May 10, 2005 8:10 PM PDT

Senate approves electronic ID card bill

Last-minute attempts by online activists to halt an electronic ID card failed Tuesday when the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to impose a sweeping set of identification requirements on Americans.

The so-called Real ID Act now heads to President Bush, who is expected to sign the bill into law this month. Its backers, including the Bush administration, say it's needed to stop illegal immigrants from obtaining drivers' licenses.

If the act's mandates take effect in May 2008, as expected, Americans will be required to obtain federally approved ID cards with "machine readable technology" that abides by Department of Homeland Security specifications. Anyone without such an ID card will be effectively prohibited from traveling by air or Amtrak, opening a bank account, or entering federal buildings.

After the Real ID Act's sponsors glued it to an Iraq military spending bill, final passage was all but guaranteed. Yet that didn't stop a dedicated cadre of privacy activists from trying to raise the alarm in the last few days., which calls the legislation a "national ID card," says that more than 10,800 people filled out its online petition to senators.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation hastily created a "Stop The Real ID Act!" campaign last week, and the ACLU denounced the bill as a measure that would create "a system ripe for identity theft." Security guru Bruce Schneier offered his own negative critique.

If the Real ID Act had been a standalone piece of legislation--instead of being embedded in an unrelated military spending bill--its passage in the Senate might have been less certain.

The House approved it in February by a relatively narrow vote of 261-161, and some senators had condemned it. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., warned last month that the Real ID Act creates "de facto national ID cards" and the National Immigration Law Center said it will make it harder even for legal immigrants and citizens to get drivers' licenses.

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican and Real ID Act sponsor, applauded the Senate vote on Tuesday. "The Real ID is vital to preventing foreign terrorists from hiding in plain sight while conducting their operations and planning attacks," Sensenbrenner said. "By targeting terrorist travel, the Real ID will assist in our war-on-terror efforts to disrupt terrorist operations and help secure our borders."


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WOW we go around the world in the Name of Democracy
We are spreading Democracy around the world only to now take away our freedom. I'm wondering what is next in the sheme of things. I am betting more then 50% of americans don't really want this "Real ID" going through but the governement is going to jam it down our throats. Time to leave this once free country and move on to somewhere elese. I'm betting within a year we can all claim political assylum somewhere else int he world. I guess if we have a REAL ID we can then be REAL People! It's our governments fault to begin with. Aren't they the ones spreading democracy and giving away our country instead of taking care of our homeland first? I'm getting so tired of all the handouts that this country gives only to be SH*T upon by the countries we give them to. Do we not learn any lessons from past experiences here? Aren't we the ones that gave IRAQ Weapons to help fight Iran with and then 10 years later they use them against us? I'm not sure I see the common sense in things like this, I know I'm not crazy, but the government wants complete control and they are going to get it any way they can.


Posted by Brainlock (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree.
Also, our freedom is being taken away one legislation at a time. I am a conservative but Bush does not stand for traditional American values. He ignores the constitution in an effort to promote his agenda and to help his buddies the Saudie princes. This country is looking more and more like Germany just before WW2. I guess he will lead us into WW3 soon.
Posted by BattleAce7101 (51 comments )
Link Flag
"the government is going to ram this . . . "
regarding your comment that "the government is going to ram this down out throats": just wanted to clarify that this is the **federal** government. i've not heard of any state government that supports this legislation since they have to fund its implementation.

personally, i wrote my congressman last week to complain about this poorly thought out legislation. my major comment to him: i'm tired of our government giving the terrorist what they want by depriving Americans of their freedoms. i also told him that there were much more important things that the congress should look at, including problems in education, protection of the enviromnent, etc.

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Link Flag
Who are terrorist?

n : the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimindation or coercion or instilling fear [syn: act of terrorism, terrorist act]

Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University
Posted by yellowjester (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who are terrorists? Do they have a big red T on their forehead?
The answer is, I guess, supposed to be those that plan and commit acts of terrorism. Lacking some means to easily identify them some uncomfortable measures need to be taken to dissrupt their ability to plan and carry out these despicible crimes. OR, maybe we should wait until they repeat the September 11 scenerio tenfold. Under the system of that day we prosecuted the ones that committed the acts. Of the 20 involved only one lived to meet that fate. So, maybe we should require them to wear a shirt with a big Black T on it.
Posted by GEBERWEIN (75 comments )
Link Flag
How it was passed should be a clue...
If there is any doubt that this 'should not be there', just look at how it was passed: as part of a Military Support Bill. Since when was Coersion an acceptable way of making laws.
I'm disgusted, and as soon as an opportunity arrises, I'll contribute to haulting this over the next 3 years.
Posted by (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How it was passed should be a clue - nothing new
Isn't it amazing how soon people forget that this method was widely used by the Democrats when they were running things in Congress. So why should there be an uproar because the other side does it once in a while?
Posted by GEBERWEIN (75 comments )
Link Flag
Pragmatoast fabric softener
In order to understand legalese, it is necessary to adopt a more eloquent and flowing robe, (to whit);

That's ********! Try as we may, ennui always enters the fray. Which is not to say things must go that way. A little honesty usually wins the day. I thought that DNA charts was already underway?

