Some States Welcome National ID
This article pertains to a US law that has already been passed, a law most Americans know nothing about. The phrase "scope creep" that appears in this article is the perfect way to sum up the danger of national ID cards. Are your papers in order?
(The RSA Conference is a security conference hosted by a company called RSA)
Even as rebellion grows in some state capitals against the looming Real ID mandate from Congress, proponents speaking Thursday on a panel at the RSA Conference could barely contain their enthusiasm for putting standard government-issued ID cards in the hands of all citizens.
The Real ID Act was inserted into a must-pass military spending bill in 2005. It requires states to redesign their driver's licenses and state ID cards to meet a common federal standard, and to start sharing information with all other states -- effectively turning 50 different state-issued cards into a national ID.
Citizens will have to present documents such as a certified birth certificate, marriage certificate and a Social Security card to renew their current licenses or ID cards. If a state fails to comply, residents won't be able to use their ID to board planes, enter federal courtrooms or collect federal benefits.
But with the May 11, 2008, compliance deadline getting closer, the program is beginning to feel a backlash. In late January, Maine officially declared Real ID to be too expensive and overly invasive of its residents' privacy. Montana's legislature is moving toward a similar finding.