Archive for the “Real ID” Category

Washington Post

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.

Eight states have passed legislation to opt out of the program, nine others have passed resolutions in opposition, and more will consider doing so this winter. Massachusetts officials are among the state leaders who have urged Congress to overturn the law.

‘DHS is doing back flips in order to get states to say they are complying with Real ID,’ Sparapani said. ‘It was flawed in principle from the beginning, and DHS is attempting a ‘Hail Mary’ pass to try to coerce and convince states that what they are doing under existing statutes is acceptable.’

In 2005, Congress passed legislation mandating Real ID to standardize information that must be included on licenses, including a digital photograph, a signature, and machine-readable features such as a bar code.

Under the law, states also must verify applicants’ citizenship status, check identity documents such as birth certificates, and cross-check information with other states and with Social Security, immigration, and State Department databases.

The new licenses must include features to thwart forgery and fraud, and drivers born after 1935 will have to present birth certificates or passports to obtain them.

Read the entire article here.

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Lodi News

A 41-year-old man is in critical condition after a Sunday night dispute at a Flag City gas station led to Lodi, where two men beat him with a baseball bat.

Steven Merrill, of Pioneer, and the two men began fighting around 7:50 p.m. at USA Gas, 2448 W. Kettleman Lane. He and Luis Trujillo, 21, were fighting when Juan Trujillo, 22, hit Merrill with an aluminum bat in the chest, knocking him to the ground, according to police.

Then, when Merrill was on the ground, Juan Trujillo allegedly hit Merrill in the face with the bat, said Sgt. Chris Jacobson. Police arrested Juan Trujillo on suspicion of attempted murder.

Luis Trujillo was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, battery and driving without a license; and both men are also suspected of entering the country illegally, according to police.

Merrill was flown by medical helicopter to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where he was in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday.

The incident apparently began at the AM/PM gas station in Flag City near Interstate 5. All three men were involved in a verbal dispute there and Merrill left, with the other men following.

Merrill stopped at the Lodi gas station, where Juan and Luis Trujillo began circling around him and the fight started, police said.

Both suspects, who told police they live in Thornton, are expected to appear in court later this week. Preliminary police reports did not clarify if, or how, the Trujillos are related to one another.

Lodi police have not previously had contact with the suspects.

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Two years ago, congressional Republicans railroaded through legislation to create a massive national ID system, which many say lacks adequate security or privacy safeguards. Now a broad coalition of more than 40 organizations, including the AFL-CIO, is working to repeal the law.

Under the Real ID Act, U.S. residents will need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments or take advantage of nearly any government service.

States will be required to check their citizensâ?? identification papers, and driverâ??s licenses likely will be reissued to comply with Department of Homeland Security requirements. As a result, opponents say, the law could create a bureaucratic nightmare with long lines, repeat trips and higher fees for individuals trying to get licenses and IDs. The rules go into effect in May 2008.

The problems of a national ID system became more apparent in March when the Department of Homeland Security issued draft Real ID regulations. The rules would require that the home addresses and personal information of drivers be included on their licenses in a two-dimensional barcode without encryption. Retail stores, banks and other businesses could easily access your home address and personal information when they skim your driverâ??s license. That would make the IDs especially vulnerable to identity theft.

Also, Homeland Security has not ruled out the use of mandatory radio frequency identification tags in the cards, which raises additional privacy concerns because it easily could enable routine tracking of individuals by the government.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who plans to introduce a bill to repeal the law, says Real ID is a good example of what happens when the federal government imposes itself rather than creating a partnership with states.

    The days of Congress rubber-stamping any and every idea cooked up by this administration are over.

    Americans deeply value their privacy. Americans have traditionally recognized the danger of an overreaching government. Real ID will effectively create a national ID card.

In addition, Real ID is an unfunded mandate that could cost states more than $23 billion, he added.

Under the Act, states and federal government also would share access to a vast national database that could include images of birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce papers, court-ordered separations and medical records for more than 240 million Americans with no requirements or controls on how this information might be used.

The database also could contain detailed information on the name, date of birth, race, religion, ethnicity, gender, address, telephone, e-mail address and Social Security numbers for every American.

For more information on the campaign to repeal Real ID, click here and here.

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British citizens who refuse to provide personal details for the planned “voluntary” national identification card have been told they will be denied passports and be unable to leave the UK.

James Hall, CEO of the Identity and Passport Service, the agency charged with running the National Identity Scheme to provide ID cards to all residents of the UK, confirmed many privacy advocates’ fears this week when he revealed those who opt out of the program will be unable to obtain or renew travel documents.

According to a government website:

The National Identity Scheme is an easy-to-use and extremely secure system of personal identification for adults living in the UK. Its cornerstone is the introduction of national ID cards for all UK residents over the age of 16.

Each ID card will be unique and will combine the cardholder’s biometric data with their checked and confirmed identity details, called a “biographical footprint”. These identity details and the biometrics will be stored on the National Identity Register. Basic identity information will also be held in a chip on the ID card itself.

Additionally, applicants for the ID cards, which will first be issued in 2009 to anyone seeking a passport, will be required to supply personal details, including second homes and driver’s license and insurance numbers.

The ID-card bill only advanced through Parliament after assurances were given that those who needed a passport and did not wish to participate in the National Identity Scheme would have the choice to opt out.

But, as implemented, the only opt-out for British citizens is that they will be able to refuse the physical ID card but, if they wish to travel abroad, they will have to provide the same information for storage in the national database. They will also still have to pay the nearly $200 fee charged for both an ID card and passport â?? or stay in the UK for the rest of their lives.

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Washington Times

Homeland Security Secretary Michael “The Skull” Chertoff yesterday defended the federalization of driver’s licenses and asked a Senate panel not to block the Real ID law, but he urged members to make security changes in the visa waiver program.

Mr. Chertoff said he is ‘pretty adamant’ that the new identification for all U.S. citizens go into effect May 2008.

‘We don’t want to keep kicking the can down the road,’ Mr. Chertoff told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican and ranking member, will sponsor an amendment giving states more time to comply with the Real ID Act.

‘It has been two years since the Real ID Act passed, and yet we don’t have detailed regulations or guidance from the department setting forth the standards that the states are going to have to follow,’ Miss Collins said.

Sen. John W. Warner, Virginia Republican, said that if states are mandated to follow federal guidelines, the federal government should carry the cost.

‘I can understand the need to get some delay if they were not going to fund it,’ Mr. Warner said.

The regulations will be issued later this month and will be subject to a comment period before being finalized.

‘I do want to make it clear that one of the reasons it’s taking awhile is we have actually done quite a bit of consultation even in the preliminary stage with state officials and privacy advocates and other folks,’ Mr. Chertoff said.

He also said the Senate should legislate changes in the visa waiver program to secure international flights and ensure foreign visitors are not terrorist threats or do not overstay.

‘We are not going to sacrifice security for the sake of facilitating travel among our allies,’ Mr. Chertoff said.

The waiver program allows visitors from most European countries to travel to the U.S. without a visa for up to 90 days. About 18 million visitors enter the U.S. every year under the program.

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