Jan 20, 2010
Real ID is alive and kicking!
Saying no is not enough. We have done that. We have been clear about what we won’t do. Now we need to say clearly what we will do.
Most of are certain that erecting a surveillance state is not the proper destiny for our country but most of us lack the knowledge and expertise to sit down and draw up an alternative solution to problems like illegal immigration, border security, terrorism and fraud.
This puts us in the terrible position: We can only reject or accept the remedies that have been chosen for us.
There is one person who has taken the time and used his knowledge and expertise to figure out a way to tackle this problems a manner that respects the fundamental rights of all. Mark Lerner of the Constitutional Alliance has done just that. In this article Mark describes the problems and a simple but better solution, step by step.
If you are concerned about the issues I mentioned but are ambivalent about the solutions being offered to thwart them, then please read every word of the following article, “I don’t care who you are; the government does” by Mark Lerner of the Stop Real ID Coalition and Constitutional Alliance has written. He has done the hard work for us and all we have to do is get this information out by sharing it with anyone who needs to know that we do not have to sacrifice all to get results.
Our state legislators need this information immediately because they are facing the resurrection (continuation really) of Real ID and as well as onslaught of other well intentioned but fatally flawed “solutions” to illegal immigration and national security.
With this information in hand and our informed prompting, our legislators will not be able to say that there was no other choice.
I don’t care who you are; the government does
article by Mark Lerner
Would you give an alcoholic a shot of Vodka? Would you give a heroin addict a syringe? Would you give a shopaholic your credit card? Feeding an addiction is never the solution. Think about “addiction” as you read this document.
Is there a solution that will address both the concerns of those that support Arizona’s S.B.1070 and the Real ID Act 2005? The answer is there is a viable solution; an alternative to both Arizona S.B.1070 and the Real ID Act 2005. S.B.1070 and the Real ID Act are as different as night and day to some people. I will identify what the two laws have in common and what makes them different. The solution I provide is not only viable but protects the rights of states and the rights of citizens. The solution is to digitize and sequentially number all birth certificates. Alright, the solution is not that simple but the solution has at its core the digitizing and numbering of birth certificates. Within this document that solution is discussed at some length.
I cannot speak for everyone but I will say that I am tired of those that are against everything and then have no viable solutions to respond to whatever they are opposed to. I do not care if people present their own solutions or those of someone else but at least they should be able to provide something positive. Even if what they present is not a “finished” product, they can provide a “framework” for a solution..
I started out what seems a lifetime ago, seven – fourteen days ago, responding to requests from people and groups around the country to write an article about Arizona S.B.1070 and the Real ID Act 2005. Originally, I had hoped the article would be a quick read. I realized immediately not everyone has the same “jumping off point”. Some of us know more or less than others about the Real ID Act and Arizona’s S.B.1070. There is a need to lay some groundwork so that those who have little or no knowledge about the Real ID Act and/or Arizona S.B.1070 have a “starting point”.
Before getting to Arizona‘s S.B.1070 and the Real ID Act it is important to build a foundation for the discussion we are about to have. If you believe you do not have the time to read this document you are wrong. What you do not have is the time to ignore this document or shove it aside until you find the time. Decisions are being made, laws are being implemented and legislation is being considered right now that will go a long way in deciding what type of society we each will be living in and what type of society will be leaving for our children and grandchildren.
A fair question to ask by those that do not know me is, am I qualified to comment on the Real ID Act 2005 and Arizona S.B.1070? I have testified before many committees in many states on issues ranging from biometrics, information sharing, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and the Real ID Act 2005. I have also met with high ranking staff members of the members of Congress, legal counsels for committees in Congress, and members of Congress themselves.
I am not thought of by those that know me as being “soft” on illegal immigration, voter fraud, identity theft, or terrorism. I do not accept that we must necessarily go with the solutions that Republican lawmakers or Democratic lawmakers endorse. As citizens we must decide for ourselves what works and what may not work. Ultimately it will be lawmakers that make decisions that turn into laws but we must be informed citizens so that we may make informed decisions for ourselves. Not as Democrats, Independents or Republicans but as citizens we must tell lawmakers how we stand on “issues”. If we fail to become informed and to tell lawmakers where we stand, then our voices will become the voices of the past; not the future.
Each of the last three years lobbyists have spent approximately $3 billion. There are 535 members of Congress. Take the amount spent lobbying and divide that amount by 535 and on average you will find $5.5 million has been spent persuading each member of Congress each year on a range of issues. Whether you are a Democrat, Independent, or Republican you should be concerned about the influence lobbyists have on the members of Congress. The $3 billion a year does not include campaign donations.
