Author Archives: Kaye Beach

Oklahoma DPS Commissioner Thompson’s Testimony on REAL ID



Kaye Beach

Nov. 28, 2015

This is the testimony of the third speaker at the REAL ID Study held by Rep. Lewis Moore and Rep. Bob Cleveland at the Oklahoma state capitol on Nov. 18, 2015.

Unfortunately no official recording was made so I have taken the trouble to transcribe the  Commissioner’s entire testimony, word for word, for the benefit of those who could not attend the meeting in person.

My next post will be the transcription from the Question and Answer portion of the meeting.

To prevent confusion that may arise from reading this testimony, please note that some the references made by the Commissioner indicating points raised by Howard Houchen and myself, were not actually points we made. (We were puzzled by his references too)

At the Nov. 18th study, none of the speakers suggested that fingerprints or social security numbers could be retrieved from the face of our driver’s license and no one mentioned  “computer chips” on the license or ID card but these were the main issues addressed by Commissioner Thompson in his testimony. Perhaps they were issues raised to him privately or from a previous meeting.

It is understandable that the Commissioner would want to put any such concerns to rest.  What is unimaginable to me is that the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety apparently does not understand the difference between a photo of a person that exists and a government collected and retained biometric photo.   These two things are quantifiably not the same and the implications of the difference between the two is enormous.

As Professor Laura K. Donahue, who did an exhaustive research paper in 2012 on the growing number of federal programs that are developing their ability to use remote biometric ID, has repeatedly emphasized,

The level of intrusiveness represents something different in kind—not degree—from what has come before.”

Of course, if no one can agree on the basic facts of the matter, the debate slams shut.

On to the transcript:

Testimony of Department of Public Safety Commissioner, Michael C. Thompson, Nov. 18, 2015, Oklahoma State Capitol, Rm 206, REAL ID Study:

“First off I just want to say the purpose for us, here at DPS, is, uh,  we don’t have an agenda in this discussion. Our sole purpose in this is to provide accurate information to you as legislators to make the difficult decisions you have to make.  …Whether the state of Oklahoma moves forward with implementation of REAL ID or whether it doesn’t that isn’t anything DPS controls.

Unlike Ms. Beach, and I respect her passion and interest in this subject, I personally believe that there are going to be consequences if we don’t comply with REAL ID.

Currently we are, do have an extension through October 2016. Once that extension expires and we’re not down the road to complying with this, I do believe at some point we are going to have consequences. I strongly believe that and I know some people don’t.  And one of them will include getting on an airplane which seems to be kind of a trivial matter but if you want to go to Kansas City to watch the Big Twelve Championship, you are going to have to have a passport.  If these ah these conditions are not fully implemented and if you do get a passport its $110 and you are giving all your information to the federal government so, for me, just, I don’t fully understand the resistance to it but I’m not disrespecting anyone’s opinion on this because the last thing I’m going to do is come in here and be impolite.

Last month, in October, Randy Rogers and Jeff Hankins sat in here to give you interim study about REAL ID and they thought that they did a great job and answered all your questions and I was very surprised later to find out that you weren’t satisfied with the responses that they gave you based upon some independent research that you did.  So the three points that you had strong concerns about, let me just address those first off … I believe there was a strong concern about fingerprints, computer chips and social security numbers.

I’ll start with the one that probably raises the most eyebrows, computer chips. There is no requirement or no plans to put a computer chip on the face of a REAL ID, Oklahoma REAL ID. None.  Randy Rogers and Jeff Hankins told you that and I’m telling you that today. And despite what anyone else tells you differently, that is the truth.  If anyone tells you differently I would love to see the documentation that says we are going to do that because there is no plan to do that.

Ah, there is a fingerprint system that we have in Oklahoma. That fingerprint image stays in Oklahoma, in our databases.

I know Mr. Houchen and Ms. Beach are concerned about us sharing this with a number of folks but I need some kind of proof to that. One of the privileges we have living in this nation is we are entitled to free speech. You can say anything but at some point we have to have documentation to back up these claims that are being made and if they have proof of that I’d like to see it.  There’s no fingerprint that is going to be a part of a REAL ID you can’t, you cannot retrieve  a fingerprint off of a REAL ID.  I know that was a concern for this group here.

And the last thing is the social security number. The social security number will not, will not, be retrievable off a REAL ID …moving forward there’s no requirement for that, there’s no plans for that.