Plan RR
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Heading Toward the Abyss
Although patriotism is a commendable virtue, I find it very sad that so many Americans blindly follow their government's deception.

I'd be willing to wager that those in America who believe the Real ID Act is necessary to prevent terrorism are also the same group convinced that foreign "terrorists" brought down the World Trade Center buildings in New York on 911.

Considering all the evidence compiled by independent 911 researchers, the "Official 911 Commission" report, which was nothing but a poorly written "Official 911 Omission & Cover up", it is acutely apparent that the tragic events of 911 were perpetrated against Americans by the US government and its executive branch.

Beyond mass murder of its own citizens, 911 and the illusion of terrorists has been used as a pretense for the Bush administration to wage war against innocent people in other countries, steal their natural resources, imprison, torture and murder tens of thousands, plus deprive American citizens of their constitutional rights further via the Patriot Act and now the National ID, er, Real ID Act.

Mass murder of its own citizens, lying to Congress, misleading the public and committing us to an immoral and illegal war(s), plunging the country into an abyss of debt, destroying the United States reputation in the world, reversing our environmental protections, mandatory ID's ...the list goes on and on and on.

Is anybody paying attention out there? Do people even have a clue that their country is burning down all around them? Can you not see how we are heading toward a dictatorship and a fascist government?

Wake up people and smell the New World Odor stinks.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Those are some heavy statements you make, without providing any backup whatsoever. Do you have any evidence other than "open your eyes?" My eyes are open, but we clearly aren't wearing the same glasses.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
United Fascist State of America
Welcome to the End of America!!

In the name of "freedom", we must give up all our freedoms!!

The Real ID Act, combined with the ironically named Patriot Act,
have set our freedoms back more than 240 years. We are just a
step or two away from becoming the "United Fascist State of
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I really don't see what all the fuss is about
I'm trying to figure out if all the negativity I'm reading is the reactionary ranting of the excessively vocal minority of privacy advocates or something actually worth worrying about. It looks like the latter from here, but I'll keep an open mind if someone would care to explain.

I wonder if people put up a similar stink when states started requiring a license to drive, or own a handgun, or travel internationally.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's the data mining...
At least for me that is. For identity theft concerns, it is a well known fact that carrying your Driver's License (name, address, dob) and your SS Card with you leaves you at a very high risk of identity theft.
Now, this places all this information, including 'personal' info all into 1 card, with an 'easy to read' feature, and a singular database.
Even worse, this database is not just government held, but accessible (including the reading equipment) by numerous companies that may claim a need for this security (anyone in transportation), or any other business who wants an easy way to 'track' customers.
Needless to say, it is a frightening concept.
Posted by (8 comments )
Link Flag
Are you really that ignorant?
Have you EVER read a history book? Do you know ANYTHING about technology? Maybe it's time to get an education before you merrily help the big boys take away all your freedom.
Posted by Michael Grogan (308 comments )
Link Flag
Bad legislation, where are the safeguards?
What prevents every store or building you walk into from reading your ID card and learning exactly who you are? Talk about the ultimate tool for Big Brother!
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well, for starters...
For one, RFID lacks its own power source and can only be read when placed in direct or near-direct (typically less than a centimeter) contact to a reading device. A sales agent would have to get pretty friendly with you, depending on what pocket you would keep it in.

Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
Congress Bill Name Irony continues
It should be pointed out how ironic the names of the Bills passed
by this Congress:

Patriot Act - Supposed to protect our freedom. The Results --
Federal Government more easily spying on its citizens without
any real oversight, ie. citizens lose their freedoms

CAN Spam Act - Supposed to "can" or contain Spam -- the
Result: zero reduction in SPAM, in fact SPAM problem is worse
than ever.

Real ID Act - Supposed to guarantee the authenticity of identity
-- This bill will likely make it easier than ever for criminals to
create forgeries -- technology has never solved this problem,
meanwhile -- the law abiding citizen loses more rights.

As a general rule -- if a bill has a name, it seems safe to assume
that the opposite of its name will most likely be the result.
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'm frightened by those that aren't concerned
When Social Security system was created, the cards specifically
said that they were NOT TO BE USED AS IDENTIFICATION to
avoid the very state we are in -- a federal government that can
track each and every move you make.