Before analyzing both Arizona S.B.1070 and the Real ID Act 2005 I want to acknowledge the concerns of those that support S.B.1070 and the Real ID Act are justified. Voting fraud, identity theft, preventing terrorists from using state driver’s licenses to facilitate their actions and benefits being provided to people that are in our country illegally are issues, some may even call threats, we must deal with as a country. Appreciate there are no quick fixes. We must be careful not to accept a cure that is worse than the disease in the name of expediency or for any other reason. When you have finished reading this document I believe you will find that Arizona S.B.1070 and the Real ID Act are worse than the disease and have much in common.
The disease is one thing that can be described easily. The federal government has an addiction. That addiction is to the personal and sensitive information about each of us including our biometrics. Biometrics is defined as measurements of the body. Commonly we think of fingerprinting, iris scans and facial recognition technology when thinking of biometrics. Facial recognition is essentially the using of a high resolution photograph to “map” the face. Measurements are taken between key characteristics of the face. An algorithm is then used to create a biometric template. The biometric templates are then compared to one another to see if there is a match.
The Washington Post has published articles that raise a very important question. The question raised by the Washington Post and one will should be asking ourselves is, can the government be collecting too much information? Can the government be building a proverbial “haystack” so large that it cannot find the “needles/bad guys”? In July, 2010 The Washington Post published the following:
“These are some of the findings of a two year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.” And “Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year a volume so large that many are routinely ignored.”
This paper is not intended to play the “blame game”. There are many reasons for illegal immigration. Some may refer to people in our country illegally as “undocumented workers”. I have no interest in the “semantics game” either. Regardless of where you stand on what should be done about those in our country illegally, most people including Democratic lawmakers and Republican lawmakers agree that border security is national security. We must have secure borders irrespective of what our immigration policy is going to be.
Not all supporters of S.B.1070 are supporters of the Real ID Act and vice versa.
Whenever we discuss any laws, be they state or federal, we must ensure we are honoring our foremost responsibility as citizens. We must each ensure we pass the rights, liberty and freedom on to the children of today that we inherited at such great sacrifice of previous generations.
It does not matter whether we are speaking about a state law or a federal law we must ensure we are meeting our foremost responsibility as citizens. It is bad enough that we passing on a national debt of over what is now $14 trillion onto future generations but to also restrict or eliminate their Constitutional rights is unforgivable. Those on the “left” and “right” echoed the words of President Bush shortly after 9/11:
“We will not allow this enemy to win the war by changing our way of life or restricting our freedoms.”
I would submit that since 9/11 we have done little to create real security and a great deal to create perceived security. We have certainly failed to meet our foremost responsibility as citizens.
Perceived security can be argued to be worse than no security. If we believe we are secure and the reality is we are not, then it is likely we will not take the necessary actions that create real security.
Secretary of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security), Janet Napolitano says our borders are more secure then they have ever been. That is not the same thing as saying our borders are secure. When we start with a baseline of near zero border security it does not take much to improve the situation on our borders.
You may have some preconceived notions about different programs the federal government has been pushing/promoting. This is an appropriate time to provide you with some facts about a few of those programs. You may have to cut and paste the links provided that verifies what I am saying. If you received this document in the body of an email rather than as an attachment you should be able to just click on the links provided.
DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has spent $1 billion to create a virtual fence that covers just 53 miles of our border. It took five years to realize that plan was flawed to begin with. http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/01/14/border.virtual.fence/index.html?hpt=T2 DHS announced this month that the program is being discontinued.
Many people have heard about E-Verify. This is another government plan to address illegal immigration. You probably been told E-Verify is nearly foolproof. It is very accurate if it is the information of U.S. citizens being “run” through system. When a person is in our country illegally and the information they provide is “run” through the system, E-Verify is wrong (56%) more than it is right (44%). The program cannot even identify fraud. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/immigrationnaturalizatio/a/Accuracy-Of-Federal-E-Verify-Program.htm
The federal government accepts failure, does that mean the states and citizens must as well? I have informed you about E-Verify being wrong more than it is right. Did you know the DHS has accepted failure as a goal? The goal of DHS to stop illegal goods or people from entering our country at authorized CPB (Custom Border Patrol) ports of entry was 30% for 2010. That’s right, a 70% failure rate. The following is directly from the GAO (General Accounting Office) http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/how-effective-cbp-keeping-us-borders-safe
Last year DHS admitted the existence of three domestic spying programs. http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/04/21/three-more-domestic-spying-programs-revealed/
Why I am focusing on DHS? It is DHS that will be receiving the information sent by authorities in Arizona under the provisions of S.B.1070. It is also DHS that is primarily responsible for implementing the Real ID Act 2005. Virtually all responsibilities of the federal government related to “immigration” are the responsibility of DHS. PUBLIC LAW 107-296 of the 107 Congress (2002) created the Department of Homeland Security and abolished the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
You may think I am paranoid. Is a person paranoid that told people years in advance that we would be at the point we are at today, feeding the government’s addiction for our personal information I spoke of earlier? Is it paranoia when seven years ago I warned of a plan to create a “National ID Card” that was centered on biometric enrollment? I actually was wrong then because the plan became one to create an international ID card.
