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Sun Microsystems

McNealy Calls for National ID Card Too 615

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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  • Terriorist ID's (Score:3, Informative)

    by leinerj ( 115797 ) <> on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:14PM (#2417803) Homepage
    The terriorist did indeed present valid ID's, but under more careful exam. some of the id's were expired which should have set alarms off in securities head...
  • Re:Driver's Licenses (Score:3, Informative)

    by Heem ( 448667 ) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:18PM (#2417821) Homepage Journal
    Because you can (and should) get a state ID if you choose not to drive, or cant pass the test. How else you gonna buy porn,smokes and lotto tickets, or go out to the bar? Seriously though.. ID cards are great and all, but we already have them, and its NOT going to do anything for us. Having an ID does not stop one from blowing things up. Especially the breed we are dealing with now - ones who DONT CARE if they die, and PREFER that we know who they are.
  • by FrostyWheaton ( 263146 ) <mark.frost@gmail . c om> on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:26PM (#2417869) Homepage
    SSN's are not to be used as a "national ID" because it is prohibited by law. No person, except the SSA and the IRS can force you to provide your SSN. Sure everyone asks for it wen tyou sign up for anything, but you are never obligated to give it. And no one can deny service because of it.
  • Re:Oracle's plan (Score:2, Informative)

    by chris_martin ( 115358 ) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:43PM (#2417943)
    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?

    How do you know this? Why do people assume that this ID card scheme would not be comprimised (read counterfit) ?

    In any sort of ID there will be fakes out there.

    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.

    1. If it's voluntary, it's useless

    Will they run two airplanes for those of us who would opt-out? If not, you will still be waiting on the plane for us to check in, so your not waiting in line idea won't work. If they will run two planes, that's insane, airlines are strapped for cash now, I doubt they could double the planes with half the people.

    2. Conveniency breeds loss of rights

    The first thing that will happen in an opt-in for convenience world is that it will soon NOT BE opt-in, it will be maditory. The US Social Security number was designed for your retirement, now it's used for EVERYTHING. I can remember when you weren't supposed to give you number out to anyone. Now I have to print it on checks, give that number to banks, etc. They don't need that number, but it sure is convienent. Now, look how common ID theft is now, all you need is a persons address and SSN and you own them.

    3. National ID cards will not stop people coming in from the outside (passports) and we will not always catch people with fake passports.

    4. Global ID card would be impossible. Require them to enter the US? I doubt it. We already require passports.
  • by ahrenritter ( 187622 ) <> on Thursday October 11, 2001 @08:57PM (#2417998) Homepage

    I do not believe this is not true.

    According to this [] document, several institutions are allowed to require or request your SSN.

    Furthermore, the SSA states,

    "If a business or other enterprise asks you for your SSN, you can refuse to give it. However, that may mean doing without the purchase or service for which your number was requested."
  • Re:Driver's Licenses (Score:3, Informative)

    by ckd ( 72611 ) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @09:53PM (#2418140) Homepage
    Massachusetts will allow the purchase of alcohol only with a Massachusetts drivers license. The non-driving state ID is actaully not valid for the purchase of alcohol. The US passport or any other foreign passport is not legal for the purchase of alcohol. A New Hampshire drivers license is not valid for the purchase of alcohol.

    Well, you're right about the last one, and right that a Massachusetts license is legal, but wrong about the rest.

    Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 138, Section 34B []:
    "Any licensee, or agent or employee thereof, under this chapter who reasonably relies on such a liquor purchase identification card or motor vehicle license issued pursuant to section eight of chapter ninety, or on a valid passport issued by the United States government, or by the government, recognized by the United States government, of a foreign country, or a valid United States issued military identification card, for proof of a person's identity and age shall not suffer [...]"

    So the accepted forms of ID:

    • Massachusetts Driver's License
    • Massachusetts Liquor ID
    • US passport
    • Passport issued by a diplomatically recognized government (no Sealand, no Taliban)
    • US military ID (which they define as the active duty cards only--not dependent IDs
  • Re:ANOTHER one? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jordy ( 440 ) <jordan@snocap. c o m> on Thursday October 11, 2001 @11:06PM (#2418318) Homepage
    Exactly what advantage does yet another card have? I'm sure they'll be just as easy to counterfeit as current identification methods...