&lt;<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>&gt; makes a great example of where we
will likely be in 5 years time.

To quote Ben Franklin:

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'm not feelin' it....
I'm very upset at the fact that they hid this act in a military bill. Slipping an important measure like this under the radar is terrible, and will make people very upset once it gets rolling. Well maybe it won't, because they'll convince people that it's only meant to stop terrorist.

Since it's going to be signed into law, let's look at how it can be improved. I wouldn't mind having my medical history on this card into to aide doctors treating me in event of an accident or whatever. Please don't lease the technology to various private companies. Keep this strictly to goverment agencies, a few transportation companies, and hospitals. IMO this will keep our information and location safer. Just my .02.
Posted by tahbasco (30 comments )
Reply Link Flag
$0.02 of gold
Excellent perspective. I think keeping medical records on this would be a wonderful addition, especially since I move around all the time and my doctors are NEVER coordinated. I reinvent the wheel every time I relocate.

Privatized companies certainly should not have access to this information without expressed written consent of the individual. And don't bury it in a long document written in legalese like an EULA.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
Passports ?
The new ID will cost US billions and make it redundant. The best thing would be, making it easier for citizens to get US Passport and encouraging them to get one. Too many ID will make it hard on people to really protect their Identity from theft or fraud. It is sad that a conservative government is doing this. Increase the budget for border patrol and recruiting people for those jobs would be a better thing to stop not only illegal aliens but also illicit trade across the border.

my 2 cents,
Legal Alien.
Posted by YankeePoodle (785 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Legal Aliens are great!
Mainly because I'm glad you brought up our national 'ID' that is already in place: A PASSPORT. It has enough designation and hoops to get that it is a wonder why this whole thing came up... And it's accepted WORLDWIDE as Identification, and does not need excessive personal identification.
Posted by (8 comments )
Link Flag
I am a liberal Democrat and I think an ID system is great. I am a firm believer at this point in our history we need tu uphold laws. I hope it dawns on the minds of more people that there are others in this world who have made a holy vow to kill Americans. This has been going on for about twenty years now. I am tired also of hearing about people here illegally. There are immigration laws that peoples of other nations can abide by if they want to come to this country to live. I also support an international economy which I think will have the effect of slowing the aggression between nations. I do not support Bush's domestic policies usually. He is basically a front man for the wealthy players.
Posted by hodunwun (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
How will this make us safer?
It won't.

It will not stop terrorists hell-bent on their target.

It will however make us less free.

The terrorists seem to have won. They have scared congress and much of the american people into giving up what our country was founded on: personal freedom.

Giving up freedoms paid for by the blood of millions is an extremely cowardly act.
Posted by pcLoadLetter (395 comments )
Link Flag
The only thing liberal about you... the extent of your ignorance. This is the largest step to date in the gradual usurpation of our personal liberties. If you're willing to give up freedom for percieved safety you don't belong in a free society and don't deserve to live in one.
Posted by Michael Grogan (308 comments )
Link Flag
2 things Doug
1: if the Government would ENFORCE the laws ALREADY in play concerning our boarders and illegal immigrants, the "real id act" wouldn't be an issue nor would it be needed.
As it is, every time someone makes a noise about stopping the illegals from crossing our boarders, the politico's hem 'n' haw around and basically ignore the whole thing leading to a lack of action, thereby forcing citizens to take matters in hand and stop the illegals themselves.
if you think I'm kidding read "Mexifornia".
2: "I do not support Bush's domestic policies usually. He is basically a front man for the wealthy players" ummmmmmmmm......... REMINDER! John Kerry is married to one of the WEALTHIEST WOMEN IN AMERICA! Let us not forget that those who make up the loudest section of the "liberals' are ... DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUN! WEALTHY ACTORS AND ACTRESSES! (who, I might add, have no idea what the REST of America is about nor are they in touch with those like me and mine)
so the next time you want to slam bush for "supporting the wealthy" try to remember WHO THE WEALTHY ARE!

And for the record ... BOTH parties are full of scumbags.
Think I'm lying? consider they fact that those in the senate voted themselves and a raise and DO NOT pay into social security but can draw from it.
Posted by ShadowGryphon (52 comments )
Link Flag
Put away your dream list
Forget the debate ...this administration and its bought and paid for congress isn't asking anyone what the American citizen wants.

Your rights, subsequent bills, laws, freedoms, privacy, etc. are all being decided for you the dead of night without any consideration from, or for you.