I started speaking out many years ago about the wrongdoing of what was at that time the largest biometric company in the United States, Viisage Technology. In January, 2005 before the Real ID Act was even considered by Congress I turned over what attorneys called a “mountain of evidence” to the federal government that went to the issues of “rigged testing”, over exaggerating results and providing a select group of wealthy insiders with “news” that the general investment community was not being made aware of at the time. The ensuing federal investigation lasted nearly two years without any notification to Congress or the public of the results. I have and am paying plenty for “stirring” the pot.
Prior to my turning over the evidence I did to the federal government I personally had met with Chairmen of the Board’s and other senior people in the biometrics community. I was asked to help promote the use of biometrics as a tool in the “war on terrorism”.
I attended the conferences, spoke with people in law enforcement and communicated publicly about my support for the use of biometrics for a couple of years. That all came to an end as instance after instance occurred where I was told by senior and mid-level people in the biometrics community of wrongdoing. I finally reached a point when I not only could not support the use of biometrics; I had to speak out against the use of biometrics.
I understand that people convicted of crimes should have to provide their biometrics to law enforcement. I also understand that if a court issues a warrant for a person’s biometrics, the individual will have to provide their biometrics. The Real ID Act goes much further than what I am describing. Under Real ID there are no rules other than the rules DHS decides they should abide by. You may think I am kidding but I assure you I am not.
In an article published by Government Computer News, “DHS pushes global data sharing,” on Feb. 4, 2007, Wilson P. Dizard III wrote:
“Robert Mocny, acting program manager for the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program, sketched the outline of a Global Security Envelope of internationally shared biometric data that would permanently link individuals with their personal data held by governments and corporations.”
When information is allowed to flow freely between governments and corporations your biggest concern should not be the unsolicited phone calls you get from telemarketers because corporations have too much access to your personal information. Your biggest concern should be: Is government collecting any and all personal information about you and what is government doing what that information?
The following appeared in a November 29, 2006 article that also was released by Government Computer News:
“Mocny conceded that each of the 10 privacy laws currently in effect in the United States has an exemption clause for national-security purposes. He added that the department only resorts to its essentially unlimited authority under those clauses when officials decide that there are compelling reasons to do so.”
It is true that as things are today DHS has what Mocny called “essentially unlimited authority”.
On September 8, 2010 DHS declared/published in the Federal Register their intention to no longer comply with the Privacy Act of 1974.
Oh wait, it gets better; included in the “Final Rules” of the Real ID Act 2005 issued January 2008, the Secretary of Homeland Security has unfettered authority/discretion to issue “official purposes” which identify for what purposes a Real ID compliant driver’s license is required. Currently that would include flying on a commercial airliner, entering nuclear plants or entering federal facilities. Should the Secretary of DHS wake up tomorrow and decide that obtaining prescription drugs, entering a shopping mall, going on a college campus, or purchasing ammunition or a gun require a Real ID compliant driver’s license, there is no requirement that the Secretary should or must first consult with Congress. Congress decided when it passed the Real ID Act that they would give the Secretary of DHS authority to do what Congress is supposed to do; amend laws.
I have gone to great lengths in this document to substantiate what I have stated. To that end I am providing the language directly from the “Final Rules” for Real ID Act released by DHS in January, 2008..
“DHS agrees with those commenters who noted that the proposed definition of “official purpose” is consistent with Congressional intent. DHS is neither expanding nor limiting the definition further in this rule. DHS will continue to consider additional ways in which a REAL ID license can or should be used and will implement any changes to the definition of “official purpose” or determinations regarding additional uses for REAL ID consistent with applicable laws and regulatory requirements. DHS does not agree that it must seek the approval of Congress as a prerequisite to changing the definition in the future (except of course to remove one of the three statutorily-mandated official purposes) as 9 20 l(3) of the Act gives discretion to the Secretary of Homeland Security to determine other purposes.”
A couple of years ago I met with both the Deputy Chief Counsel and the Chief Counsel for the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee. After the meeting I asked the question, how would the public feel if they knew what was discussed today in this meeting? The reply I received from the Deputy Counsel was short, “They would be outraged.”
