Mark Lerner’s Presentation Before the Michigan House of Representatives

Michigan Presentation

Tuesday, 23 September 2008 05:58 Mark Lerner


(23 Sep 2008)  [Speech by Mark Lerner (Stop Real ID Coalition) presented to Michigan House of Representatives]
I ask that you take the time to read this letter or in this case hear me out.  I want to be as complete as possible within a short period of time to articulate our reasons for opposition to Real ID.  I am sure you can find one hundred reasons not to read this document or in this instance hear me out today but it should only take one good reason to do so and that reason is to protect our Constitution.  We support our men and women that protect our country whether they be in our military, working in law enforcement or our intelligence agencies.  We recognize the threat we face.  The Real ID Act is an attack on the First, Fourth and Tenth Amendments.  The constitutionality of a state entering into agreements with foreign governments is an issue.   This occurs with AAMVA (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators).  The technicality of states entering into agreements with regions or provinces of an entire country is just that, a technicality.  When all states, regions or provinces of a country are included in a agreement then the agreement is between countries.  Here in the United States all states are not agreeing to Real ID.  Those that have are entering into agreements by default with countries under AAMVA’s DLA (Driver’s License Agreement) and AAMVA’s DLC (Driver’s License Compact).
L-1 Identity Solutions domination of the driver’s license market is a real issue.  This company now controls nearly 95% of the U.S. state driver’s license market.  They are our country’s largest biometric company and have consulting contracts with many of our country’s intelligence agencies.  (attachment 1) Does using a Chinese citizen as an intermediary allow L-1 to deal with China especially knowing their technology will be used to identify dissidents?    (attachment 2)  There is also L-1’s own web page-Real ID Solutions that clearly shows they believe a person’s race and political party affiliation should be on a driver’s license (attachment 3)  L-1 has many contracts with DHS.  The following link provides some of those contracts on the right side of the page the link will take you to. (attachment 4)  The Board of Directors of the company reads like a federal directory.  (attachment 5)
Lawmakers at the state and federal level have been assured American’s personal information was not being shared with foreign governments.  Obviously information is being shared through (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators)  There is also Robert Mocny’s, of DHS, comments about sharing information with Europe, Asia and corporations to create a global security envelope (attachment 6) Finally, an article in the Washington Post recently specifically addresses the collecting and potential sharing of American’s personal information with foreign governments.  It is noteworthy that DHS posted their intentions in the Federal Register.  It took a month for any media outlet to discover the positing in the Federal Register (attachment 7)
AAMVA is called the “backbone” and hub” of the Real ID Act in the final rules issued by DHS January this year (Attachment 8).  Within the 300 pages of the final rules AAMVA or, AAMVA’s networking system is mentioned 150 times   As a person who speaks with legislative lawmakers all over the country INCLUDING elected leaders in Washington D.C. and Governors, I can say they are outraged when they see the proof that our government is supporting AAMVA’s DLA (Driver’s License Agreement) with taxpayers money (attachment 9) and has been doing so for nearly two years.  The DLA creates a single jurisdiction for citizen’s personal information being shared between the U.S., Canada and Mexico (attachment 10).  A comparative study was done that shows clearly only AAMVA’s DLA as opposed to AAMVA’s DLC (Driver’s License Compact) comes close to meeting the requirements of the Real ID Act (attachment 11).  The word that describes the reaction groups/organizations and private citizens I meet with is “outrage” as well.  The question of a no bid contract award to AAMVA is an issue.  AAMVA is an international organization over which neither states or the federal government have jurisdiction.  Yes, right now AAMVA’s Board of Governors is primarily composed of U.S. DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) administrators but AAMVA makes no secret of their intention to expand as evidenced in their DLA.  As AAMVA expands U.S. interests are less protected.  Many lawmakers are not fully knowledgeable about AAMVA.  On the state level many lawmakers relied on their DMV administrators.  Now a close look is being taken at AAMVA’s influence on state DMV administrators. 
With regard to the use of biometrics, i.e. fingerprinting, iris scanning and facial recognition technology, DHS finally acknowledged to some extent that biometrics play a part in the Real ID Act when they issued questions and answers with the final rules.  The exact same question appeared when the NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) was released ten months earlier with a totally different response.
This is a cut and paste, the exact wording, from the question and new answer that were released with the FINAL RULES.
Does the final rule require States to collect fingerprints or iris images from drivers? What about RFID technology?
Response by DHS – No. REAL ID does not require any biometrics beyond the photograph and signature already required by States and does not require Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.
Senator Leahy and other Senators in Washington came to the realization Real ID is over. (attachment 14)
Senator Leahy and others Senators have told DHS to stop “bullying” the states.  This past spring the Secretary of Homeland Security stated he does not blink and does not bluff, Real ID will be implemented
May 11 this year.  Before May 11 came the Secretary issued extensions to states including those that did not ask for them.  Two of the states were Montana, a Democratic Governor and South Carolina, a Republican Governor.  Real ID initial implementation was put off until 31 December 2009.  A Constitutional crisis was avoided by DHS “blinking”. 
