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Opinion Pieces and Commentary on Real ID

"If I were a betting man, I would wager most people haven’t followed the debate on REAL ID. If you indeed missed it, I would ask you take the time to learn about what I consider the most troubling piece of legislation I’ve seen come from Washington since I have been governor."

–Govornor Mark Sanford, "Real ID Side Effects," Washington Times Commentary, April 14, 2008. 

"While the right to travel free of government constraints has long been considered a fundamental freedom in America, in the eyes of the current administration of George W. Bush and Mr. Chertoff, this clearly is no longer seen as the case. In recent remarks about carrying out the 2005 Real ID Act, Mr. Chertoff put state governments and American citizens alike on notice that no opposition would be tolerated in complying with the mandates of the federal law, even if it means citizens of those states expressing concerns about the law’s provisions will be unable to board commercial aircraft."

–Former Congressman Bob Barr, "Real ID Game of Chicken," Washington Times Commentary, January 20, 2008. 

"Let’s not be fooled: Determined terrorists will always be able to obtain fraudulent IDs. The fact that the Department of Homeland Security is threatening state leaders to get them to implement Real ID does not make this program any more acceptable. Ten states have already opted out of the program, and many more are on the way. Congress can and must follow their lead and fix the problems with Real ID."

— Timothy Sparapani, Washington Post, May 16, 2007.  Online >

"Steps mandated by the REAL ID Act would do little, if anything, to tangibly protect against a future terrorist attack.”

— Former Congressman Bob Barr, May 3, 2007.  Online >
"As currently proposed, Real ID will fail for several reasons. From a technical and implementation perspective, there are serious questions about its operational abilities both to protect citizen information and resist attempts at circumvention by adversaries. Financially, the initial unfunded $11 billion cost, forced onto the states by the federal government, is excessive. And from a sociological perspective, Real ID will increase the potential for expanded personal surveillance and lay the foundation for a new form of class segregation in the name of protecting the homeland."
— Richard Forno and Bruce Schneier, C-NET News, May 3. 2007.  Online >

Listen to the recent discussion about Real ID on Marketplace Money  from American Public Media here.

"Real ID should be repealed, especially after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its vague and evasive regulations last week. Rather than answer the hard questions and provide solid guidance, DHS told the states to find solutions by 2010, effectively passing the hot potato to the next administration."

— Anthony D. Romero, USA Today, March 6, 2007.  Online >

"Real ID is an example of domestic security overreaction, giving Homeland Security more power and influence and leaving the rest of us with more bureaucracy in our lives, and an illusion of security in return."

— Mike Krause, Denver Post, December 14, 2006.  Online >

"Big brother is bad enough.  Do you really want him working for the DMV?"

— Knute Berger, Seattle Weekly, January 18, 2006. Online >

"…The first Bonehead Award for Notable Failures in IT Security goes to the 360 senators and congressmen who voted for the Real ID Act of 2005, and to the president who signed it into law…even if we cannot expect the government to completely solve the problems of identity theft and invasion of privacy, the least we can ask for is that government not make the problems worse. But apparently that’s more than we can hope for."

         — William Jackson, Government Computer News, December 12, 2005.

"…There are security benefits in having a variety of different ID documents. A single national ID is an exceedingly valuable document, and accordingly there’s greater incentive to forge it. There is more security in alert guards paying attention to subtle social cues than bored minimum-wage guards blindly checking IDs.  That’s why, when someone asks me to rate the security of a national ID card on a scale of one to 10, I can’t give an answer. It doesn’t even belong on a scale."

         –Bruce Schneier (on National ID cards in general), Crypto-Gram Newsletter, April 15, 2004. Online >


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