Those are the three things I think you folks has the most heartburn about.  Randy Rogers and Jeff Hankins who answered those questions for you… We have not.., at DPS, we have nothing over here if we don’t have our integrity and good reputation.  There’s nothing that they told you that was untrue and mainly I wanted to point that out that they were very forthcoming and very truthful when they gave you those responses at last month at your REAL ID interim study.

How you  decide to move forward REAL ID is how you decide to move forward with REAL ID.

It is a bit ironic though and I am stealing Randy’s time but I’m not going to need 30 minutes… it is a bit ironic for me that  Ms. Beach talked uh, at length about a  high resolution uh image.  I can google you right now – from Syria and pull up high image, real high resolution image of you off of Google images.”

Kaye Beach: “Can you deny me my ability to pick up my prescription with that photo?”

Rep. Cleveland: “Let’s hold the questions until we get through here.”

Commissioner Thompson: “And I apologize for that.  I shouldn’t be addressing those questions to you personally. But the fact is, our images, your images, pretty much everyone at this tables images, it’s already out there.  It’s not as if we are safeguarding that and holding it in our hands in some kind of lockbox it’s there and its high resolution by the way.

Most people want to go get a driver’s license for the purpose of driving a car or driving an automobile, but most people, ordinary people, and I certainly include myself in that number, we don’t have the ability to go out and write a $30, 000 check  for a car or a $50,000 check for a Ford F150 pickup, we have to go finance that and when we finance that with a lending institution, we write down what our name is, what our social security number is , what our date of birth is, where you lived for the last ten years, who our landlord is, what our wife’s name is, what our wife’s maiden name is, what our child’s name is, what our child’s middle name is, um who your references are, what’s their name, what’s their address, how much do you owe information, you give all that information to a lending institution and feel happy about walking out there with a competitive interest rate to go and buy your Ford F150 or your Toyota Camry but next month when you have to go renew your driver’s license (unintelligible) because we’re asking you some very simple, very basic questions.  For me, I just don’t understand that.

If you walk out of here and go to the restroom and fall and break your leg, before you leave that hospital that doctor is going to have all that information that’s far more intrusive. The information that you would have to provide to get a passport, it’s incredibly intrusive.

Mr. Houchen mentioned SF 86, I’ve filled out a number of them.  I’ve got a top secret clearance with the federal government right now and I agree, Sir,that is a beast to fill out.  It’s like 40 pages.  It’s so intrusive, I start crying every time I have to redo my clearance.  It’s a hard object to fill out but we fill that out because it’s a requirement.  If you go and get your teeth cleaned, you’ve got to give a lot of information to that Dentist before you get your teeth cleaned.

I get, I get the,  uh emotion attached to REAL ID because of where we are at this stage but again, Sir, I promise you, I am not here to try to push an agenda or try to convince you to move forward with this. If you do as a state, great.  If we don’t, I think we are going to have to live with the consequences at some point and that is really our position at DPS.   Once this is passed, if it does get passed, we’re ten years behind the rest of America so we’re going to have a lot of work to do to get this thing pulled off.

And the last thing about the chip because that was a reoccurring subject that came up a number of times.  The people that we do business with, we as the state of Oklahoma, is MorphoTrust.  They represent 42 different states and jurisdictions.  There are 42 people have REAL ID’s with them and none of those states have a chip on the face of their Real ID and if they do, I’d like to see it because unequivocally,  they have told us, specifically,  there is no requirement and no plans to put a chip on the face of a REAL ID.  With that, I’m sure there are a number of questions and I will yield remainder of my time …”



Oklahoma is being called to lead on REAL ID, Charles Key’s Testimony


Kaye Beach

Nov. 27, 2015


Charles Key’s  Testimony on REAL ID

Former state representative, Charles Key who was the House author for the 2007 bill to prohibit our state from participating in REAL ID,  was the third speaker at the public hearing on REAL ID held at the state capitol on Nov. 18, 2015.  (Testimony from the first two speakers, Howard Houchen and Kaye Beach )

This was the second meeting held by Rep. Lewis Moore and Rep. Bob Cleveland seeking to find out more about the ramifications of implementing the federal REAL ID Act as is being proposed by some state legislators.

Charles Key begins by stating that he is here to “talk about States’ rights, and the responsibility of all state legislators to protect the citizens of Oklahoma from an overreaching federal government.”

He gives a little background on the 2007 legislation that prohibited REAL ID in Oklahoma noting that,   “The legislation passed without one dissenting vote.”

The law prohibiting Oklahoma from participating in the federal REAL ID Act  can be found in Title 47, Oklahoma Statute.

