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DHS Official Suggests REAL ID Mission Creep 277

The Register noticed that a senior US Department of Homeland Security official has floated the idea of requiring citizens to produce federally compliant identification before purchasing some over-the-counter medicines — specifically, pseudophedrine. The federal ID standard spelled out by the REAL ID act has been sold as applying only to air travel and entry to federal buildings and nuclear facilities. A blogger on the Center for Democracy and Technology site said, "[The] suggested mission creep pushes the REAL ID program farther down the slippery slope toward a true national ID card." Speaking of federal buildings, CNet has a state-by-state enumeration of what will happen on May 11, when REAL ID comes into effect, to citizens who attempt to enter, say, the Washington DC visitors bureau.

Clinton Would Crack Down On Game Content 543

thefickler sends us word that Hilary Clinton has taken a public stand in favor of shielding children from game and other animation content that she deems inappropriate. Quote: "When I am president, I will work to protect children from inappropriate video game content." Politically, this puts her in company with Republican Mitt Romney on the subject of game censorship. Her fellow Democrats are content to let the industry self-regulate.

FBI Prepares Vast Database of Biometrics 152

MacRonin sends us to the Washington Post for a story about the FBI's plans for a large biometric identification database. The Post also has a chart detailing the characteristics of the different methods of identification. We discussed the ethics of a similar situation a few months ago. Quoting the Post: "Next month, the FBI intends to award a 10-year contract that would significantly expand the amount and kinds of biometric information it receives. And in the coming years, law enforcement authorities around the world will be able to rely on iris patterns, face-shape data, scars and perhaps even the unique ways people walk and talk, to solve crimes and identify criminals and terrorists. The FBI will also retain, upon request by employers, the fingerprints of employees who have undergone criminal background checks so the employers can be notified if employees have brushes with the law."
United States

Telecom Immunity Showdown in the Senate Today 221

CPeanutG writes "A make-or-break moment for telecom immunity has arrived — after months of back-room committee-meetings, the FISA bill will finally reach the Senate floor on Monday! Unfortunately, a previously-reported version of the bill that grants telecom immunity will be presented to the Senate on Monday morning. The clock is ticking. Write your Senators now."

Schneier On the War On the Unexpected 405

jamie found this essay by Bruce Schneier, The War on the Unexpected. (It originally appeared in Wired but this version has all the links.) "We've opened up a new front on the war on terror. It's an attack on the unique, the unorthodox, the unexpected; it's a war on different. If you act different, you might find yourself investigated, questioned, and even arrested — even if you did nothing wrong, and had no intention of doing anything wrong. The problem is a combination of citizen informants and a CYA attitude among police that results in a knee-jerk escalation of reported threats... After someone reports a 'terrorist threat,' the whole system is biased towards escalation and CYA instead of a more realistic threat assessment... If you ask amateurs to act as front-line security personnel, you shouldn't be surprised when you get amateur security."

Anti-Terrorism and the Death of the Chemistry Set 860

An anonymous reader writes "A recent unfortunate casualty of anti-terrorism laws is the home chemistry set. Once deemed the gift that saved Christmas, most Slashdotters probably remember early childhood experimentation with one of the many pre-packaged chemistry sets that were on the market. Unfortunately the FBI has decided that home chemistry sets are a threat to national security and they are rapidly disappearing from the market entirely. Those that remain are shallow boring versions of the old kits."

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.