Got the picture?
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who pays?
Interestingly, nowhere in this new federal bill, spells out who pays to implement this bureaucratic nightmare to identify who you are for a simple state drivers license! Do I hear a vote for increased State tax, fees and charges to pay for this implementation? Oh well there is always Canada to run to!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
All this reminds me of something said once...
"Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." - Thomas Jefferson
Posted by ca2kjet (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
When it becomes Law...........
I will then be an illegal Alien! I was Born and raised int he United States, I served in the United States Navy (spent most of my time in third world countries as a Diver/Diving Med Tech), I have paid all of my taxes, I have followed the laws of the land. This is one law I will never follow! I will take that to my grave. Ummm and by the way we don't need a little chipset with our medical records on it, we have the internet, intranet, wans and lans! We have the ability to get our x rays on screen across the country, most don't utilize it because they don't want to spend the money to install the necessary equipment to do it! Also don't think your information is safe, The RSA 200 encryption was just decrypted! our governement is so slow behind the times of technology that by the time they get it into effect it's outdated. Kind of like most of the members of the senate and congress, I would like to know how many of them are good computer users? probably not many they only use what they are told they need to use and that is it.
Posted by Brainlock (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thanks to the USA/Patriot Acts, the U.S. government can declare ANY American-citizen to be -an agent of a foreign power- and thereby strip them of ALL their Constitutional-RIGHTS.

So, DONT DISSENT. Or, Else...
Posted by Gayle Edwards (262 comments )
Link Flag
How would you be an illegal alien?
I'm sorry, I didn't understand that point. Could you please elaborate?
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in an American
flag. - Sen. Huey Long

That says it all.
Posted by ewelch (767 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HomeLand Rip off of Rights
Ok after the attack on the world trade center, our country should have focioused all its efforts besides milltary on our borders, rather than making america feel like its RAN BY HITLER! the SS, Defending our country should not mean effecting my life by striping away our libertys, or Making us Live in Fear all the time. Just build a fence around the whole country and call it prision USA..
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I'm seeing a lot of references to Hitler
And yet I doubt that people truly grasp what a heavy statement that is.

I will admit the fact that the bill was piggybacked onto a war funds bill is nothing less than morally reprehensible, but politicians do that sort of thing all the time. Yet I maintain that all the noise and complaining is empty and anti-progressive.

Look around the world. There are several FREE countries in Europe that use a system like this and you don't see them comparing their leaders to the single most evil figure of the 20th century.

Check your emotions at the door and think about this rationally. It's not all bad. It needs some work, but the idea's still in it's infancy.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
id cards
1939 germans had id cards only they called them papers. 2005 who's going to the camps ?
Posted by morris7353 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I have just ONE comment!
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

First Amaendment of the Bill of RIGHTS.


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Ill shut up now NOT
Posted by bevis3155 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I applaude the Republicans for finally taking a few steps to protect the U.S. culture and standard of living. Too many illegals come over the border to get free health care and benefits that cut into our salaries with higher tax burdens on real Americans. These illegals, mostly Mexicans are racist, don't want to learn English, breed rapidly in a world with limited resources like clean air and water, and cause the rapid decline in the numbers of animals that we share this planet with. Hoooorah!
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Take away the reason illegals come here.
Welfare. Do away with that and they won't come here. Why should we build a wall or have to be government monitored everytime we make a move just to keep people out of the country? That's stupid.
Posted by tipper11 (1 comment )
Link Flag
well, China's been issuing national ID cards for decades now...
This gives us the ability to track citizens as he/she moves between states. It'll basically function as an interstate passport program with a central database keeping track of the location of each citizen in the united states. After 2008, there will be no more foolish americans trying to hide from the government ever again.
Posted by rabidjack (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
illegal aliens
Americans against illegal immigrants UNITE. NO AMNESTY, NO SOCIAL SERVICES, NO JOBS. Cost of social serv. for illegals since 1996 is an unbelievable $ 397,463,158,318 and rising -- approaching 400 BILLION DOLLARS. This is taxpayers money - our money - being used WITHOUT our consent and GIVEN to law breaking invaders. NO ANCHOR BABIES,NO HOMES, NO VEHICLES. Mexico's THIRD largest LEGAL income behind OIL &#38; TOURISM is the CASH that's made here in the U.S.A. and sent back south of the border. This is estimated at $33,263,578,552. and rising. With almost 21 million illegals here - NO SURPRISE. GO TO " OUTRAGED PATRIOTS.COM", " VDARE.COM"," FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM" - ALSO "IMMIGRATION COUNTERS.COM" Check out 1954 - PRES. EISENHOWER'S ( OPERATION ******* ) Local, State and Federal governments --- HEAR OUR DEMANDS OR GET VOTED OUT !!!!!!
Posted by outraged american (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag

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