Key reads a portion of the statute:


“The Legislature finds that the enactment into law by the United States Congress of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, Public Law Number 109-13, is inimical to the security and well-being of the people of Oklahoma, will cause approximately Eight Million Dollars ($8,000,000.00) in added expense and inconvenience to our state, and was adopted by the United States Congress in violation of the principles of federalism contained in the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

He emphasizes that the statute says that REAL ID was adopted by Congress in violation of the principles of federalism.  “Those words were true in 2007, and are true today,” Key reminds everyone.

Charles Key then provides some history of the REAL ID rebellion by the states:

Over 600 groups representing the entire political spectrum opposed the Real ID Act 2005. …ACLU was one of the first organizations to oppose the Real ID Act. . . The ACLJ sent us a 120 page, scathing rebuke of the Real ID Act.”

Key points out, “It is not often that the ACLJ and the ACLU agree on anything,” and relates how these two organizations, traditionally viewed as polar opposites, stood side by side at the National Press Club in 2008 in opposition to REAL ID.

Charles Key was there and he says the words he spoke on that day in 2008 still hold true today: “The federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states, and we the states have not changed, or altered that relationship, but today the states are treated as agents of the federal government.”

Key urges Oklahoma lawmakers to take the lead once again.

“In 2007, Oklahoma led by being one of the first states to enact a law that says Oklahoma will not comply with the Real ID Act 2005. Today in 2015, we in Oklahoma must lead again by holding firm against Real ID.”

Key says that if the federal government wants a national ID then it should pass legislation to create one itself and quit trying to make the states do it for them.  He asks that Oklahoma legislators introduce a resolution “that tells the federal government, if it wants a national biometric identification card, then Congress needs to introduce legislation”

Oklahoma is being called to lead, and the best way to lead is to follow. Follow our oath of office and follow the constitution.  Let us lead by passing this resolution.   …Watch how many states will join us.”


Later in the meeting, Key spoke about the intentions of legislators in passing the bill banning REAL ID in our state and confronts the Department of Public Safety about their denial of his request for a non-biometric driver’s license.  The exchanges between participants at this hearing were extremely interesting.   I will be posting a transcript of all that was said in these exchanges after I finish with the speakers.

Next up is the Commissioner of Public Safety, Michael Thompson.




Okla. REAL ID Study, Kaye Beach’s Testimony


Kaye Beach

Nov. 20, 2015

On Nov. 18th there was a public study  held at the Oklahoma state capitol on the issue of REAL ID.  Oklahoma is under pressure to implement the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.

The meeting was held by Rep. Lewis Moore and Rep. Bob Cleveland.  Many Oklahomans expected to follow the meeting online.  They were disappointed.  I am posting testimony of the speakers so that those who are interested can be informed on the proceedings.

Yesterday I posted Howard Houchen’s public testimony which I drew from an audio recording made of the hearing.

I was the second speaker in the lineup and spoke in opposition to REAL ID.  I am not transcribing my comments but am posting my written statement that I prepared.  My oral statement very closely followed my written testimony.

The next post will be on the testimony that was presented by former state representative Charles Key.

Additionally, I will transcribe the remarks of Department of Public Safety Commissioner, Michael C. Thompson as well as the discussion that transpired at the meeting.


Here is my written statement:


Testimony for Public Hearing on REAL ID

Oklahoma State Capitol

Nov. 18, 2015


Kaye Beach


Thank you Chairman and members of the committee for holding this study and for inviting me to speak today. My name is Kaye Beach.  I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Constitutional Alliance, a national organization formed primarily to inform individuals and legislators about the threats to liberty posed by mandatory biometric identification.

I will keep my comments brief but I am submitting more in-depth documentation electronically for the record.  This information will also be posted online at the top of my website

I am here today to advocate on behalf of myself and other Oklahomans who are opposed to mandatory biometric identification policies such as the one currently instituted by the Department of Public Safety and also as is required by the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.

I am personally most concerned about the mandatory collection and retention of our biometric data but I will also touch on another requirement of REAL ID that policymakers must be aware of when weighing their options.

For those that may not be aware, Oklahoma’s driver’s licenses and ID cards are biometric ID’s  

{“You probably noticed that they take your index fingers but you may not have noticed, because it didn’t seem any different, that they are also collecting a high resolution digital image which is collected in a biometric format”}

The state Department of Public Safety has been collecting finger and facial biometrics since at least 2004. Oklahoma’s mandatory biometric identification policy has created a clash of conscience for some Oklahomans of faith, including myself, and has opened the door to unprecedented surveillance, which affects every one of us.

When we talk about privacy often what we are really talking about is power.  The limit of our privacy is defines the limits of policy.

