August 01, 2006

REAL ID Nightmares: A Glimpse At Our Futures

Not only are there no Federal guidelines in place to define the National ID Cards that will be issued under the REAL ID Act we can see that the early adopters, (who are saddling taxpayers with the bills) are showing us what is truly in store. I recently wrote about the myriad troubles that are plaguing Alabama in their misguided attempt to be an early adopter of the REAL ID fiasco, (at a guess so they'll be first in line for tax dollar welfare day) and you'd think that those issues couldn't get worse. We'd be wrong, very wrong. It seems as if things have gone downhill, as they now have experienced at least one system failure and there is no reason to suspect that it will not happen again.

Lines that tend to be long on the best days meandered double-file through hallways at the Morgan County Courthouse after a computer server in Montgomery shut down at about 12:45 p.m. The faulty server, which came back online at 3, is owned and maintained by Oregon-based Digimarc Co., a state contractor, according to DPS.

Until about 2 p.m., Eddie Gaston, manager of Digimarc's Alabama operations, denied his company had a role in the shutdown.

"I know of no problem," Gaston said at about 1:15. "If there's a problem, it has nothing to with Digimarc." He said the company was doing nothing to resolve the problem because there was no problem to resolve.

Note who's in charge of the equipment that failed and their utter lack of concern over said failure. Digimarc. That's a company I've written about before, too. Digimarc is knee deep in the REAL ID cesspool along with their komraden over at the AAMVA and both are deeply involved in Alabama's present woes.

Earnhardt said the Digimarc-caused shutdown at 12:45 was the second glitch to plague license renewal applicants Friday. Before that, problems with a network that accesses national background-check databases backed up lines in Alabama and other states. The network, AAMVAnet, is maintained by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

Earnhardt said Friday's AAMVAnet problems were no surprise.

Two of the biggest supporters of the REAL ID Act, and some might well say that they were the impetus behind it and the movement for a National ID Card, based upon their past statements and help from people like Howard Dean (no wonder Democrats never mention REAL ID...they've been behind it for ages!). We seemingly have no friends on this issue.

Combine Alabama's current problems with those being experienced by another early adopter, Indiana and you can see exactly what's coming down your road soon. Idiana is another state using Digimarc resources, AAMVAnet along with a new Unisys system called STARS-System Tracking and Record Support. Things are so bad in Indiana that even AAMVA has issued alerts on the matter, imagine that. Despite denials from my states BMV, (I called and talked with one of their head men today) that Digimarc and AAMVAnet are not responsible and that all the issues they are currently experiencing are hardware (doubtful) the coincidences are too great to ignore.

If this is what we are seeing now with the early adopters what will the nightmare be once REAL ID is required by law? What will your "perfect storm" be? It's still not too late for you to do something. This is an election year. Badger your candidates, get them on record, one way or another on the issue and either make them an ally or point out the fact that they are the enemy.

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Crossposted from UnCivil Defence


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