When I first started having questions about Viisage Technology (the company that was at the center of the evidence I provided the government) the company had a market cap/value of $50 million approximately. Today the company has morphed and is now called L-1 Identity Solutions. The value of the company is well over $1.5 billion. It has become the revolving door over the last 6 years or so for many in government including but not limited to former Directors of both the FBI and CIA. You can throw in for good measure the Secretary of the Transportation Security Agency and the State Department’s lead person on the implementation of E-Passport (A federal initiative that incorporates biometrics and RFID technology into U.S. passports). Give or take, there are about a half dozen other former senior government employees that have gone through the revolving door at Viisage/L-1 Identity Solutions. http://www.constitutionalalliance.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46:the-revolving-door-that-never-stops-turning&catid=1:articles
If you are not somewhat concerned about DHS and Viisage Technology/L-1 Identity Solutions then consider that L-1 announced last year that it was being sold to two European companies. L-1 is not just the largest biometric company in the United States but also has the driver’s license contracts in nearly every state. In the contracts I have read (not all) L-1 has back up capability/responsibility for state’s DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) databases or a portion thereof. The biometric and document production divisions of L-1 are being sold to a French company named Safran. http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2010/09/20/l-1-acquired-by-safran-and-bae-in-1-6b-merger-deal/ The French government has an ownership position in Safran. L-1 also produces state welfare identification documents, is involved in the production of U.S. passports, produces all passport cards and has numerous contracts to provide technology to DHS. Are you comfortable with a French company potentially and realistically having access to your personal information? The third division of L-1 is the “Intelligence Consulting” division. L-1 has contracts with many of the intelligence agencies within our federal government. The intelligence consulting division of L-1 is being sold to a company in the United Kingdom.
To those of us who believe scripture is true and biblical prophecy is not just words, L-1 is seen as a company that represents what we read in Revelation 13:16-18. Developed countries around the world are issuing their own biometric identification cards. L-1 is the facilitator for many of these countries including India (1.2 billion people). Last year L-1 and the World Bank reached an agreement that facilitates L-1 providing biometric identification cards to all “developing” nations as well. http://ir.l1id.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=462879
The standard for the digital facial image/photo on these “national/international” identification cards will the adopted international standard of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). Keep in mind that “bio” means body and “metric” means measurements. Measurements are done in numbers; you decide if biometrics is the number of man. We do not suggest that Real ID is the “Mark of the Beast” but it is likely the enrollment process leading up to what will be the “Mark of the Beast”. Once databases are compromised (experts agree databases are not fully secure) and identification documents are counterfeited (as they always have been) we will be told the identification process must move from the identification document to directly on the person. The technology already does exist to do this. http://www.nonaiswa.org/?p=498 SOMARK has devised both an invisible and visible RFID tattoo. In the article provided by the previous link, the use of the technology not just with animals but also human beings is referred to. Never before has the political will and the technology existed to enroll ALL people into a single global system of identification and financial control. Once in this system U.S. citizens will have no representation because the system is global and agencies such as the ICAO and the International Biometrics Agency will dictate “the rules”.
Why hasn’t Congress stepped in and stopped the sale of L-1 to foreign companies? I do not have answer. I know that I and many others are attempting to educate the public and lawmakers about the sale of L-1. There is still time to stop the sale. L-1 has announced they do not expect the sale to be finalized until spring of this year or later. I am asking that every citizen regardless of the political party affiliation contact both their state lawmakers and elected officials in Congress; once you may contact inform the elected leaders that you strongly oppose the sale of L-1 to foreign companies.
Another fair question to ask is, why DHS hasn’t stepped in and stopped the sale. After all, the placing of U.S. citizens personal and sensitive information including our SSN’s (social security numbers) and biometrics in the hands of people we have little or no jurisdiction over is a potential threat to our citizens and our country. I can answer this question; former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff is representing the French company.
I also would like to know why Congress did not step in and stop the sale of Viisage’s/L-1’s facial recognition technology to a Chinese citizen. Viisage/L-1 knew the Chinese citizen was going to provide the technology to the “Red” Chinese government. The government wanted to use the technology to identify dissidents. Do we want to emulate China or do we want to be a beacon for freedom loving people? http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2008/05/chinas-all-seeing-eye
Now that a foundation has been laid let’s have a discussion about what Arizona’s S.B. 1070 and the Real ID Act 2005 have in common and what differentiates the two laws.
Arizona S.B.1070 is state initiated legislation signed into state law in 2010 and the Real ID Act 2005 is a federal law. Arizona’s S.B.1070 allows for an unlimited amount of personal information of citizens including a person’s biometrics (i.e. fingerprints, digital facial image/facial recognition and iris scan) to be shared and/or vetted with the federal government. S.B.1070 was and is a reaction to the federal government’s inability to deal with the illegal immigration issue. What is clear is that Arizona’s S.B.1070 assists the federal government in creating a national database/repository of citizen’s most personal and sensitive information under the control of the DHS. The Real ID Act 2005 relies on states to collect information that is subsequently available to the federal government through a variety of methods/means including but not limited to the 1994 Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, Fusion Centers, and the International Justice and Public Safety Network.
I will address the issue of whether Real ID creates a national ID card or more precisely an international identification card further into this document.
One reason among many that I am addressing S.B.1070 is many states are looking at introducing similar legislation. Regardless of where a person stands on “illegal immigration” or “undocumented workers” what is undeniable is the status quo is unacceptable.