There is a viable alternative that will address the issue of document integrity and breeder document authentication.  It requires thinking outside the box and I have proposed that alternative to lawmakers in Washington D.C..  I will not break the confidence of the committee I am dealing with just as I would not break the confidence I might have with one of you.  I can say state lawmakers were involved in the formation of the alternative strategy. 
I have talked with or met with the usual witnesses that testify on such matters as Real ID.  They are all to be respected in their specific fields of expertise.  What lawmakers need is a the “bigger” picture, A CONNECTING OF THE DOTS IF YOU WILL.  We deal only in facts and facts we can corroborate.
The problem identified, terrorists using fraudulently obtained driver’s licenses is real.  It is the strategy to address the problem that is flawed.  Funding is a red herring.  It would not matter if Real ID was fully funded by the federal government.  Real ID was and is not voluntary.  It is coercion in it’s worst form.  Senator Leahy speaks of bullying.  It is much worse than that when the Secretary of Homeland has complete discretion to modify the “restrictions”/penalties if a state and thus citizen is not Real ID compliant. (attachment 15, NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), page 17, paragraph 1)  This is stated as well in the Real ID Act 2005 itself.  Yes, DHS does allow for alternative documents to be used in lieu of Real ID compliant driver’s licenses but those documents also enroll Americans into a single global biometric identification that links one’s body to their ability to buy, sell and travel. 
EDS, an American global corporation maintains AAMVA’s system for CDLIS (Commercial Driver’s License Information System).  EDS lost a disc in England that contained thousands of individuals personal information.  They waited a year to report that lost disc.  This was reported only two months ago.  Americans will not sleep better knowing this same EDS will be and to some extent already is supporting or maintaining AAMVA’s network.  (attachment 16) DHS is on record and I was present when testimony was provided to the U.S. Senate that CDLIS (Commercial Driver’s License Information System) has never been compromised.  Perhaps that is true.  It is equally or more true that 13 states had their Department of Motor Vehicle databases compromised and/or the documents compromised in just one year (attachment 17).  In one state, New Jersey, all eleven employees of a DMV office were terminated.  Some states had multiple incidents.  In an AAMVA workshop AAMVA produced the names and social security numbers of actual people along with the states the people resided in.  We actually called the people to insure the list was not fictitious.  I could produce the actual list but then I would be as negligent as AAMVA for doing so.  In the United Kingdom 25 million people out of the total population, 50 million people, had their personal information potentially compromised when two discs were lost.  Real ID will not reduce identity theft, it will result in an increase of identity theft.  If each of you was given a million dollars and asked to invest it, I doubt you would invest all the money in one stock or venture.  You diversify to avoid risk.  Real ID provides for new databases/hubs and the linking of existing ones.  That is not diversifying.  It is not just corporations that have had databases compromised.  Agencies and departments of the federal government have fallen victims as well, either through databases being compromised or the loss of hardware including laptops. 
I can document DHS’s issuance of grant money for CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) testing (attachment 18).  Project Hostile Intent, a project that uses computer software to analyze a person’s behavior, is specifically designed to be used in real time with both the use of CCTV technology, facial recognition technology and information sharing technologies (attachment 19).  Facial recognition involves the mapping one one’s face and their facial characteristics, nose, center of one eye to the center of the other eye, lips and so on.  We have heard from people within the government what privacy no longer means.  I find it strange we do not hear what it does mean. 
We can discuss “Fusion Centers” and how their intent has been hijacked from focusing on terrorist activity to focusing on all criminal matters.  We can discuss the FBI’s issuance of NSL’s (National Security Letters) and how the Inspector General of the Justice Department uncovered 143,000 issued over a three year period alone and commented there may have been many more.  Even when the FBI was told many NSL’s were unconstitutional or illegal the FBI refused to delete the data collected from the NSL’s that were deemed illegal/unconstitutional.  Many know of the wiretap abuses.  I pray that lawmakers such as yourselves see there is a pattern or culture that is in conflict with our Constitution.  When will FIPP (Fair Information Practice and Principles be adhered to?  I know it has not been codified but nevertheless it is brought up in just about every DHS working group and ultimately paid no attention to.  It is a shame and disgrace because the transparency called for by FIPP is needed.  I am not saying the people with the different agencies and departments of the federal government are bad people.  I am saying the culture is bad. 
The presumption of innocence in our country is gone along with the concept of privacy.  We are evolving into a surveillance society.  More accurately we have become a surveillance society.  It is soldier’s duty not to comply with an unlawful order.  We humbly believe that it is state lawmaker’s duty not comply with an unconstitutional federal mandate.  A solder is complicit in a crime if he or she complies with an unlawful order.  We humbly believe that if a state lawmaker complies with Real ID they are complicit in the carrying out of an unconstitutional law. 
