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Sun Microsystems

McNealy Calls for National ID Card Too 615

Posted by michael
from the sun-monitors-actually-telescreens dept.
Syre writes: "Well McNealy's at it again calling for a national ID card (a smart card powered by Java, anyone?)." So let's get this straight: Oracle wants a national ID card powered by Oracle. Sun wants a national ID card powered by Java. (Even though the U.S. already has a national ID card, since the states are in the process of linking their driver's license databases together.) Is there any company that doesn't want to exploit a tragedy for financial gain? And didn't each and every one of the hijackers present valid ID?
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McNealy Calls for National ID Card Too

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  • ANOTHER one? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by keytoe (91531) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:10PM (#2417781) Homepage

    So, what's wrong with all the other national ID cards we carry around in our wallets? Social Security card not good enough? My drivers license not good enough? Passport? Credit cards? As if the government can't find out who I am using these 'old' methods.

    Exactly what advantage does yet another card have? I'm sure they'll be just as easy to counterfeit as current identification methods...

  • Business as usual (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Maskirovka (255712) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:15PM (#2417807)
    Sorry to play the devil's advocate here, but these people are payed the big bucks to enrich their stock holders. It's their sole purpose. This is an excelent oportunity for them to do so. Wtf do you expect from any self respecting CEO?? (excluding Steve Jobs maybe)

    Maskirovka
  • Oracle's plan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aralin (107264) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:19PM (#2417831)
    You should maybe try to find the recent speach or article published by Larry Ellison on the topic. Oracle does not plan to take away any of your liberties or profit on a national tragedy.

    Larry Ellison pointed out that all the information is already in some databases, but while businesses like VISA, AMEX and others poll their databases and link these data together, federal agencies do NOT. If they did, 6 of these 19 terrorists would have been CAUGHT at entry and the attack would likely NEVER happen since they were sought for in some counties in US. How can someone get into the country without notice by INS when he is on 'Wanted' list on Florida?

    The other point I've heard was that (as I've heard) Oracle planed to donate database software for the purpose of creating the global ID.

    And last, but not least, the plan for global ID proposed by Larry Ellison should have been on voluntary basis to make things for you convenient and avoid these long and thorough checks of identity that will definitely appear on different wanna-be-secure locations like airports.

    Get your facts straight, please, before starting to slander someone's ideas.

  • by Crispy Critters (226798) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:23PM (#2417849)
    As Bruce Schneier mentioned in a special Cryptogram, IDs at airline check-ins don't do anything for security, partly because getting fake IDs is so easy. What it does accomplish is to keep semi-honest people from selling their airline tickets to each other.


    There are two separate issues here. A national ID is not necessarily so bad. However, assigning a uniques identification number to each American is what threatens privacy. Having a unique ID number which is accessible to anyone permits cross-correlating databases and other methods of mining data and constructing profiles of people. Also, if there was a bar code or similar machine-readable encoding of the number on the ID card, then soon anyone (airline, dentist, grocery store, border guard, building security) would start swiping the card and recording our movements and activities in a way that would be very easy to combine in giant databases.


    I am not saying this would happen, or is even likely, but it would be possible and that is scary enough.

  • why?

    What is a national ID card good for? What is it going to prevent? Will it prevent a guy from walking into a bank and holding it up? No. Would it prevent what happened one month ago? Definitely not, based on all the safeguards the perps passed right on through.

    Guess I should just say it now - Ellison and McNealy are nothing more than opportunists who are taking advantage of a bad situation in order to pump up their stock prices.

  • by NJVil (154697) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:36PM (#2417919)
    ``Absolute anonymity breeds absolute irresponsibility,'' he said. ``We need a thumbprint Java card in the hand of everybody in the country.''

    Somehow giving up one's privacy will "breed" responsibility? Funny, I don't remember learning to be responsible by having everyone know all the details of my personal life. Yet here's this character lecturing Americans that we need to give up any semblance of privacy in order to be responsible citizens. Feh.

    Besides, the last time I checked, many of the most evil acts in history were perpetrated by people who were quite well known to everyone else. I'm not sure that I see the positive correlation between being anonymous and being irresponsible and whether *America* will truly benefit from this scheme.

    Furthermore, when he says "We", does he mean the citizens of the US? Why do I suspect he is talking about Sun, its CEO, and its investors and not the citizens of the US?