Let’s begin with the actual wording of Arizona’s S.B.1070 and go from there since this exact wording or nearly exact wording is included in the proposed legislation of states wanting to address the same concerns Arizona’s lawmakers had and have. The following is an excerpt of S.B.1070:
“F. Except as provided in federal law, officials or agencies of this state and counties, cities, towns and other political subdivisions of this state may not be prohibited or in any way be restricted from sending, receiving or maintaining information relating to the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual (including U.S., citizens) or exchanging that information with any other federal, state or local governmental entity for the following official purposes:
1. Determining eligibility for any public benefit, service or license provided by any federal, state, local or other political subdivision of this state.
2. Verifying any claim of residence or domicile if determination of residence or domicile is required under the laws of this state or a judicial order issued pursuant to a civil or criminal proceeding in this state.”
I recognize that most citizens including myself want law enforcement to be able to determine a person’s citizenship after law enforcement has a reasonable suspicion to stop or detain an individual. I and the others that belong to the Constitutional Alliance support the brave men and women in law enforcement, our military, and are part of our intelligence community. What we oppose is the strategy of the “decision makers” of knowing every detail of our lives. ….
What I am opposed to is the sharing or allowing of access to every person’s personal information including a person’s biometric samples/data to DHS in order that that U.S. citizenship status can be determined. DNA is a biometric. Are you in favor or every citizen being required to submit their DNA to the government? If you do not believe it is the federal government’s intention to have direct electronic access to state DMV databases then think again. The FBI and North Carolina have already started a “pilot” program that provides the FBI direct access to North Carolina’s digital facial image/photo/biometric database. http://publicintelligence.info/fbi-delves-into-dmv-photos-in-search-for-fugitives/
I know there are those that believe we should have unbending trust in the FBI. Consider that the Inspector General of the Justice Department detailed the FBI’s abuse of NSL’s (National Security Letters). For years the FBI was issuing NSL’s to entities demanding those entities including corporations provide the personal information of citizens. NSL authority for the FBI was included as part of the Patriot Act. NSL’s DO NOT require a judge to sign a warrant. NSL’s are exempt from having to show “cause” to a judge. In one three year period alone the FBI issued 143,000 NSL’s. That averages out to well over 100 NSL’s issued a day! http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/01/nsl-abuse/ Just because we should be able to “trust” the FBI, DHS and other federal agencies and departments does not mean we should not inspect what we expect.
ABC News released an article in May, 2008 that should elevate any reasonable person’s concerns about DHS. The following is taken directly from the article:
“The Department of Homeland Security wants to set up a new program to illegally spy on Americans, two senior Democratic lawmakers charged Thursday in a letter urging colleagues to deny funds for the program. In a letter to three colleagues obtained by ABC News, House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, Miss., and Rep. Jane Harman, Calif., voiced their objections to a new office DHS wants to create that would share detailed surveillance capabilities of military intelligence satellites and other satellites monitoring technology with state and local law enforcement.”
In March 2009, an internal memo of DHS, “Domestic Extremism Lexicon” was “leaked” that outlined the dozens of groups and organizations that are thought of as being representative of those on the “left” and “right” that are considered “potential” domestic terrorists. The list was so comprehensive that anti-war groups, environmentalists, evangelical Christians, second Amendment supporters, people who support third party candidates, supporters of Congressman Ron Paul, animal rights advocates and many others are named. http://www.tdbimg.com/files/2009/04/30/-hsra-domestic-extremism-lexicon_165213935473.pdf
We have all witnessed horrible, tragic instances of individuals taking the lives of innocent people. Usually, there are warning signs that are apparent to friends, family, coworkers, congregation members and others that a person is experiencing “problems”. If we continue down the path of collecting all information of all people, those people that should stand out are lost in the haystack of information law enforcement is collecting.
There is a reason that our forefathers decided there must be a Fourth Amendment to our Constitution. The Fourth Amendment reads as follows:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
In section F (previously provided above) of Arizona’s S.B.1070 there is no limit or restrictions on what information the state can receive or share in order to determine a person’s citizenship status. If a citizen in Arizona was to apply for a marriage license, business license, a gun permit, a driver’s license, or any other type of license Arizona issues, the state of Arizona can collect whatever information it deems necessary to establish a person’s citizenship status. It is not only when a citizen applies for a “license” of any type but also when applying for any state benefit such as a applying for grant money, unemployment insurance or food stamps that an unspecified thus unlimited amount of information be collected and shared with federal agencies and departments including primarily DHS. I am not suggesting I favor those in our country illegally obtaining benefits. When you read the solution I provide a little further into this document you will find that I address how Arizona and other states can identify those in our country illegally.
There is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The solution provided in this document is proof that there is more way to slice an apple. We do not have to surrender our Constitutional rights in order to address the real concerns of those in Arizona or any other states.