Believe it or not, the facial biometrics actually present a greater risk to our privacy and personal liberty that a fingerprint does.

Facial recognition is the most commonly used form of what Laura Donahue, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, has termed ‘Remote Biometric Identification” which, according to Donahue, gives the government the ability to identity multiple people,  in public,  at a  distance, without their knowledge or consent and importantly, to do so in a continuous and on-going manner.

Professor Donahue did an exhaustive research paper in 2012 on the growing number of federal programs that are developing their ability to use remote biometric ID and legal and social perils this technology presents.

donahue examples biometric programs

(Source: Technological Leap, Statutory Gap, and Constitutional Abyss: Remote Biometric Identification Comes of Age, Laura Donohue, Georgetown University Law Center, 2012)


Professor Donahue takes great care to emphasize that with remote biometric ID “The level of intrusiveness represents something different in kind—not degree—from what has come before.”

‘A GPS chip may reveal where the car goes, but the verification of personally identifiable information… is more invasive in its direct and personal link to a specific individual.’

Professor Donahue’s research backs up materials distributed by the FBI in 2010 that showed facial recognition technology being used by authorities to identify, investigate and track individuals in public.  This sort of surveillance, while not pervasive yet, is more than just a theoretical risk.  It is being done.

NLETS, the International Justice and Public Safety Network, has a vested interest in using biometric data so you wouldn’t expect them to present an extreme view as to the privacy concerns relating to its product one of its newer products which is the interstate sharing of biometric photos.

NLETS is the conduit for sharing the biometric data collected by the DMV as is required by the REAL ID ACT.

In 2011 NLETS released an eye-opening report, ‘Privacy Impact Assessment Report for the Utilization of Facial Recognition Technologies to Identify Subjects in the Field’ which focuses on facial recognition field identification tools that use DMV images.”

According to NLETS there are many types of privacy risks surrounding the use of facial recognition technology and the report openly acknowledges that using this technology will hinder our ability to be anonymous, which, and is according to NLETS,  an “important right in a free society” 

NLETS also informs us of another basic truth, but it’s one I get raised eyebrows over when I say it.  NLETS says that ‘As an instrument of surveillance, identification increases the government’s power to control individuals’ behavior.’

And NLETs also warns us of what is probably already obvious

‘…facial recognition systems, in combination with the wide use of video surveillance across the country, would be likely to grow increasingly invasive over time.’

We can’t know how exactly the federal government will use it but we do know that for facial recognition technology to work as a mass surveillance tool, a good database of biometric photos from previously identified people – is required.  All states are collecting photos in a biometric format making our state DMV databases a potential mass surveillance goldmine.

The state has a responsibility to protect this data but the REAL ID Act requires participating states to relinquish control over this sensitive data by connecting our state DMV database to a nationwide network.  What happens to our accountability mechanism?  So, who do we hold accountable when our biometric data is lost, stolen or misused, if the state has signed on to REAL ID?

The Dictator Clause in REAL ID

There are actually FOUR Official Purposes defined in Sec. 201 of the REAL ID Act.

You may have heard about the first 3 official purposes which requires you to present your REAL ID when;

  • Entering certain federal buildings
  • Boarding a commercial airliner
  • Entering a nuclear facility

The media has let us down by not asking tough questions and as a result, the threat of enforcement has been wildly overblown. In reality, the enforcement of the three official purposes will effect very few people.

REAL ID Enforcement Facts 1 page 11 12 15

It’s the fourth official purpose that is the real wild card.  The fourth official purpose requires you to present a federal REAL ID for:  “any other purpose established by the Secretary of Homeland Security”

This allows the Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security to tack on additional purposes that require a REAL ID in the future without any input from the people or congress. DHS has made it clear by that additional purposes will definitely be considered and that these additional purposes can be added solely at the DHS Secretary’s discretion.

–A mandatory biometric ID is indispensable for anything that the government wants to monitor, ration or control and once they have it – they will use it.

How can our state seriously consider Real ID compliance when doing so explicitly means agreeing to give a federal bureaucrat so much power over the state and its citizens?


Last point- It is important that we understand that biometrics do not establish a person’s identity.  The common refrain is that we need biometric ID so we can know that a person is who they claim to be. But that is not how it works.

We may be many things to many people but the fact remains that it is our birth certificate which establishes our legal identity.  The biometrics are added after the fact and our identity card can only be as good as the foundation upon which it rests.

