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DHS Moves To Make “Real ID” Meaningless

From the DNC’s Washington Post:

Homeland Security Retreats From Facets of ‘Real ID’

By Spencer S. Hsu

Sunday, November 4, 2007; Page A07

WASHINGTON – The Bush administration is easing its demand for tough national standards for driver’s licenses, acting at the behest of state officials who say the so-called Real ID plan is unworkable and too costly, officials familiar with the new policy said.

While Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff hailed an agreement with New York last week on more secure state identification cards for citizens as a sign that “the tide is moving more rapidly in favor of Real ID,” his department is preparing to extend deadlines for the second time in a year, the officials said.

The Department of Homeland Security also plans to ease some of the new security measures and take over responsibility for others.

Chertoff had announced earlier that the department would waive the original May 2008 deadline and set a new target of 2013 for getting all 245 million US driver’s licenses to comply with a national standard.

Now, the department may extend the original deadline by a decade, to 2018 for drivers older than 40 or 50 to reduce the costs associated with a projected surge of customers at state motor vehicle departments, the officials said.

In a recent meeting, Richard Barth, a Homeland Security policy official, told state officials to expect Real ID’s price tag to fall by “billions of dollars” as the department eases previous demands that the new licenses be renewed every five years, that expensive, tamper-resistant materials be used to create the ID cards, and each state develop its own document verification systems, those officials said…

The changes also will make the process easier for older drivers, who are viewed as less of a security risk but are sometimes unable to provide reliable source documents such as birth certificates.

Analysts inside and outside of government say the changes reflect the difficulties facing the Department of Homeland Security, which has less experience in managing identification programs than the states do. The analysts said that the changes also reflect the high cost of Real ID and worries that the program already is opposed from the left and the right as a potential threat to individual privacy.

Timothy Sparapani, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the Department of Homeland Security is weakening the program in a desperate bid to keep it alive.

The ACLU and conservative libertarian groups that oppose Real ID view it as a de facto national ID with Orwellian implications

What a shock. And what a joke.

Especially after the historic “compromise” Homeland Security made with Mr. Spitzer.

The ACLU and conservative libertarian groups that oppose Real ID view it as a de facto national ID with Orwellian implications…

What another laugh.

The ACLU could give Mr. Orwell Orwellian lessons.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 5th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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