    Finally, I wonder if this petty dictator-wannabe's "Java card" will let everyone he interacts with to know just how much of a threat he is to our basic human liberties... I suspect not...
  • by Stiletto (12066) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:46PM (#2417951)
    If you are willing to go through a hefty background check and whatnot to ensure you are not associated with foriegn terrorist agencies than you can go and get the National ID CARD. You are no longer searched as heavily or treated as a terrorist. People who oppose this National ID card will be searched and questioned.

    Yep, guilty until proven innocent. That's the New American Way.

    I oppose giving our corporate government more ways of tracking my medical records, spending habits, and private life. I guess that makes me a potential terrorist.
  • by Naikrovek (667) <[jjohnson] [at] [psg.com]> on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:49PM (#2417965)
    "Is there any company that doesn't want to exploit a tragedy for financial gain?"

    hahah. hahahahahahha. HAHAHHAHHAH! AHHHAAHHAHHHAHHAHAHHAHAHAH!

    no. there is no company large enough to suggest something like that that also gives a shit about humanity or safety or privacy, or anything except their christmas bonuses.

    excess money makes *most* people heartless, evil, greedy and opportunistic. the current economic situation isn't helping things either - they only want more money to come in faster right now, because they see no reasonable income in the future.

    they are owned by money, not the other way around. the things you own, end up owning you. example: ever seen someone who owns a ferarri not get murderously angry & violent when they see that someone has scratched their car? its not because something like that really matters, its because their self worth is enveloped entirely in their belongings.

    so no, there is no large company that will not take every available opportunity to monopolize a situation that can benefit them - no matter how many people died to create that situation.
  • by mj6798 (514047) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @09:33PM (#2418089)
    I think many of the proposals and actions that have followed the 9/11 attacks use the attacks to push agendas that people have had for a long time. That's true as much for Ashcroft's limitations on civil liberties, even more defense funding, the secrecy and lack of transparency of the current administration, as well as these corporate proposals for "help". I don't think this is deliberate: I think the Bush administration, as well as these companies, really believe that what they are proposing is "for the best of the country", and they probably believe as well that they would be making the same proposals if they didn't have a stake in the matter.

    But we known from many studies and long experience that you cannot be objective if you have a stake in the matter, no matter how much you try. That's why scientists conduct double-blind studies. And that's why we should scrutinize both administration policies and corporate proposals very, very carefully.

    I do actually think a national ID system would actually be a good thing. But I think its purpose should only be to allow people to identify themselves reliably to other humans and to establish their residency status. As such, it should involve neither smartcards nor Java nor Oracle software. In fact, I don't think it should involve a national database at all. Rather, it should be a difficult-to-forge physical artifact with picture, name, thumbprint, and a 40 digit unique number with checksum (the length making it difficult to remember from casual observation, and to make it difficult to invent existing numbers). The number should be printed in an OCR font so that it can be read and verified, but the rest of the information on the card should be deliberately hard to capture by automatic means. Such a card could then be used to establish identity for purposes like immigration, security check-ins, financial transactions, etc. Yet it would resist the creation of a "big brother" database probably better than our current ad-hoc system based on social security numbers.

    Such a system would be of no commercial value to McNealy or Ellison. Would they still support it?Well...

  • by pondlife (56385) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @09:57PM (#2418154)
    One thing nor mentioned so far is that even if Dubya were to succeed in specifying, developing and implementing a new US ID card (ie. succeed in managing a major IT project without cost overrun or failure to provide required functionality...), what happens to the numerous foreigners in the USA?

    I'm sure that the rest of the world would probably fail to come up to the US 'standards' - would an Afghan passport be accepted as readily as a US ID card? Or a Britsh/French/Japanese passport, for that matter? (Or insert your chosen US-friendly/US-client state in that sentence).

    So even if the US cards were miraculuously foolproof and unforgeable, the baddies would just start getting fake IDs from ither countries, which the US couldn't refuse without significant political and legal problems.

    For example, I hold a British passport, a Swiss driving licence, and a Spanish student ID - which of these would be accepted in the Brave New World as allowing me to fly from New York to Boston?
  • by nyquist_theorem (262542) <mbelleghem@g m a i l.com> on Thursday October 11, 2001 @10:00PM (#2418162) Homepage
    IDs at airline check-ins don't do anything for security, partly because getting fake IDs is so easy.