I know some of you will say “Wait a minute. Arizona is also collecting the information of those in our country illegally when they apply for any type of state license or benefit.” I would agree that Arizona’s law does assist in eliminating the likelihood that a non-citizen would obtain a state license or benefit. If I was to accept the thinking and reality of S.B.1070 I would have to accept that I have no issue with eliminating the rights of all citizens to identify non-citizens. I would also have to agree that the presumption of innocence is not important to spite the fact that the presumption of innocence is the foundation of our system of justice.
Let’s move on and discuss somewhat briefly the Real ID Act 2005 in order that we can get to a solution that addresses the concerns of those that support Arizona S.B.1070 and/or the Real ID Act.
First, the Real ID Act 2005 was signed into law in May 2005. The rulemaking process took roughly 2 ½ years to be completed. During that 2 ½ years literally over six hundred groups and organizations came out against the law for a variety of reasons. These groups covered a broad political spectrum from the far right to the far left. Religious organizations representing all major religions spoke out against the Real ID Act 2005.
Among the reasons for such overwhelming opposition was and is Real ID is an unfunded federal mandate, the federal government intervening in the issuance of state driver’s licenses, the unfettered power Real ID provides the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, a variety of privacy concerns, First Amendment religious concerns of which many were by Christian evangelical ministries, the state driver’s license would become a de facto national identification card (actually international) and the requirement that each driver’s license applicant would provide biometric samples.
Contrary to what I and others would like to believe Real ID is not “dead”. There are efforts to “save” the monstrosity. With an implementation date roughly 100 days away I hope that each of us can understand the urgency in addressing the issues I speak of in this document.
In order for a state to be in compliance with the law, each state had 18 “benchmarks” they must complete or satisfy the Department of Homeland Security that the state is working towards completing the individual benchmarks. http://www.ncsl.org/documents/standcomm/sctran/InterimBenchmarks.pdf
Twenty-five states either as a result of law or resolution opposed the Real ID Act 2005.
There are states have been working towards meeting the 18 benchmarks while some have delayed or simply decided not to meet all the benchmarks. The benchmarks include some very commonsense security measures and other items that states were either already meeting or were/are moving towards on their own. Further the Real ID Act called for the creation of new databases and the linking of existing ones.
I will focus on the first benchmark which requires states to capture or take a digital facial image; a photograph. Most citizens have no problem with having a photo on a driver’s license and support photos in fact. Our organization does not have an issue with a photograph but we do have an issue when that photograph must be a high resolution, facial recognition compatible photograph meeting international standards such as the case with the Real ID Act 2005.
The following comes directly from the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by DHS in March, 2007:
“17 The relevant ICAO standard is ICAO 9303 Part 1 Vol 2, specifically ISO/IEC 19794-5 – Information technology – Biometric data interchange formats – Part 5: Face image data, which is incorporated into ICAO 9303.”
The ICAO is the International Civil Aviation Organization, an agency of the United Nations. It is the adopted standards of the ICAO that guarantees every U.S. citizen will be enrolled into a single global system of identification and financial control. DHS named another international organization as the “hub” and “backbone” for Real ID implementation. We, as citizens have no representation when it comes to international organizations. This “whole situation” has gotten so out of control that we now have an International Biometrics Agency. Julian Ashborn speaking as the Chairman of the International Biometric Agency said the following:
“What information do governments share? With whom is my data shared and why?” All of these questions need to be addressed by an agency with global powers”.
I cannot speak for other citizens but I am opposed to any agency that has global powers. We are supposedly living in a sovereign country or at least I believe we are.
One Possible Alternative Solution
A fundamental question that should being asked, and is not is, can the states have adequate proof of citizenship status without relying on the federal government? The answer is in almost all cases is a resounding “Yes”.
First, I do support the security measures states are taking to ensure they provide a driver’s license with document integrity; a secure driver’s license that would be difficult to counterfeit.
A citizen’s birth certificate is proof of citizenship. Currently three states, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa have each “digitized” and authenticated the birth certificates they have and are issuing. Further, these same states are authenticating the birth certificates of driver’s license applicants even in those cases where the birth certificates originated outside of their respective states when those respective states have in fact digitized their birth certificates.
Eighteen other states have digitized their birth certificates but are waiting for ALL states to do so before participating in a system that would allow all states to authenticate birth certificates with one another. Seven additional states above and beyond the 21 have nearly completed the digitizing of birth records/birth certificates. The cost of achieving a 100% digitized birth certificates in all states and territories is estimated to be approximately $100 million (National Associate for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems).
The federal government realizes the birth certificate is the primary instrument that “proves” citizenship; this is precisely why the Real ID Act 2005 mandates all birth certificates will be authenticated.
Point of fact and information: In those instances where states collect the biometrics samples/data of driver’s license applicants; it is done AFTER the individual applying for the driver’s license has provided their breeder documents (documents needed to obtain a driver’s license, i.e. birth certificate). In the case of the 11 Russian spies, the collecting of their biometrics samples/data did nothing but validate a fraud when those Russian spies applied for and received state identification based on breeder documents (i.e. passports) that were counterfeit and/or fraudulently obtained.
