24, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