    No form of IDing people is effective if IDs are easily faked. Were airline check-in IDs done "properly", ie an effective form of ID was presented that was:

    #1 - Nearly impossible to fake
    #2 - Confirmed via network connection (like a credit card)

    ...then much more could be done - an "all-points-bulletin" on an individual would come much closer to preventing his flight (both literally and figuratively) than any such system available now, and would do so nearly instantaneously. Much like nuclear weapons or Dan Quayle's mouth, it would have to be tightly controlled by the government so as not be misused, but the principle is sound.

    Also, if there was a bar code or similar machine-readable encoding of the number on the ID card, then soon anyone (airline, dentist, grocery store, border guard, building security) would start swiping the card and recording our movements and activities in a way that would be very easy to combine in giant databases.

    At least the way I understand it, presentation of this card to non-government types would be optional - I can't see them wrestling your card from you in the grocery over your right to buy a rutabaga. In Canada, for example, from what I recall it is illegal for any non-government person to demand your SIN - they can ask, but they can not prevent you from anything should you not provide it (and provide sufficient alternate identification). Obviously legislation like this would prevent the abuses you're talking about. Heck our passports are all individually numbered, but my dentist rarely asks to see it. Compared to encryption backdoors and export restrictions, Tempest monitoring, nuclear weapons, and all the other no-fun-for-common-folk stuff the US gov't has at its disposal, universal ID cards don't seem all that scary to me.

    m@
  • by mindstrm (20013) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @10:06PM (#2418178)
    Let's face it folks; having a federally issued ID card, with your picture on it is NOT what bothers everyone. Do you think you government doesn't know you are a citizen? Do you have a passport? That's federally issued ID.

    The REAL issue is where you have to present said ID card.
    I don't have to present ID to ride the bus, to buy groceries, to drive on the highway (though I do have to have my driver's license). I don't have to present ID to cross from state to state. You don't technically have to show ID to board an airplane (but good luck doing so nowadays after the sept. 11 incidents) .FAA regulations clearly allow you to travel without ID.

    The issue is someone using that federal ID to track where you go, when, and how, and what you do, what you buy, etc. Isn't it?
  • Re:ANOTHER one? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hostile17 (415334) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @10:12PM (#2418195) Journal


    You are way off base here. A national ID card will not protect you or me in way shape or form. All it really does is give the governement another control mechanism. Do you really think a national ID card would have stopped any of the Terrorists from boarding those planes ? Do you really think a national ID card will stop anyone from beating thier kids or robbing a bank ? If you do you are deluding yourself. The idea behind a national ID card is not to hamper crominals, but to hamper honest citizens.

  • Re:no! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sjax (412448) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @10:25PM (#2418224)
    Even if he wasn't charging for the service, what do you think the PR is worth being able to say "The official database of the safe America". It's a business decision.
  • by egburr (141740) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @11:41PM (#2418430) Homepage
    In Texas, a Texas driver's license is required for the purchase of alcohol. A newcomer to the state applying for a Texas driver's license first has the previous state's license confiscated and only then is told to expect the new license in a few weeks. In the meantime, a typed card is provided as a temporary license, with NO photo. You can not purchase, alcohol, cash checks, use a credit card (in the few stores that actually demand a photo ID), or any of a myriad other things that people demand photo IDs for, even though that is my official, state-issued, temporary ID and driver's license. I was even afraid of being stopped for any reason for fear the cop wouldn't accept it as valid ID. Four weeks later, I received my new driver's license in the mail!

    I would love to have a national form of ID, because no state should have the ability or authority to so thoroughly wipe out my identity, even on a temporary basis.

  • Re:ANOTHER one? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <kcocknozzle@hot m a i l . com> on Thursday October 11, 2001 @11:42PM (#2418432) Homepage
    "Right now, if you have an outstanding parking ticket, you can't get your license renewed. But if you have a murder warrant out on you, you still get your license renewed," said Mike Davis, spokesman for the Baltimore County Executive Office.

    This is a good argument for searching the criminal warrants DB when you run a license, then calling the police. A much simpler (and cheaper) solution that giving Oracle $5 billion and saying "make it work".

    Perhaps I'm being too logical here, but it seems a system of national identity cards would do a lot more good than harm.


    As for the counterfeiting option, one would hope that Sun, Oracle and the feds could between them come up with a card that could not be easily counterfeited, and that could be updated remotely as security breaches were identified.

