March 02, 2007

The REAL ID Rules Are Out

After foisting their national ID card scheme on us, the Department of Homeland Security has finally got around to putting out their requirements for federal ID cards (.pdf). The price tag has climbed, too. What was once a paltry $11 billion has now climbed to $23 billion and there is no expectation on my part that it won't grow even larger.

Homeland Security officials released long-delayed guidelines that turn state-issued identification cards into de facto internal passports Thursday, estimating the changes will cost states and individuals $23 billion over 10 years.

The DHS has also offered an extension of their deadline till December 31, 2009 for states that apply.

There are a number of areas in these rules that should concern people. The decided lack of any provisions for privacy and the creation of multiple databases containing your information are worrisome, as are the rules concerning retention of documentation. Copies of your birth certificate and Social Security card must be retained by the issuing state for 7-10 years. If you were to move during that period there would be multiple copies of your documents in many different locations, making identity theft a real worry.

The interconnected databases, which will be open to multiple agencies from the 56 states and territories, will be required to be in potentially hackable electronic formats. They will also be required to be easily accessible to the average government employee, that means unsecured in real terms. On the upside there is no mention of RFID being the "machine readable technology" of choice, instead opting for "PDF417 2D bar code standard". Please note that this does NOT mean that RFID will not be included as one of the required "Physical security features" that DHS requires. It could still very much be in the mix as a security feature. Cards will be required to have the following information encoded on the card:
(a) Expiration date.
(b) Holder’s name. The machine readable portion of the card must have at least
125 characters to permit capture of the full name history, including full legal name and all
name changes.
(c) Issue date.
(d) Date of birth.
(e) Gender.
(f) Address.
(g) Unique identification number.
(h) Revision date, indicating the most recent change or modification to the visible
format of the driver’s license or identification card.
(i) Inventory control number of the physical document.
All of this info will be required to be on the face, as well. All cards will have to have a digital picture that meets very stringent quality requirements, indicating that it must be able to be read by facial recognition software, (such as Digimarc's).

With the increased price tag and rules we may well see more states joining the anti-REAL ID Act bandwagon, (unfortunately, the state of Indiana is unlikely to be one of those given the nature of this states relationship to the federales). Personally, I have no hope that this odious program will continue to be forced upon the people of this country, no matter what. Take a look at the .pdf and see what we are facing now that the Crypt Keeper has issued the rules for the new National ID Card. Make no mistake, either! This IS a national Federal ID Card, the new rules make that abundantly clear via provisions for non-REAL ID Act cards at the state level. They've dropped all pretenses of this being anything other than a federal ID.
Non-REAL ID driver’s licenses and identification cards.
(a) States that issue driver’s licenses and identification cards that do not satisfy
the standards of this Part after May 11, 2008, must ensure that such driver’s licenses and
identification cards--
(1) Clearly state, on their face in bold lettering, as well as in the machine readable
zone if the card contains one, that they may not be accepted by any Federal agency for
Federal identification or other official purpose; and
(2) Have a unique design or color indicator that clearly distinguishes them from driver’s
licenses and identification cards that meet the standards of this Part.
Now all we have to do is continue the fight.

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

(Crossposted from Uncivil Defence)


Post a Comment

<< Home