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National Identify Card

There are many seemingly valid reasons for the development of a National Identity Card for all citizens to ensure proper identification, to thwart illegal immigration and hopefully capture terrorists, and for fraud protection. However, there are many negative aspects to this prospect, too. Of course it’s all done under the guise of “national security” but as with the Patriot Act, we need to be vigilant regarding this issue.

Watch Out For Big Brother

One of the top priorities Congress has before it is reforming America’s national security infrastructure and intelligence-gathering services.

 

The 9/11 Commission Report recommended creation of a full-fledged national identification card system, and more importantly, a “larger network of screening points” inside the United States. The irony of this report is it was created by career politicians recommending an increase in the power of government, although the already oversized government has already demonstrated its inability to protect the American people.

 

 Subsequent to that report, the 9/11 Commission Report Implementation Act of 2004, a bill to implement the recommendations of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, was passed for that and for other purposes. A few excerpts from this bill are shown below:

“9/11 Commission Report Implementation Act of 2004 - National Intelligence Authority Act of 2004 - Establishes as an independent executive entity the National Intelligence Authority (Authority), headed by a National Intelligence Director (Director), to, among other things: (1) unify and strengthen efforts of the intelligence community (IC); (2) operate the National Counterterrorism Center and national intelligence centers; and (3) establish clear responsibility and accountability for counterterrorism and other intelligence matters relating to U.S. national security.….”

“Directs the Secretary to develop plans: (1) for a comprehensive integrated screening system; (2) to accelerate the full implementation of an automated biometric entry and exit data system for preventing the entry of terrorists; (3) to expedite the processing of registered travelers who enter and exit the United States through a single registered traveler program; and (4) to require biometric passports and other secure identification for all travel into the United States by U.S. citizens and individuals for whom immigration and nationality documentation requirements have previously been waived.”

Analysis of This Bill

Let’s examine two of the clauses in this one paragraph:

“…develop plans: (1) for a comprehensive integrated screening system…”

“…require biometric passports and other secure identification for all travel into the United States by U.S. citizens and individuals for whom immigration and nationality documentation requirements have previously been waived”

For clarification, biometric means “the statistical analysis of biological observations and phenomena,” which leaves the door wide open for interpretation of what that really means in the context of the new law.

 

These two statements apparently have been construed as the authority to create a national identity passport or card.

History of National ID Cards

Pros and Cons of a National ID Card

Advantages of a National ID Card

Disadvantages of a National ID Card

Implantable Identity Badge

Recently, a company in Florida has marketed computer chips, VeriChips, which can be planted in the skin to access your medical history. The chip (about the size of a grain of rice) doesn’t actually contain your medical history; instead it contains a unique 16-digit identification number that can be used to look up the patient’s medical history on a computer. The chip has recently been approved for patient’s use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Advantages of an Implantable Identity Badge

The chips are already is use in Spain, Mexico, Britain and Italy by both private and government entities.

Disadvantages of an Implantable Identity Badge

 

Without any additional legislation, government can use the chips to replace the two dog tags that are normally hung around a soldier’s neck on a chain, because military personnel must comply with orders regardless of their personal preference or fear. Because of violent deaths in combat zones, often the dog tags are lost making identification of the deceased a more difficult process. In many conflicts, soldiers were ordered to tie one of the dog tags around an ankle so if that individual was decapitated, the rest of the body could be identified. The government can make a case for the value of the implanted chip for identification based upon the aforementioned need. The DNA of all soldiers is registered upon that individual entering service, making identification perhaps more difficult but not insurmountable, negating that argument. As a secondary reason for implementation, if scanning technology improves, the military can argue that they will be able to track the location all of their troops at a given instance.

 

In addition, over the years as more and more people enter and leave the service, more and more Americans will retain the chip which is not easily removed by surgery. Mark my words; although this is currently not policy in the military, Big Brother will take control if afforded the slightest opportunity.

National ID Card and Implantable Identity Badge Conclusions

Both the National ID Card and Implantable Identity Badge are a bad idea, no matter what minor improvements in security or the potential to reduce fraud can be gained. History has shown that when you afford the opportunity for governments to use power they will monitor the activities of its people in an egregious way.

If we want to thwart terrorism, why have the politicians not attacked the primary problems, our porous borders and our ludicrous immigration policies?  That’s where Congress’ attention should be focused.

 

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