Take for France’s for example.  France has issued app. 6.5 million biometric passports yet an estimated 500,000 to 1 million of them are worthless because they are based on fraudulent breeder documents

EVVE, Electronic Verification of Vital Events, is service available to the states, that electronically validates (or invalidates) both birth and death records without exchanging any personal information. It is the best system available for authenticating our foundation documents.

Guess how many states are actually using this system?

Answer: Only 1 state and it’s not Oklahoma. 

I am not enthusiastic about a whole lot of scrutiny on everyone’s papers but doesn’t it make more sense to scrutinize a person’s documents before you resort to scrutinizing their body?

Let me be quick to add, that there is no perfect ID, not one that a free society could tolerate anyways.  It is technically possible to implement a literal womb to tomb biometric ID but it would have to be affixed to the actual body rather than on a flimsy document that could be lost or stolen.  That would be pretty airtight but also horrible. Although it is true that some people do bad things with their privacy it is also true that sometimes the ability to shed your legal identity is a matter of life and death.

Requiring biometric ID for ordinary, law abiding people is unnecessary, too risky and just plain wrong. It should stop.

If REAL ID is fully implemented in this state, we will be subject to more government intrusion and control over their daily lives.

If we implement REAL ID, the state government must cede some jurisdiction and thus its power.  The state will be less able to act in its citizens’ behalf and the citizens lose the ability to hold their government accountable — Why would we sign up for this?  What is the benefit?

The decision of our state legislators made reject REAL ID in 2007 was a sound one. We should stick with it.



‘It’s going to get out of your control Oklahoma’ Howard Houchen testifies on REAL ID

Howard Houchen a

Kaye Beach

Nov 19, 2015

Yesterday Rep. Bob Cleveland and Rep. Lewis Moore held a public meeting making further study on the question of whether Oklahoma should repeal its 2007 prohibition of participating in the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.

The meeting was held in the new House conference room at the capitol which is a large comfortable conference room with modern sound and video equipment which is important as many Oklahomans who are unable to travel long distances or take a day off of work, expected to be able to access this meeting online.  Unfortunately, the meeting was not available online.

Anyone  who turned to media outlets to find out what happened were likely  disappointed as the majority of reports consisted of nothing more than briefly restating talking points about REAL ID enforcement, reinforcing fears by reminding the public that they won’t be able to fly in a year without a REAL ID.  (Which isn’t true and was covered at length in yesterday’s meeting.)

The study was an interesting one that brought to the fore quite a bit of new information and issues which have not been publicly discussed before.

After the meeting yesterday while casually communicating on social media, I asked Howard, who was there and testified, what he thought was the most important information that came out of the meeting.

Here was his take on it (I did change the formatting of his reply for easier readability):

There were more than one.

  1. The admittance, finally, by DPS that it CURRENTLY possesses a Facial Recognition Database.

  2. The confirmation by US Congressman Steve Russel’s rep that REAL ID requirements for air travel will NOT BE enforced till 2020.

  3. That admittance into Federal Bldgs for virtually all the reasons almost all of us would have to visit one will NOT BE restricted if someone does not have a REAL ID compliant ID.

  4. That NO ONE could answer the question how REAL ID can/should/will make us safer.

  5. No one could seem to even guess at how much this will cost.

I admit that am hardly an unbiased observer of the proceedings but I do have the audio recording of the event and am entirely capable of transcribing the audio.  I will do my best to give you an accurate summary of what happened at the REAL ID Study yesterday.

Testifying in opposition to REAL ID was Howard Houchen, who earned his Masters Degree in National Security Studies, myself, Kaye Beach, and former Oklahoma state Rep. Charles Key, who authored the 2007 House legislation to prohibit REAL ID.

Also present and on the agenda to speak was the Commissioner of Public Safety, Michael Thompson, Captain Randy Rogers OHP, Director of Driver License Services Jeff Hankins.

In this post, I am going to cover the testimony of the first speaker, Howard Houchen.

Howard Houchen began by explaining that his degree includes a focus on Homeland Security and back in 2001 while he was working on his degree, the big question was how our country would balance security and civil liberties.  He says that within a few years it became apparent to him that our government had chosen to throw civil liberties by the wayside citing the REAL ID Act of 2005 as a major indicator.

Quoting well know security researcher, Bruce Schneier, Houchen tells listeners “If you think technology can solve your security problems you don’t understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology.” 

While he agrees that the original intentions behind REAL ID were noble, Houchen says it has morphed into something else entirely citing, for example, that the mobile biometric technology is a 32.8 billion dollar industry and that the biometric technology industry across the board is worth an untold amount of money.

