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expatriate's picture
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National ID Card?

NFW. As if the American public is ready for the idea of a biometric federal ID card with fingerprint information stored in a government database. How long do you think a system like this would be in existence before it was expanded/abused?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870395490457511012403706685...

bitmasher's picture
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Re: National ID Card?

I don't know which is dumber the idea of the card or that Schumer thinks its the "nub of solving the immigration dilemma". No wonder their hasn't been meaningful immigration reform, when this powerful D thinks the problem can be solved with a card.

Even if the government doesn't abuse it directly, having biometric information in government databases that can be hacked is not smart. It ads yet another layer of info that can be ripped and then used for identify theft.

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: National ID Card?

I'm not in favor of a national ID card. But if you think about it, your own state governments have that same information. If you have a drivers license or state ID card they have your info plus your finger prints. Anyone who has ever had or currently has a CCW issued by your county or municipality and both the police, state, and FBI have your full set of prints along with your mug-shot and other identifying info. Anyone that's ever been in military service knows that the federal government has all your info and more. Not only that, but many of us had our feet, hand, and fingers printed for vital records when we were born or a few days after. When I was in grade school in the early '80s the FBI ran a program and came to our school to take identifying info on each student, recorded identifying marks such as scars, birthmarks, took finger prints, etc. We were told it was being done to aid in case of abduction. Not that they would find us alive of course. But if it were to happened the info would probably help them identify our remains if any were ever found. All that information is out there. The local, state,and federal government has had almost 4 decades to abuse mine, not to say that they won't, but I haven't seen it yet. I think that our political leaders lives and personal information is a much more open book than any of ours is. But I do think there is a much better way to solve the illegal immigration problem than making everyone register for a national ID card. The whole idea is a waste of time and money and totally absured to me. Just my 2 cents worth.

expatriate's picture
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Re: National ID Card?

All that may be true, but that information isn't accessible like an ID card would be. Think about the implications of a federal ID card. What that essentially boils down to is a requirement to get government approval to work. But once the system was in place, I can see its use expanded to include access to health care, travel, tax filing, voting, gun purchases, credit card verification and any other of activities. We don't live the same way our fathers did, and the government is rapidly expanding its ability to knit all this information together. It's not a stretch to envision a government that can track where you've been, what books you've been buying, what you're writing to friends in emails, etc. A national ID card is the final link to tie you personally to all these activities.

Think about it. The information is already there in the databases to call up your last credit card purchase at Wal-Mart which, thanks to barcoding not only records the total but also what brand of shaving cream you bought and the brand and amount of much beer you purchased. It even records the name of the checker and the time, so it's quickly linked to security camera coverage of the event.

Meanwhile, the government already has the power to put you on a no-fly list and deny you the ability to travel without due process. The potential for abuse is enormous -- under the same type of rules as the no-fly program, the government would have the power to flag your ID and not only deny you the ability to travel, but also just about anything else in your life on the increasing list of things that require identification to accomplish.

It amazes me how we've become so familiar with computerization that we're signing up to things that we never would've agreed to before. When I was growing up, I heard horror stories about how people in the Soviet Union had to get government approval to travel, etc. And now here we are -- having to get government approval to get on an airplane or buy a .22. And there are people clamoring to expand that power in the name of security.

Benjamin Franklin said that people willing to give up liberty for safety deserve neither. We would be wise to heed his advice.

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: National ID Card?

It's all just as easily accessible. My state's DMV has had it's computer database hacked at least twice in the last ten years where someone made off with thousands of identities. Military service number has been your SSN for years and that number is all over the place if you are military. It's true that people sign up for things and give information that they do not have to, like a speedy security line pass or some such. As far as tracking of purchases are concerned, it's true that the amount of exposure to ones privacy and the possible abuse of something like that is mind numbing. That's why I pay cash the vast majority of the time where it's still accepted. Certainly for stuff like firearms, reloading components, groceries, gas, and even beer/liquor purchases. I see no need to use credit cards for most purchases, cash only is my rule for most stuff. One day it will be impossible to use cash. I can definitley see the potential for abuse. I'm just saying that in almost 4 decades I have not experienced it so far, but that can sure change in a hurry I'm sure. Movies like Gattica and Minority Report are not too far fetched in depicting what can happen in the next 30 years.