    Assuming it was connected to an "active" system (ie cards can be validated / invalidated by a central server so that duplicates and/or invalid cards would be ferreted out quickly

    It's a good fantasy, but here are the problems (the biggest three that come to mind):

    1) Price. The "ID Card" you're describing sounds more like a PDA with wireless networking than an inanimate piece of plastic. How much will that cost to develop/deliver?
    2) Network. What wireless network will these cards use to be "validated/invalidated by a central server"? As far as I know, there isn't a nationwide (covering everywhere people live and work) wireless network that could provide this service.
    3) Ineffective. This system is only useful against people who are using their own identity to get ID. Anybody who (gasp!) uses false documents to get one is undetectable until after the fact. This alone makes this entire system completely useless.

    Nope. Not a good idea in the least. Maybe in Candyland, but not here.
  • The world is an unsafe place, that was true even before the attacks. If someone wants to kill someone people bad enough he's going to get me no matter what I do. Yes, we should take precautions but let's not get carried away here.

    McNealy says ``I'm tired of the outrage. If you get on a plane, I want to know who you are. If you rent a crop duster, I want to know who you are,''

    He's going for the knee jerk reaction here. Maybe he should also propose that the card have an American flag on them.

    I wouldn't worry about air travel nowadays, if I had a reason to travel I wouldn't hesitate in the least. If I had the money I would take my family to Disney World now. The news footage I saw with no lines looks a lot better than the last time I was there.

    The unthinkable was done, it shocked everyone, but now the element of surprise is gone. Terrorists aren't going to use a commercial plane anymore than the Japenese were going to come back to Pearl Harbor a month later.

    I crop duster, why worry about that, a crackpot a few years ago only needed a rental truck. He could have just as easily stolen a truck one night and carried the attack out the next morning. There's no limit to the evil things some people are capable of if they are determined. I'm sure they'll come up with something just as evil and unexpected.

    How about confidentiality of the card information? I'm sure you wouldn't have to physically present you card for every transaction you want to do. Are they going to tie all of my accounts into one card? Oh, that would be great, now if I call an order into one unscrupulous place, I'm locked out of all my accounts until the banks straighten it out.

    I mean I'm all for all of these companies proposing these things, the more companies involved touting their own standard the longer it will take for someone to agree on a standard. As long as each individual company can buy enough poliiticians I mean.
  • by ananke (8417) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @11:46PM (#2418442) Homepage
    I think one major issue is missed: none of the damn terrorists were usa citizens. NONE. Who freaking cares about the national IDs? I'm not a usa citizen [although I live there], and I can present any ID that I wish.
    So my question is, how will this matter to the overall security?
  • Re:ANOTHER one? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by big_hairy_mama (79958) <slashdot&pdavis,cx> on Thursday October 11, 2001 @11:53PM (#2418465) Homepage
    You're absolutely right that it will not *stop* crime from happening - there is no way anything the government does is going to stop someone from robbing a bank unless they have some kind of electric field around the bank that reads the ID cards shocks any felons who try to enter. But, theoretically at least, this *would* help them track the criminals when they renew their drivers license or go through a border crossing, or any other time like that.

    I don't have a problem with the idea of a national ID card. If you want privacy, then you're pretty much out of luck in the US because, like previous posters have pointed out, every time you go to a bank, show your drivers license, or use a credit card, or even every time you sign on to your MSN or AOL, somebody somewhere is tracking you.

    The problem I have is that, considering that there is nothing stopping the government from keeping tight tabs on anyone and everyone using current technology/infrustructure, why do we need to go through the extra trouble, time, and money to implemenent a whole new card? Why can't they just use the existing state ID card, Social Security, or passport databases?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2001 @12:28AM (#2418554)
    have you ever "accidentally" transposed two numbers. Try a few, you'll like it.
  • by gweihir (88907) on Friday October 12, 2001 @01:45AM (#2418682)
    In Germany there is a need to carry ID at all times. Also if you move you have to register with the police within 2 weeks or be fined. And foreigners will need this registration to, e.g., get a bank account. If you take into account that wages will almost always be paid to a bank account and not as cash or check, this creates a pretty good facility to track people with no outside (cash!) funding.

    These measures where introduced to find domestic terrorists that want to survive their acts of terror and it does help to a certain extend. It makes it also more difficult for people wanted by the police to hide. However it does only help against terrorists that stay in the county for a longer time and are active for some time.

    It does not help to find one-time terrorists. It does not help to identify terrorists that have not done anything wrong yet. It does not help to find terrorists that have strong support from the population (a.k.a. freedom fighters). All it does is to significantly improve the chances of identifying a terrorist that moves around and strikes multiple times. That was enough reason to introduce it, and I believe it has actually helped somewhat to bring about the end of the Red Army Fraction. At least they had be far more careful and spend more effort on hiding and less on doing terrorism.

