Monday, October 04, 2004

National ID system? Write your Congressman!

This isn't the first time that I have read about a national id system (Feb. 2003). However Congressman David Dreier's "Bonner Plan" worries me. Some of the things that it would do (under the guise of protection from illegal imigrants) are:

  • "Require the Social Security Administration (SSA) to issue Social Security Cards that contain a photo of the cardholder on the card."

  • "Requires Social Security Cards to contain an electronic signature strip that contains an encrypted electronic identification strip, unique to that individual."

  • "Requires that the border-patrol fingerprint identification system and the FBI fingerprint-database be integrated no later than 2 years after the date of enactment."

Specifies that nothing in the Act shall be construed to establish a national identification card, and that it is the policy of the U.S. that the social security card not be used as a national identification card.

But in the title of the bill, it specifically creates a database: "To enforce restrictions on employment in the United States of unauthorized aliens through the use of improved Social Security cards and an Employment Eligibility Database, and for other purposes."

The full text of the bill here.

CNet says: "But Dreier would create a back-end database for authentication purposes that could track whenever the ID is swiped. Just as the Social Security Number's uses grew, those readers would appear just about everywhere: banks, office buildings, supermarkets. Such a database would overflow with detailed records of all of our life's activities and create an irresistible temptation for misuse by corrupt officials or electronic intruders."

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