Houchen says biometric ID is “a data grab” and explains that the UK sought to implement a national biometric identity system in 2006 and scrapped in 2011.  He says that according to many members of Parliament the effort was nothing more than a costly folly, noting that in addition to the system providing no increase in security that could justify the cost, it was also rejected as an unwelcome intrusion into people’s personal liberty.  According to Houchen, other countries are having issues with their biometric identification programs as well including Israel, whose program is voluntary.

Then speaking loudly and clearly, Houchen states, “There is something that is being missed with REAL ID…and that is the fact that the biometrics that are collected as a part of the REAL ID Act ARE going to be shared.  . .  that is a part of the federal REAL ID Act.”  Further explaining Houchen says, “They are going to be shared so that they can be compared, without yours and my consent, by the way.”

Houchen takes issue with this on the grounds of the Fourth Amendment which guarantees us the right to be free of unwarranted searches and seizures.

“What happens when the biometrics are breached?” asks Houchen. Who then tells the panel about his experience as one of the 21 million Americans who had their most personal information hacked in the recent federal OPM breach, revealing that additionally that he was among the 5.1 million subset of victims of this hack that had their fingerprints stolen as well.

The OPM is offering victims three years of identity theft protection, which according to Houchen, is of little use.  “Biometrics once stolen is not like a social security number, it’s not like a password, it’s gone forever, warning that, Oklahoma might have, right now, a good secure system to keep those biometrics but it’s going to get out of your control Oklahoma, because you have to share those biometrics.” 

Houchen explains that he has lived and traveled abroad extensively including countries where, at the time, it was very dangerous for Americans all of which and more was in his OPM file.  We don’t know for sure who hacked the OPM but the federal government suspects the Chinese. Houchen expressed concern about future travel, especially to Russia, since his personal information was hacked.

Houchen ends by saying, “I believe the Oklahoma legislature can and should end this employment of poor civic hygiene by forcing yet another, no-choice, federal solution on Oklahomans.  We demand and deserve a choice.”

The reference to civic hygiene comes from another oft cited quote made by security guru, Bruce Schneier who said, “It is poor civic hygiene to install technologies that could someday facilitate a police state.”


Important! REAL ID Study at the Okla. State Capitol Wed. Nov. 18th at 9AM


Kaye Beach
Nov. 12, 2015

The REAL ID Study is finally confirmed!

A public meeting has been called to give legislators and constituents the opportunity to ask questions about the REAL ID Act.

The REAL ID meeting  will be held at the Oklahoma capitol on Nov. 18th at 9am in Room 206.

I am grateful to Rep. Bob Cleveland and Rep. Lewis Moore who took the initiative and made the arrangements for this important meeting.

I am very honored to have been invited to speak about REAL ID at this meeting. I will be speaking alongside two men I admire greatly –  former state Rep. Charles Key (who was the House author on our state’s REAL ID prohibition law) and my good friend, Howard Houchen, award winning K95.5 KITX AM radio show host.

The reason for the sudden interest in this decade-old federal law is that two state Senators have vowed to repeal the Oklahoma law prohibiting the state’s participation in the controversial REAL ID Act.
You can read the state statute prohibiting participation in REAL ID here 

Biometric ID is problematic enough but the REAL ID Act compounds the privacy, security and liberty issues of what is,  at the moment still a state held biometric identification database. The REAL ID Act requires all state DMV database to be connected which means the data will be accessed and used widely probably in ways many of us have not even imagined.

If you are an Oklahoman who has questions about REAL ID, it is critical that you attend this meeting.

The Dictator Clause in REAL ID


Kaye Beach

Nov. 9, 2015

Another very short post covering one aspect of  REAL ID – The Dictator Clause.

A mandatory biometric ID such as the one created by the REAL ID Act of 2005, is an indispensable tool for government monitoring and control.
Currently a REAL ID is required for only very few things but that will change.

The REAL ID final rules require a REAL ID complaint driver’s license or ID card for certain specified “official purposes” (defined in Sec 201 of the Act.)
• Entering (certain) Federal facilities
• boarding a Federally-regulated commercial aircraft
• Entering a nuclear power plant


• Any other purpose established by the Secretary of Homeland Security
(Real ID Final Rules
The law is written to allow the Secretary of Homeland Security, an unelected federal bureaucrat, to add to the list of ‘official purposes’ which require a REAL ID at his or her discretion. That is why this portion of the REAL ID law is referred to as the Dictator Clause.

Not only are there no statutory limitations on official purposes but the rules is written to expressly invite additional purposes for which you must produce your federal REAL ID.