Many, if not most citizens are not familiar with a state initiative named “EVVE” (Electronic Verification of Vital Events). It is critical/important that all citizens concerned about voting fraud, benefits being provided to the people in our country illegally, terrorists using a state driver’s license to facilitate a terrorist activity and identity theft are knowledgeable about EVVE. The following is taken directly from the National Associate for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems:
“Many Federal and State agencies rely on birth certificates for proof of age, proof of citizenship, identification for employment purposes, to issue benefits or other documents (e.g. driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, and passports) and to assist in determining eligibility for public programs or benefits.
The National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) has developed and implemented an electronic system that allows immediate confirmation of the information on a birth certificate presented by an applicant to a government office anywhere in the nation irrespective of the place or date of issuance. Authorized Federal and State agency users via a single interface can generate an electronic query to any participating vital records jurisdiction throughout the country to verify the contents of a paper birth certificate or to request an electronic certification (in lieu of the paper birth certificate). An electronic response from the participating vital records jurisdiction either verifies or denies the match with official state or jurisdiction records. It will also flag positive responses where the person matched is now deceased. As designed, queries can be generated and matched against 250 million birth records in jurisdiction vital record databases nationwide. The EVVE system is also capable of supporting the electronic verification and/or electronic certification of death records.”
Our organization, the Constitutional Alliance www.constitutionalalliance.org conditionally supports EVVE. We are working with state lawmakers to ascertain exactly what information is collected, retained and shared and with whom the information is shared. Our proposed solution to address identity theft, illegal immigration, voting fraud and the use of driver’s licenses by terrorists to facilitate terrorist acts includes what EVVE does. Our solution goes one step further than EVVE.
The Stop Real ID Coalition which is a “sister” organization of the Constitutional Alliance (Not for profit 501 (c) (3)) has proposed that all states sequentially number all birth certificates that they have and are digitizing. The purpose for numbering the birth certificates is to have the EVVE “system” send an alert to the requesting state DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) office if a birth certificate that was previously authenticated is attempted to be used again to acquire a state driver’s license or state identification card for those that do not drive. This would prevent people from using another person’s birth certificate.
- The system would show John Doe used his rightful birth certificate to obtain his driver’s license or state identification card.
- If another person attempted to use John Doe’s birth certificate “the system” would recognize that the specific birth certificate in question had already been used to acquire a state driver’s license based on the number assigned to and on John Doe’s birth certificate.
- If John Doe attempted to use his birth certificate to obtain multiple driver’s licenses in different states “the system” would alert DMV officials that John Doe had already used his birth certificate in Kentucky for example and thus John Doe would not receive a driver’s license or state identification card from another state or jurisdiction until John Doe had turned in his Kentucky driver’s license or state identification card.
- If John Doe says his driver’s license or state identification card was or is lost then John Doe would have to sign an affidavit to that effect under penalty of law if in fact John Doe is lying.
Finally, in order to eliminate the problem of states using the same numbering sequence, each state or territory would start their numbering sequence with their two letter state or territory abbreviation.
One question that is asked is what happens if someone was to use John Doe’s birth certificate to obtain a state driver’s license or identification card before John Doe does? The reality is it would take law enforcement “minutes” in most cases to ascertain who is the actually the John Doe the birth certificate belongs to. One John Doe would have a multitude of other “documents” and the availability of providing numerous affidavits from family and other people; the other John Doe would not. The height, weight, color of eyes and hair and so forth could also prove instantaneously who is committing fraud. All states have an appeal process if a person is wrongly denied a state driver’s license. In the worst case scenario however extremely rare that it might be, a person would have the ability to use the appeals process to acquire their stare driver’s license or identification card.
We recognize that not all citizens are born in the United States. In those instances the federal government would have to be queried about the citizenship status of a person. It would be the federal government’s responsibility to ensure a person who becomes a naturalized citizen is fact who they claim to be before granting citizenship status to the person. The states would query federal databases to ensure what documents the individual presents to DMV employees when applying for a state driver’s license or identification card are authentic. In those cases where a person from another country is granted a “visa” the process would be the same. Before that person is provided a state driver’s license that person would have their documents presented to DMV including but not limited to their visa authenticated by the federal government. The expiration date of the driver’s license of those in the United States on a visa would be the expiration date of the visa.
In a country of over 300 million people there will be cases where states do not have the birth certificates, certificates of birth or other acceptable documents as the state may deem appropriate to authenticate before issuing a state driver’s license or state identification card to an individual. The states would deem what procedures they would follow in these very rare cases that the person applying for a state driver’s license or state identification card is not able to have their birth certificate, certificate of birth or other acceptable documents authenticated. Hospital records and insurance documents are secondary documents that we envision a state may use along with other documents.