I guess if you really want to go all out crazy about theories we can say that our grand children could be required to be micro-chipped at some point after birth. Parents will be prompted to do so with the same scare tactics used in pushing vaccinations - "it's for your childs safety". Or the government can also be more forceful about it and mandate that: No micro-chip = not being allowed into school, college, jobs, etc.

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Re: National ID Card?

Yet another national data base composed of our personal information for "our safety and convenience". I'm sure the survivors of WWII concentration camps would be thrilled with the idea. I'm sure their equally familiar with the concept. Maybe the book of revalations isn't so far fetched after all. As outlandish as it seems the technology is in place.

expatriate's picture
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Re: National ID Card?

What I always find fascinating about stories like the national ID card proposal is to scroll down and read the comments that people leave. There's always people who come up with things like saying they have no problem with the government having such intimate knowledge of their activities because it increases chances of stopping criminals. I'm always astounded when I see that. They're so naiive and have so little understanding of history. History's despots have generally come to power on a wave of public support, and the abuses came later. They'd start at the fringes and justify restrictions on liberty by saying it's only for terrorists and other dangerous people. Then it expands from people committing acts of violence to people planning acts of violence. Then it's people associated with people committing acts of violence and planning violent acts. Then it's people thinking about violent acts or expressing ideas that violent people agree with. Then it's people going to events where those people speak.

Many people have become complacent and have taken their liberties for granted. They forget that a freely elected American government using the same constitution we have today once imprisoned over a hundred thousand men, women, and children simply because of their ethnicity. This was done by a president who once tried to appoint more judges to the Supreme Court to overcome opposition to his social agenda. As decades pass, people forget McCarthyism...or the Holocaust. We're no more immune to it than any other nation in history -- all it takes is a charismatic leader and a panicked or frustrated population.

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: National ID Card?

That is why I'm continually amazed and even bothered by the idea that most Americans today are all too willing to give up personal freedoms and privacy for so-called security. We have an AM station here in Denver 850 KOA that is supposed to be or at least used to be a relatively concervative talk radio station. It wasn't more than a couple month ago they were talking about TSA and airport security on their late afternoon show "The Ride Home". It was shocking to say the least just how scewed the host's views were on the subject and flat out said he has no problem with body scans and cavity checks if it gives him and those traveling in the same plane as him safety from terrorist. He also claimed that in his belief the government would not abuse such a thing. I think the host is an idiot. Body scans now and what comes next? Just how much are people willing to do in return for false security? As Bunny and Expat have alluded to, the Third Reich didn't just start yanking undesirables from their homes and throwing them into gas chambers, that never would have worked. Talk to any survivor who was of an age to remember and they will all tell you that it was a very gradual and conditioned thing. All happened systematically over a period of 15 years eventually reducing certain people to have nothing except the idea that "work will set you free". Well I don't need to go into detail, as history has proven just how it turned out. I'm not saying that our government will ever go to such extreams, but I am aware of just how much they are trying to have control over every aspect of our lives. It's not only the government either. I'm just as cautious of private corporations doing the exact same thing and getting away with it. Hell, corporations are currently doing it to us on a much greater scale than the government is if you really thing about it.

In my time here on Earth I've seen the detriment in giving up certain things to both the government and to private corporations. I've also seen just how hard it is to get those freedoms back once their lost. When I say that I have not experienced any abuse personally from the government I mean just that. That's not to say that I trust them. I've seen the injustices that can and have happened to some American families. I love my country, but I am always vigilant and untrusting towards the government.

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Re: National ID Card?

Your right Wh. Loving your country and trusting your government have nothing to do with one another. Blind, naive trust of government, goes against all our founders wanted for this nation. They in fact wanted us to question and scrutinize constantly. If this were not so, then why go to the time and trouble to compose, fine tune and finally ratify the constitution and bill of rights. We'd simply have a document that says " no worries, we trust you". Our money reads " In GOD we trust". What it maybe should have read was " In God we trust, audit the hell out of everyone else".

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Re: National ID Card?

I thought all those saying Obama may be the antichrist , but I am having second thoughts . Wasnt it that all would have to have the mark of the beast . Seems like it is coming.

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: National ID Card?

Truth be told I worried more about this type of thing under the Bush Administration than I do now. Even Newt Gingrich was warning us about the loss of our civil liberties as a result of this war on terrorism under the Bush Admin. Though I'm still not a fan of Obama, he has been know for speaking in opposition to a National ID card. But that's not to say he won't go against his words. I think right now the new administartion has other pressing issues.

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