Tuesday, March 13, 2007

National ID: Wearing the State's Brand

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.

Martin Luther

(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.


James Leroy Wilson said...

Opposition continues to grow in the states. And Downsize DC has been campaigning against Real ID almost since the day it passed. Americans have put up with a lot - far too much, actually - but perhaps this will be a time they effectively draw a line and fight back. After all, we got rid of Prohibition and the draft, so there's always hope.

Anonymous said...

One way to put checks and balances on the collection and distribution of this data is to make the government and the corporations it services pay the individuals each time their data is accessed in a financial transaction. Royalties to the cattle, if you will.

Anonymous said...

I wrote a proposal addressing the royalties and ownership rights for all this private data on my blog a couple weeks ago, here.

DrFix said...

I believe that their is a noise going up in the UK over their idea of selling the data being mined from their serfs/citizens to others in order to "cover the costs"... Not that the cost borne by the "victim" is addressed. To say that its expensive is an understatement.

Anonymous said...

You may laugh at what I'm about to type but if you are a Christian who knows the Bible you will understand what I'm saying. The Bible says that a portent of the Second Coming is that the Roman Empire will rise again.

So people have been waiting for Rome to rise again, and as it seems nothing has happened then, Jesus is not ready to come, and will not do so for a long time. Because the Roman Empire shows no sign of appearing soon!


The Roman Empire is alive and well and growing fast. Only the name is just a little changed, it's called The European Union. The E.U. was founded by the Treaty of Rome and to date has taken in countries that were part of the Old Roman Empire. This has been mainly countries that profess to be Christian. Turkey's State Religion is Muslim and Turkey was a member of the Empire, so the E.U. is trying to find ways to get Turkey into the club.

Tunisia was part, Tunisia has a special understanding with the E.U. Israel was part, each year we have the Eurovision Song Contest, Israel takes part. Look at the spread for the E.U. now and look at the Roman Empire.

How does this fit in with I.D. Cards? Simple our Glorious Current Leader Tony Blair and his pals want us all to have I.D.Cards ?

They say it's so that we can travel around the E.U. without any problems(We have Passports is we want to travel),

So that we can stop terrorist attacks (So terrorist need I.D. Cards to blow themselves up do they? Fake I.D. cards are not going to be made?).

So that our bank details will be with us when we need them (we have bank cards and pin numbers).

So that our finger prints can be digitised and put on the card to prove who we are (so we can class everyone as a criminal, guilty or not? I can hear the cries of if you have nothing to hide what have you got to worry about? I worry about being accused of doing something because of a computer foul up, because someone has input the wrong information).

Then we hear that a chip is being used to check on our health. Just implant it in you head or arm and all your details will be fed to a central computer where you can be checked and monitored at all times. Wouldn't it be a good idea if we combine all the information on to the chip and it could be read by a scanner as we walk along. Big Brother eat your heart out, this is far better than that, with this you can't hide anywhere.

You will be watched as you walk down the street by faceless, nameless people using CCTV, you will be tracked as you drive by CCTV, your bank account will have money taken from it by computers because you exceeded the speed limit by two miles per hour, and yes the police chiefs in the UK want that to happen.

Seventy percent of the laws in this country are made not by Mr Blair and the Parliament of the UK but by faceless bureaucrats in Brussels.

Freedom in the E.U. is disappearing fast, there is even a law that says that if your political party is Anti E.U. then it can be thrown out of the E.U. Parliament!

There is even a department of pro E.U. propaganda that looks for websites that say anything that's anti E.U. and then try and discredit it.

The people of Europe are fast being lead into yet another fascist super state, with comments such as "We have not had a war in Europe since the end of the Second World War because of the E.U.".


What about Yugoslavia? That wasn't a war?

The powers that be in Brussels are going down the route that will have every single person tagged. Without the tag you will not be able to buy anything.

Does that remind you of something?
Don't just read this and say that's paranoia talking, do some research yourself, don't take this as just another persons ramblings, it's all out there you just need to look in the right places.

Some of them are in documents on the E.U.s own website. The UK Government's website and various other sites. But before you start there you might like to read Revelation it's a very interesting book.