July 27, 2006

More Lost Information

The US Navy has once again lost more sensitive information according to a report in the Washington Post. Not once, but twice in the last two months the Navy had laptops with sensitive information "stolen" from their offices. This brings their total up to three times in less than two months. These are supposedly secure sites, and yet the US Navy cannot keep thieves from stealing their stuff.

Add in a laptop containing the information for 12,000 employees of Armstrong World Industries Inc. that an employee of Deloitte & Touche LLP allowed to be stolen and we can see some very strong reasons why REAL ID, data retention and the data mining that will be associated with it are truly bad things where our privacy is concerned.

On a directly related matter Henry Hyde (R-IL) has decided to offer yet another REAL ID stick to states that may think about rejecting REAL ID. Not only would you be disallowed from traveling by air now you would be denied the option of voting. Yep. No REAL ID? Then you get shut out of the electoral and political process, at least that's what Rep. Henry Jekyll Hyde and the Federal Commission on Election Reform want.

U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) responded to criticisms directed at Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 (H.R. 4844) which would require voters to prove citizenship when registering to vote and to show a current official photo ID when voting at the polls in Federal Elections.

Rep. Hyde stated that, "requiring an official ID to vote presents no greater hardship than people face performing everyday activities. Proof of citizenship or legal status is required when applying for a Social Security card. Also, official photo IDs are required to perform daily tasks such as driving a vehicle, applying for Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, food stamps, boarding airplanes, entering government buildings, registering at school, getting student loans, renting movies, and cashing checks." Rep. Hyde reasons that since citizens are asked to provide valid identification to prevent fraud for these reasons, it should not be too difficult to produce IDs to guard against fraud in the electoral system.

Rep. Hyde further noted that a photo ID requirement was one of the recommendations made by the Federal Commission on Election Reform. In the Commission's report issued in September 2005, the Commission recommended that States require voters to show "REAL ID's" created by the REAL ID Act of 2005.
Other than movie rental and check cashing none of those things even come close to everyday activities for the majority of us. First the REAL ID zealots told us it was about stopping terrorism. Then it was illegals. Now it's voter fraud. Any bets on what the "reasoning" behind REAL ID will be next month?

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