The standards for the digital facial image required by Real ID are international, ICAO.  The organization that is implementing Real ID is an international organization, AAMVA.  One of the rights of citizens is to seek redress. Once Real ID is implemented there is no redress.  By the time the courts get involved the damage to Americans will be irreversible.  You cannot get American’s personal information back from foreign governments.  The FBI has not deleted information from their databases that was illegally obtained through the use of NSL’s.  How can you expect that foreign governments that have been infiltrated by extremists and narco-terrorists to return American’s personal information?  I ask, How can you support and contribute to the creation of a surveillance society?  The use of CCTV/surveillance cameras with facial recognition technology is not new.  Seven years ago Viisage Technology, now L-1 Identity Solutions used the same technologies at a Super Bowl game.  The company issued claims of success that were refuted by local enforcement.  Viisage claimed people were arrested as a result of their technology when facial scans of people entering the stadium were captured and compared to law enforcement databases that contained individual’s facial scans/biometric data that had wants and warrants for the individual.   Law enforcement stated not one arrest could be attributed to Viisage’s technology (attachment 20).  Viisage claimed they achieved 90% result during government sponsored testing at Logan Airport after 9/11.  A Freedom of Information Act request was submitted which showed the company had not achieved anywhere near 90% results, closer to 50% was the actual number (attachment 21).  A study was done by the International Biometric Group at AAMVA’s request.  In that study it states clearly in a 1 to 300 million application facial recognition technology will not work.  We have 300 million people in the United States.   How can anyone expect the technology to work when it is applied to the entire world’s population of many billion?  Americans in foreign countries will be misidentified as a result of facial recognition technology and CCTV cameras.  The same thing will happen to happen to Americans at home.  Innocent Americans will be questioned as if they are terrorists.  The No Fly terrorist watch list problems will pale in comparison to what will take place if Real ID and the surveillance society that comes with it are not stopped.   Please keep in mind there is a reason that international standards are being called for by DHS for digital facial imaging/photographs.  The key buzz words are global interoperability.
I implore you to slow down and give Real ID a serious look.  Real ID will be repealed.  Already over twenty states have either passed law or resolution opposing Real ID. (attachment 22) You are not just being asked to stay on a sinking ship, you are being asked to board a sinking ship while it is sinking.  Do not make Real ID your legacy.  Over 600 groups and people of all faiths oppose Real ID.  You have Democrats and Republicans introducing and co-sponsoring each other’s legislation.  I have with me today a 117 page document from the ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice) opposing Real ID.  I personally went to Virginia Beach and asked the ACLJ to issue a position paper on Real ID.  I met personally met with the ACLU and asked them to work with the ACLJ.  Two groups that one would not think would have a common interest stand united in opposing Real ID.  The State Director of the ACLU was contacted by the national office and asked to stand with me against Real ID.  She has done so with passion and zeal.  Return this bill to committee and have the Real ID portion stricken.  You can still move forward on your supplemental appropriations bill.  DO NOT board a sinking ship. 
Representative Sam Rohrer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is leading a national effort to think outside the box and solve the problem of document integrity and the authentication of breeder documents.  Along side of Rep. Rohrer is Representative Charles Key of Oklahoma who has introduced a Tenth Amendment resolution to demand the federal government cease and desist from mandates such as Real ID and State Senator Randy Brogdon is speaking out across the country to protect US. sovereignty.  Join these true American leaders in protecting the individual’s right to representation and States’ rights.
Leadership is not about accomplishing the mission through fear and intimidation.  These are the tactics being used to promote Real ID.  Please stand tall, honor our forefathers and preserve our Constitution for our children and grandchildren.  We must not revise our Constitution, We must restore it otherwise those that threaten our country have already won.
This is not about me or anyone one person.  It is not about your political affiliation, your race or your religion.
Those that try and distract you by insisting you believe otherwise, do so because they do not want the facts discussed.  Too often today in the political arena, name calling and other personal attacks are used to defend positions.  Only facts and issues should be the topic of discussion.  Do not concentrate on the messenger, focus on the message.  You may ask fairly, Why have not more of your constituents contacted you about Real ID.  The fact is I do an informal survey in each city I go to when discussing Real ID.  Less than 5% of the people are familiar with Real ID.  That being said, all people expect their Constitutional rights to be protected.  Please keep in mind we support creating a secure state driver’s license and authenticating breeder documents.  I ask that you allow me 24 hours to place in your hands documents that corroborate everything I have said today.  I just arrived in Lansing last night.  I came hundred’s of miles to get here. I was invited to your great state by fellow lawmakers, groups and citizens of Michigan.   Twenty four hours is not much to ask when you consider that sacrifices made by so many over the last two hundred and thirty years plus to insure we each have the liberties we grew up with. 
Thank you.



One response to “Mark Lerner’s Presentation Before the Michigan House of Representatives

  1. Thanks for great posting

    Will back to read your other useful post ;)

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