Obtaining healthcare, internet access, or purchasing guns and ammo could all be added at the whim of the Secretary of Homeland Security to the list of official purposes.

Compliance with the REAL ID Act, which is being considered by Oklahoma, would mean acquiescing to the Dictator Clause in REAL ID.

Downloadable one page explainer

Dictator Clause 11 9 15 FINAL

What is the REAL ID Act of 2005?

Kaye Beach

fla dl

Nov. 3, 2015

In recent posts I have covered related topics including:

Is my Oklahoma Driver’s License a Biometric ID?


I thought it was time to do a short explainer of what exactly the REAL ID Act is and what it does especially since our state legislature is going to be considering legislation to permit Oklahoma to come into compliance with REAL ID in its upcoming session.  In the near future I will cover more about the Act including enforcement and the four federal official purposes for which a REAL ID compliant ID will be required.

Here are the basics.

The REAL ID Act is a federal law that was passed with little to no debate in Congress in 2005 as a rider to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief.  The Act was signed into law on May 11, 2005.
Title II of the REAL ID Act of 2005 set federal guidelines (incorporating international standards) for state driver’s licenses and ID cards that will be required for certain federal “official purposes”

Justifications for REAL ID include, stopping terrorism, reducing fraud and identity theft.

REAL ID compliant Drivers Licenses and ID cards must:

Be machine readable (Unencrypted 2D Barcode)
-Contain biometric data (facial biometrics)

-State DMV Databases must be linked

-Data shared national and internationally

The combination of these two technologies (machine readable tech and biometrics) plus the linking of state data systems as required by the REAL ID Act, transform state-issued driver licenses and identification cards into a nationalized identification system allowing computers to notate and record individual’s location and other personal details every time identification is performed.

REAL ID is not so much about the card, its the database of personal info that we need to pay attention to.

There is much more to it of course but this hits the highlights of the law.

Here is a  downloadable one page document explaining the REAL ID ACT

What is REAL ID


fbi biometrics

Oct. 26, 2015

Kaye Beach

The conversation surrounding the supposed impending enforcement of the federal REAL ID Act is so muddled that it is virtually impossible for anyone to develop an informed opinion on the matter. I am trying to help by providing documentation that will put to rest a few of the elementary aspects of REAL ID so that, hopefully, we can have a productive discussion about the matter.

To my mind, there is a few things about this federal law that we should understand before making a decision about whether or not our state should commit to it. For instance, we need to understand that REAL ID is a biometric ID and what the implications of moving the population en mass to this form of identification  are. Many seem to be confused about the difference between biometric ID and RFID so I want to write a post about that. We should also be aware that REAL ID requires the linking of our state databases and the is also an open ended aspect of the Act that we need to consider. There is much more to the REAL ID ACT but these are the items that come to my mind most immediately.

In my last post I addressed only one issue – are our Oklahoma state drivers licenses and ID cards biometric ID‘s? The answer is YES and you can take a look at the some of the sources of that information here.

In this short post, I am only going to address one subject as well.


The Federal REAL ID Act of 2005 REQUIRES that a digital facial image be captured from each driver’s license and ID card applicant.

These images must to be captured conformant to an international biometric format standard enabling the use of facial recognition technology and global information sharing.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is a trusted policy think tank that advises state legislators about a variety of policy matters. In 2014 the NCSL did a policy brief on REAL ID. Here is what they say:

NSCL REAL ID biometric

A digital facial image is required by the REAL ID Act.

202 facial image DHS PIA 2007


Buried in a pile of REAL ID rules is a notation that mentions a bit of technical information regarding the digital facial images that are required by the Act that reveals that the image is collected as biometric data (as opposed to just a simple photograph)

ICAO 9303 Real ID Rules 2007

And more from the Department of Homeland Security on how this biometric data is intended to be used.



These are just a few sources that verify that REAL ID is indeed a biometric ID but in the spirit of trying to keep things simple, I am trying to provide just just enough information to put the question to rest.

real id is biometric id

Here is a one page PDF of this info in case you would like a copy of these sources.

Now we know that our current ID cards and driver’s licenses are biometric ID’s and that the federal REAL ID is also a biometric ID.

My next posts will cover the difference between RFID and Biometric ID and some of the implications of biomtric identification and what the difference is between having a state level biomertric ID vs. a federal one.

Is my Oklahoma Driver’s License a Biometric ID?

ok dl

Kaye Beach


I admit that I am astonished to discover that many people in the Great State of Oklahoma do not yet understand that their Oklahoma state driver’s license and ID cards are biometric.

