Rudy Giuliani -- the Stasi Years? Not quite: It's Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe) of the East German Ministry for State Security in the recent film "The Lives of Others."
Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.
(The relevance of this quote is discussed as a postscript to the following essay.)
Leave it to the Brits to make utterly clear that which our own rulers are trying to obfuscate.
According to the Daily Mail, the British government is “planning to charge companies around 60p a time to check details held on the giant `big brother' database” of personal information collected through that country's national ID card program. “The data which banks, financial institutions and others will be allowed to access includes names, addresses, any second homes and National Insurance numbers.”
Not surprisingly, “a top firm of headhunters” -- of the corporate rather than cannibalistic variety, I assume, although those cohorts are largely interchangeable -- “is already working for the Government, seeking a consultancy expert to market the benefits of the database to the private sector. Firms will be told that the scheme will cut millions from their annual fraud bills and save them hefty fines for employing illegal immigrants. Officials believe it will be cheaper for companies to confirm identity through the [government] database than by using current methods such as bills and driving licenses.”
What this means, of course, is that “the Government will be selling information which the public has had to pay to hand over – like it or not.”
“The government is trying to pay for its compulsory ID scheme by turning a buck on the very same personal information it forces you to hand over,” observes Phil Booth of the NO2ID campaign. “Charging others to check your personal details is the thin end of a very dangerous wedge. When employees of tens of thousands of officially-accredited companies are allowed to make checks, how much easier will it be for dodgy investigators and identity thieves to find out your information?”
Booth's last comment is the needle-fine point of this entire matter:
The single biggest threat where identity theft is concerned is the State, either as the chief offender or the key accomplice.
By requiring subjects to surrender personal information in exchange for a national ID (such a demand would not be made of true citizens), the State is claiming title of ownership over them. That is, quite literally, identity theft, particularly when those who are not in the system have no “legal identity” and are subject to impediments on critical personal freedoms.
By corralling that information in a single database, the State is making things much more convenient for data rustlers. And as Booth points out, the likelihood of such pilferage increases exponentially as the State authorizes access to sub-contractors of various kinds – in addition to the population of socially inept and morally dissolute rejects the State directly employs.
The Bush Regime's REAL ID act, which was originally scheduled for implementation by 2008, requires states to create biometric, computer-readable driver's licenses that conform to a national standard. This would be a de facto national ID card, the first in our history.
The REAL ID law, notes Jim Harper of the Cato Institute, “requires states to enter information about their drivers into databases to which all other states will have access. Identity thieves will have much greater opportunities to get their hands on drive information nationwide. And a uniform `machine-readable technology' on the licenses themselves will make it easier for governments and businesses to scan licenses and compile storehouses of data about our whereabouts and activities.”
The national ID would be a key element of a universal system of “human inventory control,” as well as creating multiple information storehouses just waiting to be plundered by identity thieves – who will be over-represented in the system's bureaucratic enforcement apparatus.
One of the few relatively encouraging recent developments on the American political scene has been the growing grassroots opposition to the Bush Regime's REAL ID proposal. The revolt began in Maine, and as the Cato Institute's Jim Harper points out, the counter-revolution has begun with Maine's Republican Senator Susan Collins.
“Working with Senator Collins,” writes Harper, the Department of Homeland Security “has now moved the deadline for complying with REAL ID back more than a year and a half, from May 2008 to December 2009.” This tactical “concession” is intended to give time for the bribes to work: “DHS says it will start allocating Homeland Security Grant Program funds for REAL ID while implementation is delayed. That gives incentive to the ultimate recipients of the funds to start lobbying rebellious state lawmakers.”
Every politician who supports this scheme, and every lobbyist who agitates for it, should be viewed by the public as an identity thief.
Hideous as the REAL ID program is, the evils it would inflict on us are consigned to a still-indefinite future. Many of those same evils will be wrought through the regime's e-Passport program, which is already underway.
As I have written elsewhere, the supposedly secure e-Passport can be cracked quite easily, and the biometric information stored on its embedded RFID chip can be harvested with relatively little effort.
Security experts Ari Jules, David Molnar, and David Wagner warned the State Department years ago that stolen e-Passport data can be used in some terrifying ways. For example, that captured data could “enable the construction of ‘American-sniffing’ bombs, since U.S. e-passports [do] not use encryption to protect confidentiality of data.” Another “unpleasant prospect,” as the authors delicately put it, is the advent of an “‘RFID-enabled bomb,’ an explosive device that is keyed to explode at [a] particular individual’s RFID reading.”
These are just some of the terrifying possibilities that emanate from the State's efforts to mark and brand us like cattle.
About that Luther quote....
It takes a special gift to assess a roiling and bloody battlefield, recognize its most strategically important point, and rally the troops to engage the enemy there. That's called leadership.
It takes a peculiar variety of talent to recognize where that critical battle is being fought and then to take special care to avoid it, while maintaining the frenzied pretense of fighting. This could be called creative cowardice.
This treatment of the subject of identity theft very usefully illustrates the latter approach. I can't believe that this is because of any shortcomings on the part of the author, who is exceptionally well-qualified to write about computer security (as well as ballot-related issues, father's rights issues, and a number of other subjects).
Given what the author knows, and what is known by the editorial collective in charge of The New American magazine, it seems impossible to believe that they could publish a lengthy and detailed treatment of the issue of identity theft while avoiding, almost entirely, the State's central role as both facilitator and perpetrator of that crime.
For all of the interesting and useful detail about identity theft provided in that cover story, The New American flinched from indicting the State, and candidly describing the intentions of those who control it.
The first half of the familiar quote from Luther cited above is the following:
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him.”
In a similar fashion, those who profess to work on behalf of freedom everywhere except at those points where it is most acutely under attack by its enemies are effectively collaborating in freedom's demise.
Note to TNA: The point of putting out the magazine is “that freedom shall not perish,” not to make its affiliated organization more marketable to those who are killing freedom.
Be sure to check out The Right Source – we don't flinch in the face of the enemy.