    On the other hand it provides the gouvernment with a possibility to track its citizens. That is also a risk. And the worst kind of terrorism is that done by a totalitarian gouvernment against its citizens. So some balance has to be found.

    One thing done in Germany in the past was to restrict access to and use of the collected data.
  • Re:ANOTHER one? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sallen (143567) on Friday October 12, 2001 @02:13AM (#2418724)
    Social security cards are too easy to counterfeit, passports are for people who travel abroad, driver's licenses for people who drive and credit cards are for people with credit. That leaves a piece of the population who can't identify itself, which leads to many headaches.
    Countries with national ID's don't have this problem and their citizens don't feel like the nasty government is plotting to tattoo a barcode on their ass. At least I don't. Would you feel better if, instead of introducing a new ID, social security cards became harder to forge? Because I don't see the difference.


    Sure. And what happens to those who's inadvertantly been assigned the same social security number (i don't want to use the normal acronym SS number here, that's too scary). What happens to them? The INS can't handle those aliens who are in the country even legally at this point, which most of the terrorists were, and for whom there wouldn't be the extensive backgroud as there would already be on US citizens. So how in the hell would a national id card have helped?? And just how many people does it take to 'track' 270+ million people? McNealy is an a-hole, and for an old man, I'm not one to usually use that kind of term. But these knee-jerk reactions are totally absurd. Some of the terrorists did overstay their visa's. So what, even if we clamped down there, they likely would have been able to renew them. Again, most were here legally and most were unknown to the law enforcement agencies. That's not to say I'm not in favor of getting the CIA back into the business they were meant to be in and beefing up and greatly expanding their abilities. There ability to function was emasculated by some of those Congress types, and so many wanting to be so PC. I'd bet on them before I would any stupid idiotic national id card, sponsored by a number more of those stupid PC folks. (If that weren't the case they'd at first think logically it'd be better to start getting a handle on aliens in the country, being a smaller number and wish less known backgrounds. But that wouldn't be PC for them, so they'd rather come up with a system that'd be impossible to handle/control, make the amounts of data the NSA and others have to sift through look like a single 3X5 card compared to whatever new agency would control this, and essentially do little else than having the founding fathers rolling in their graves.) I knew an INS guy who was there as his second career after military. All through the 90's he was always frustrated because the folks in the field couldn't do their jobs and activity was halted by washington because they didn't want to look bad, get bad press, or not be, hell, to use it again, PC.

  • Tough Shit, Scot. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@NoSPAM.mac.com> on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:14AM (#2418876) Journal

    MacNealy says: "I'm tired of the outrage. If you get on a plane, I want to know who you are. If you rent a crop duster, I want to know who you are."

    Well, tough shit, Scott. I don't give a flying fuck what you demand. I'm an American citizen, and I don't have to prove it to you, or Ellison, or any other nosy bastard who wants to make a billion dollars on tools for totalitarians. If you're afraid of me, carry a gun.

    When the people of this country elect a self-serving marketing dink like you to some responsible position, then your demands carry some weight. Until then, you can go fuck yourself.

    -jcr
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2001 @06:23AM (#2419017)
    Amen, brother! Perhaps Jefferson said it best,


    "Those who would give up essential liberty for temporary freedom deserve neither liberty nor freedom."




    (not)
  • Hmmm. Let's see.

    On Privacy:
    • SUN and Oracle say "Privacy is dead, get over it"
    • Microsoft adds privacy features to IE.

    On the 9/11 terrorism
    • SUN and Oracle use the Trade Center tragedy to push a Java/Oracle based National ID card.
    • Microsoft quietly creates (providing the hardware, software, consulting and bandwidth) a tracking web site for victim's families so they can find out who's alive.

    Right, I understand now, SUN and Oracle are the good guys and Microsoft is evil.

    Yeah. Right.
  • Re:ANOTHER one? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by truthsearch (249536) on Friday October 12, 2001 @09:22AM (#2419312) Homepage Journal
    It's very simple. The US Constitution rightfully contains the following:
    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.
    Credit card purchases, bank transactions, customer loyalty cards, phone bills, and other such personal information can not be investigated without probable cause, details of what is being searched, and consent of a judge. Getting a universal tracking card basically gives up that right given by the fourth amendment. So yes, we can be tracked by corporations, and corporations could potentially share that information with other corporations, but the government may not be given any such information without warrant. This card gives the government the right to track us without warrant, without even probably cause.

