Clueless - the issues surrounding Identification : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

A-Clue.Com by Dana Blankenhorn Volume V, No. XLI For the Week of October 15, 2001 This Week's Clue: Identification

I drew lots of flak last week for calling a halt in the move toward a national identifier "Clueless." This week I'll risk our relationship or turn you around.

Identity is a huge problem, both online and offline. The primary proofs are a Social Security Number (for an online database), a signature (for an offline transaction) or a driver's license (everywhere else). You know it, I know it, and even Bob Dole knows it -- they all stink.

The "social" wasn't designed as an identifier, it's easy to get, and thus identity theft is easy. But [computer] databases need index terms, that is, a unique number for each record. And if you're going to link databases (everyone does) that identifier should be the same for each person, each business (Dun & Bradstreet) and each address (nine-digit zip). Private companies like Acxiom have despaired of a standard and begun creating their own numbers. The result is we've privatized online identity and made it proprietary to one company (or to several, in which case it's not even a standard).

Signatures have been forged for as long as they've existed. You can prove forgery in a court (sometimes), but in a bank office or at a store counter most people don't even try. This makes fraud as easy as stealing checks (which by the way have no pre-emptive protection against fraudulent use). My children don't have a picture ID, so I guess they don't go onto planes again until they drive. My mom is blind, so I guess she doesn't go at all because she has no license. Some states issue picture "identity cards," but they don't always work because they're not licenses. And we all have to prove our identity in other places beyond Airports - it's about to become a standard requirement for getting around.

The credit industry knows that theft will be greatly reduced if we can switch from mag-stripes to smart cards. Yet the cost of the switch to the system is prohibitive. The medical industry knows that smart cards and readers would save patients millions of hours per year in form-filling (and save them billions in transferring information from forms and looking up information in computers). Sometimes (as when an emergency room patient has an allergy or other condition) this inability to get the right data fast means people die.

A National Identity Card can be a clean field. It can have a nice, long, standard index term. It can have a chip, and it can be checked against biometric data. It's not foolproof - nothing is - but a unified effort can minimize the risk, and provide huge benefits in transaction processing, in medicine and (this is the important bit) online as well. Scale down to a single standard and you can put readers everywhere, readers that incorporate retinal scans, fingerprints, or phrenology if you prefer. A single standard effort can also be upgraded over time, with new features against theft and fraud.

The best arguments I got against this last week were ideological.

People don't trust the government. I don't have great faith in this government, either.

But on some things we don't have a choice.

We need government to protect us from terrorism.

We need it to do the things people and businesses can't do for themselves.

We need it to defend our national balance sheet, not just its income statement.

Mistrust is fine, but need trumps it.

And I'd much rather have the present system, where we can change the government (even change the Supreme Court) than anything available in the Islamic world (or on offer from Mr. Bin Laden's friends). The solution is democracy, which can even moderate an Iranian Mullah (given time), but I digress.

I don't trust government, I don't trust business, but I need a unique identifier I can use online, offline, and in the real world. So do you.

-- Rich Marsh (, October 12, 2001


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-- Rich Marsh (, October 12, 2001.

No sounds like your trying to SELL your product not thats it's needed. And thats not news.

1) The best arguments I got against this last week were ideological.

a. That BS !

2) We need government to protect us from terrorism.

a. If did the Government (President, Congress, Military & the Justice branch) FAILED to do their main job of protecting the people of the US & the US boarder in the past & on Sept 11th .With 40 to 50 agencies tracking terrorism in the US; at a cost of more then $30 million dollars a year; not have knowledge of the attack on the WTC or did they?

a. Just a note to remember - FACT - In 1856, the U.S. Supreme Court (South v. Maryland) found that law enforcement officers had no duty to protect any individual. Their duty is to enforce the law in general.

a. FACT -" More recently, in 1982 (Bowers v. DeVito), the Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit held, "...there is no Constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen. It is monstrous if the state fails to protect its residents... but it does not violate... the Constitution." Later court decisions concurred: the police have no duty to protect you. "

a. What makes you think they could with a National ID you selling? Terrorists aren't going to get one?

3) People don't trust the government. I don't have great faith in this government, either. But on some things we don't have a choice.

a. Niether did the founding fathers thats why we have a Bill of Rights & a Constitution (Which maybe you should read)

a. There is a thing called "Freedon of Choice"; Everyone uses it everyday.

4)The solution is democracy

a. Founding Fathers gave us a REPUBLIC because democracies never work for long.

5) We need it to do the things people and businesses can't do for themselves.

a. If I can't do it on my own , it doesn't need to be done. If businesses can't do something they souldn't be in business.

"We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept a New World Order." - David Rockefeller

"Today American's would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or "PROMULGATED", that threatened our very existence. "

"It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government." Henery Kissinger 1992

"The ultimate aim of the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) is to create a one-world socialist system, and to make the U.S. an official part of it." -- Dan Smoot, a former member of the FBI Headquarters staff in Washington, D.C.

my 2 awdragon

"The prudent perceive possible bad times and take precautions, the fool continues on and he and his family suffers the penalty."

-- awdragon (, October 12, 2001.

sorry about typos but they are free lol

-- awdragon (, October 12, 2001.

Who wants to have the mark of the beast. The Chip. Be careful what you ask for. You might get eternal judgement.

-- Rick V (, October 13, 2001.

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