I am not really surprised anymore when I find that sometimes people don’t care, but I am really shaken up when I find that they don’t know.

Here is the problem, we cannot begin to have an intelligent and informed discussion about the pros and cons of biometric ID (for ordinary law-abiding people) if we do not even understand that we are currently being subjected to it – And we MUST have this conversation!

The faces of more than 120 million people are in searchable photo databases that state officials assembled to prevent driver’s-license fraud but that increasingly are used by police to identify suspects, accomplices and even innocent bystanders in a wide range of criminal investigations. . . . But law enforcement use of such facial searches is blurring the traditional boundaries between criminal and non-criminal databases, putting images of people never arrested in what amount to perpetual digital lineups. The most advanced systems allow police to run searches from laptop computers in their patrol cars and offer access to the FBI and other federal authorities.’ (Source: The Washington Post, June 17, 2013 State photo-ID databases become troves for police)

The current uses of biometric ID on the population is pretty tame compared to the planned and possible uses of the technology in the future. Right now we are blindly blundering ahead without looking at where we are headed.

Biometric simply means measurement of the body. Fingerprints, digital photos, iris scans and DNA are all examples of biometrics.

Explainer: PDF What is Biometric ID graphic FINAL

Every couple of years we hit another REAL ID deadline set by the Department of Homeland Security and the news media explodes with sensational stories about how ‘soon’ we will not be able to fly or enter federal buildings. (To put it simply, there is no danger of any serious disruption for most people any time soon.)

I guess I shouldn’t view these roving deadlines with such dread but instead look at them as an opportunity to educate people on the issue because, at least for a short time, because they are terrified of being inconvenienced, they are paying attention to this policy that otherwise lurks in obscurity.

I am addressing just one fact in this post:

Oklahoma’s state driver’s licenses and ID cards ARE biometric ID’s

You must submit to a fingerprint scan and facial biometric captured in order to receive a driver’s license or ID card in this state.

Oklahoma biometric driver’s licenses made their  public “debut” in 2003-4


2004 OK Biometric license

In 2010, the Department of Public Safety documents technical information regarding their collection of biometric data including the size of finger and face biometric template files and the size of its “facial recognition database” (See page 3 and 4)

DPS 2010 rfi facial rtecognition database

None of this is hidden or a mystery of any sort.  in fact, the Department of Public Safety is quite open about some uses of its biometric ID. Like for instance, the fact that if you have your face and finger with you, you can get a replacement license without any documentation of your identity.

How? Because with biometrics, your body is your ID.

DPS memo biometrics

Biometric data, especially facial biometrics,  is extremely sensitive information that can be used to accomplish a great deal of surveillance and control over our personal affairs. It is important that we know what it is, who has it and how it is being used.

Downloadable 1 page explainer

Oklahoma’s Driver’s License is a Biometric ID docx

When Does REAL ID Enforcement Begin in Oklahoma?

USA blinds

Kaye Beach

Oct. 8, 2015

There is a big question about when our state would actually be subject to REAL ID enforcement.  I think they like it that way.  Since the REAL ID Act is NOT a mandate upon the states, fear is about the only tool at the federal government’s disposal to encourage compliance with the Act.

Here is what I have found.

On Dec. 29, 2014, DHS published in the Federal Register its intent to change the Real ID enforcement date to Oct. 1, 2020 – for some states.

For states that are deemed compliant with the REAL ID Act or states that have an extension, DHS says that:

DHS extension 2020

Here is section B of the sidebar which indicates the states that will NOT be subject to enforcement (which has now been extended to 2020 although that is not updated on this DHS policy briefing)

compliant extension states

To further clarify the matter, DHS adds:

noncompliant 2016

Section A of the sidebar:

non compliant

(Source: REAL ID Enforcement in Brief, DHS)

These are the only states that are subject to phased enforcement which includes requiring a REAL ID compliant license as an acceptable document to board a plane.

I found a policy think tank document that simplifies the matter further with this table:

nil enforcement table

There may be more to this but this is what is the best publicly available information I can find at the moment.  I will update if I receive any additional information.

In order to be granted an extension by the DHS, I’m pretty sure that our state had to pledge its intent to fully implement the REAL ID Act – someday.

If REAL ID is fully implemented in this state, the people of Oklahoma will be subject to greater government intrusion and control over their daily lives than ever before.  REAL ID implementation means our state databases containing our personal and biometric information will be connected to other states and accessible by the federal government.  Oklahoma officials have a duty to protect the rights of the people of this state and should not move to implement REAL ID.

DPS memo biometrics