    For example, let's say I protest outside the congressional office of a senator. I have a right to free speech, but there's nothing preventing him from tracking me down and possibly using my personal information against me, like blackmail.

    These ID cards can only be used at the expense of civil liberties.
  • by Seanasy (21730) on Friday October 12, 2001 @10:36AM (#2419699)

    An internal passport is the tool of a repressive regime. Stalin introduced them to Russian and they're still using them.

    I never thought I'd ever agree with Texas Republicans [lone-star.net] about anything.

  • by FatherOfONe (515801) on Friday October 12, 2001 @10:56AM (#2419801)
    Your points don't make sense.

    It is true that McNealy says that privacy is dead, but that has nothing to do with a smart card that would replace your social security number. Where did he say that the card would protect your privacy? The card would have nothing to do with privacy, but would have a lot to do with identification.

    Do I think that the card is a bad idea? Yes. But I also think that Social Security is a bad idea also.

    I think a point that everyone is missing is that no matter what security levels you put in; if a person is willing to die for their cause, it will be almost impossible to stop them from doing acts of terrorisim. Would it have stopped anything on the 11'th if these guys would have had Oracle/Sun/Microsoft/Linux smart cards? Nope.

    Would an armed person at the front of the plane have stopped them? Yes.
  • Not everyone drives. Not even in the motor-happy US.

    If an ID card is to be had, why not base it on passports? Kill two birds with one stone.

  • by budgenator (254554) on Friday October 12, 2001 @11:00AM (#2419827) Journal
    My new license has a magnetic stripe on it and a bar-code, how much more do they need? Military ID's have the whole obverse side covered with 2-D 'puter code. If they are not using this now, why complicate it even more with a new system. Even if the contained data is encrypted, it my data and therefore unique, recordable and traceable.
    What we don't need is an other level of beauacracy on top of what's already there, we need to actualy use what we have now enough to judge if a slight modification might be needed. Coordinate state drivers licenses should be enough. Maybe tighten up what documentation you need to get a license or state ID a little.

    Oh by the way, if you have a murder warrant out for someone do you want the poor clerk at the Sec of States branch to freak out when she sees it; or say "It'll be mailed to this address in about ten days"? Mike Davis, spokesman for the Baltimore County Executive Office doesn't have a clue as to what deep inside the State's database when an arrest warrarnt flag trigger's a proceedure (actualy I don't either, but at least I'm not pretending to) Isn't it easier for a trained cop to stake out a mail box than to scrape a clerks brains off the wall?
  • by yellowjacket03 (470997) on Friday October 12, 2001 @11:30AM (#2420015)
    Privacy whiners could note that Blockbuster does not, with this ID card, know anything more or less than they did before.

    Most likely they don't really know anything about you since most employees there are so lax. You are supposed to show TWO forms of picture ID to get a Blockbuster card, but that never happens. I cannot tell you how many times people came in, got a card, rented about $300 worth of video games and were never heard from again. Thank Christ I don't work there anymore.
  • by alecto (42429) on Friday October 12, 2001 @12:13PM (#2420243) Homepage
    . . . you and I, as US citizens, can choose to have an ID card or not to have one.

    Until right about the time that to conduct practically any business (e.g. connect utilities to your home, pay with any instrument other than cash, rent bowling shoes), the entity with whom you are dealing requires this card or the number therefrom. A voluntary national ID would be voluntary like the income tax is voluntary.

  • by kindbud (90044) on Friday October 12, 2001 @01:38PM (#2420790) Homepage
    This is an honest question, not trying to make anyone angry: What's the big deal? How does a national ID infringe on liberties?

    This is not the point. What does a national ID card do to enhance our security? Nothing. All the hijackers presented valid ID before boarding their flights. I think not even Scott McNealy, brazen as he is, would try to assert that Sun can build a system impervious to subversion. I am certain that in Germany's system it is not impossible to obtain a fake ID.

    I am not at all opposed to giving up some liberties for a short time, as long as doing so supports measures that are effective. I am not willing to give up any liberties at all, based on theory or conjecture, or these days, on the bald unsupported declaration that this is how it must be. I want to know that my sacrifice means something, that it is effective in support of our efforts. Otherwise, no deal, I won't go along with it.

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