Janet Napolitano wants to revamp Real ID; Hopes to use radio chips to track attendance at “anti-government rallies”?
Posted by danishova on April 23, 2009
I heard this on CNN this morning, while being held captive in my son’s orthodontist’s office:
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says she is working with the nation’s governors to find an alternative to Real ID, the law that sets federal standards for state driver’s licenses and identification cards, which are required for boarding a plane, entering a federal building and so forth. Governors have long complained that the law will be expensive to implement and enforce, a view espoused by Napolitano while she was governor of Arizona. She said Tuesday during a speech that she favors "something else that pivots off of the driver’s license but accomplishes some of the same goals."
Looking for more info on her proposal (which I immediately surmised was an attempt to weaken IDs as a way of making it easier for illegals to get in the country and vote for Democrats) I came across this fascinating World Net Daily story from last February, which is all the more stunning in light of her much-criticized DHS report warning about scary right wing extremists:
Privacy advocates are issuing warnings about a new radio chip plan that ultimately could provide electronic identification for every adult in the U.S. and allow agents to compile attendance lists at anti-government rallies simply by walking through the assembly.
The proposal, which has earned the support of Janet Napolitano, the newly chosen chief of the Department of Homeland Security, would embed radio chips in driver’s licenses, or "enhanced driver’s licenses."
"Enhanced driver’s licenses give confidence that the person holding the card is the person who is supposed to be holding the card, and it’s less elaborate than REAL ID," Napolitano said in a Washington Times report.
WND does not link to the Washington Times report and I can’t seem to find it independently.
REAL ID is a plan for a federal identification system standardized across the nation that so alarmed governors many states have adopted formal plans to oppose it. However, a privacy advocate today told WND that the EDLs are many times worse.
Note: I do not endorse every part of the WND story, specifically this concern!:
Radio talk show host and identity chip expert Katherine Albrecht said REAL ID earned the opposition of Christians because of its resemblance to the biblical “mark of the beast,”…
1. I gather this is the Washington Times story WND refers to. Napolitano clearly prefers the EDL to the REAL ID.
2. This document about so-called “3-in-1” cards proposed for Arizona indicates that embedded cards cannot be read as long as they are in a protective sleeve, so the fears about agents compiling attendance lists seems unfounded:
14. Q: If I have an Enhanced 3-in-1 driver license or identification card with an RFID chip in my driver license will people be able to read it and track me?
A: The RFID chip has a range of 20-30 feet maximum. To help prevent anyone from reading your UID, your Enhanced 3-in-1 driver license or identification card will be sent to you in a specially shielded "sleeve". While in the sleeve, the RFID chip in your Enhanced 3-in-1 driver license or identification card cannot be read by any RFID reader at any distance. No one will know you are carrying an Enhanced Driver’s License. You will need to remove Enhanced 3-in-1 driver license or identification card from its sleeve when approaching the US border to speed your re-entry into the U.S.