It cannot be overstated that it is the states that control the issuing of a state driver’s license and state identification card. Equally true is it is the states the control the issuance of birth certificates. EVVE is a state initiative. It is only when states have no other choice but to require the cooperation of DHS that DHS should be provided a citizen’s personal information including their biometrics before issuing a state identification document.
In addition to EEVE our alternative proposed solution to Real ID and Arizona S.B.1070 includes verifying a person’s Social Security Number. This can be done directly by sates querying the Social Security Administration (not DHS). This is not an open ended exchange of a person’s personal information.
Our proposed solution and alternative to Arizona S.B.1070 and the Real ID Act keeps from feeding the federal government’s addiction for our personal information including biometrics. Once a state issues a person a state driver’s license that person has proof of citizenship not just by their birth certificate but also by their state driver’s license or state identification card. Although I am not “thrilled” with the idea of U.S. citizens having to obtain a state driver’s license or state identification card I do accept a certain “reality” does exist.
By adopting our solution states can eliminate placing a burden on business owners (comply with E-Verify, which means the business registering with DHS). The employer in our proposed solution would ask for an applicant’ driver’s license or state identification card.
Arizona S.B.1070 and similar legislation being proposed in some states allows for an unlimited amount of information to be sent at ongoing intervals depending on when a person applies for any type of license (driver’s, business, gun, marriage, professional) or benefit (food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid) to the Department of Homeland Security.
Under our proposed solution once a citizen receives a state driver’s license or state identification card that person would no longer have to have any information shared with DHS or any other federal agency or department in order to obtain any state benefit or any other type of state license such as a business license, marriage license or gun license.
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. – Abraham Lincoln
The issues I have raised and responded to in this document go to a much bigger question. Are we going to allow our country to exist as a “surveillance society”? A surveillance society and a free society cannot be reconciled.
Is there reason to believe we should be questioning the trust we have in the technologies being used, the companies that provide that technology and the government with the use of those same technologies and laws? I am not talking about the men and women in law enforcement, our military and intelligence community. I am referring to those that make policy making decisions that others follow. I have provided a great deal of documented information. Are my concerns justified?
In 2001, fans who attended the Super Bowl had their facial images captured and then compared to facial images in law enforcement databases. Viisage Technology, now known as L-1 Identity Solutions after a merger with Identix, provided the technology to identify the fans who attended the game. After the game, Viisage reported many successes; the arresting of people as a result of the cameras and facial recognition technology. The reality, as The St. Petersburg Times reported on Feb. 16, 2001, is that not one arrest was made as a direct result of using Viisage’s Technology. Critics have dubbed the Super Bowl as the “snooper bowl.” Grayson Barber equates what Viisage and law enforcement did as putting the public on the wrong side of a one-way mirror. Fans were not told about the cameras or the use of facial recognition technology. http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/2001/02/41571
Since 2001, citizens have been on the wrong side of the mirror many times as the use of facial-recognition technology has exploded. The camera is pointed at you!
In addition to laws such as Arizona S.B.1070 and the Real ID Act other laws and thus technologies are being implemented or considered. Senator Lieberman has proposed a biometric social security card and Senator Schumer has proposed a “National Worker’s Identification Card”. This goes to the issue of the use of RFID technology. RFID chips have already been compromised but that does not stop those that continue to support the use of RFID chips. There are also real health issues that have been raised over the use of RFID chips.
If we continue to pass laws that dictate the use of certain technologies, we will have created a surveillance society with no opportunity to undo the harm we will have done. The who, what, how, when, and where of everything we have done or do will be at the disposal of the government. We will be literally providing a digital/electronic footprint 24/7.
Many people are concerned about our national debt and the budget deficit. The burden of our debt is being passed onto our children. It is bad enough that we are passing on the debt. Shouldn’t we at least be making sure our children and grandchildren have the “freedom” to deal with our failures? Do you really believe they will have that “freedom” while being in the spider’s web of a surveillance society?
The Stop Real ID Coalition has provided the Constitutional Alliance with proposed legislation for every state. One piece of legislation protects the rights of all citizens in a state. The other piece is referred to a “fallback” legislation in the event the legislation that would apply to all citizens does not get the necessary votes to pass. The “fallback” legislation is the “Biometric, SSN, Religious Exemption Act” that would allow Christians to be exempt from being forced into a system they believe God condemns.
The Constitutional Alliance offers the legislation to educate citizens about what their choices are. The Stop Real ID Coalition can be contacted either directly at www.stoprealidcoalition.com or by contacting the Constitutional Alliance.
For those interested in the legislation you can visit the Constitutional Alliance web-site and use the “contact” option. Just makes sure you provide your contact information and specify what you would like. With both pieces of legislation comes the “talking points” and additional information.
We must do better and never accept that we are not able to do so. Failure is not an option. Are you going to be the type of person who gives the alcoholic another drink?
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Constitutional Alliance www.constitutionalalliance.org
God Bless America, the greatest country on earth