    Uhm, no. The current security of ID cards relies on the fact that it's hard to create a physical duplicate of the card itself. This is mediocre compared to the system being proposed.

    A real smart card would have enough space on it for a real cryptographic signature that can guarantee (unless of course the key is comprimised) that this particular card was issued by the good old USA. Coupled with issue and expiration dates, this alone would be vastly superior to anything we have currently and provide a significant barrier to counterfietters.

    But that's not all. If you had a real-time lookup system to verify that an ID was in fact issued at all and each card itself had it's own unique entry in the system you end up with a system that is resistant to even key comprimises.

    On top of that, if you require unique characteristics such as fingerprint, DNA, retinal scan, heat signature and photo to be gathered at the time of issue of the ID so you could do duplicate scanning (one person can't have two IDs) you end up with a system which is orders of magnitude more secure than what currently exists.
    You could even go a step further and only allow a particular machine to be able to read the cards that are only allowed to be operated by government workers subjected to stringent FBI background checks and self-destruct if tampered with. The card itself would obviously also be tamper-resistant.

    Even more impressive is that if this was done properly, you could subject every person entering the country to it and in real-time issue temporary IDs that would allow even foreigners who may lie about themselves to never be allowed to lie twice.

    Of course, what would be better than a national ID is an international ID (which passports are for, but are pretty poor... ink stamps when entering and leaving a country, please.) Though at least they have barcodes and pretty holograms.

    Then again, you have to understand how traditional counterfietting is done. Rarely does anyone actually create a fake ID. Instead, you find an incompetent DMV in some state, steal enough ID information and let them create a nice new ID for you. A well run national ID program would prevent this.
  • VAPORWARE! (Score:2, Informative)

    by cgleba ( 521624 ) on Thursday October 11, 2001 @11:18PM (#2418338)
    I don't know much on the specifics of this "Liberty Alliance Project" nor do I work for Sun,
    however this seems to be another case of the infamous Sun vaporware that does everything for everyone.

    If I remember correctly, this started off as a PCMCIA card that you slap into any running SunRay (dumb graphics terminal) and you're instantly logged in.

    The idea was that you have all your apps run on a large E10k run by an ISP or "appication service provider" and you slap your PCMCIA card into the SunRay at your house and open StarOffice, per say. Then you leave StarOffice open, pull your card, the screen gets locked and then you go to work and slap your PCMCIA card into your SunRay there and voila! StarOffice and the document you were working on is now right in front of you. The reason for this, of course, is that you're app never stopped running -- it was on the E10k and the DISPLAY changed with the slip of your PCMCIA card.

    Later, when MS introduced .NET, Sun decided to start marketing this as some form of web authentication. . . .

    Now that Sep. 11th happened, it's a national ID.

    Remember Jini? Sun said that it was going to change the world and connect everything from your toaster to your car to your computer? That was a huge VAT of vaporware that was simply a collection of protocols (Sun would have you believe that it was a HW/SW solution for everything).

    Java was supposed to change everything, too. It was not vaporware, however because of browser incompatability most people resort to server-side Java (which defeats the purpose of cross-platform -- YOU KNOW THE PPLATFORM OF YOUR SERVER!) and does not even come close o solving all the problems that Sun claimed in practice.

    The "vaporware" mentality of selling somthing very simple to everyone in the planet telling them that it's going to fix all thier problems has killed much of Sun's credability. It worked with Java, but people know better now and they should cut this crap before no one listens to thier marketing at all.
  • by alcmena ( 312085 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @12:29AM (#2418559)
    It is illegal to use Social Security as a national ID. That is why Ohio (and possibly other states as well) gives you the option to have it removed from your drivers license.

    Originally, when Social Security ID's were being created, Congress had to make a law against using it as a national ID system. Otherwise it would have never passed at the time. Not that anyone listens to that part of the law anymore though.
  • by jdoeii ( 468503 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @03:38AM (#2418822)
    I am writing this from Moscow. Here in Russia national picture ID had been in use for at least 70 years.

    The REAL issue is where you have to present said ID card.

    This is absolutely correct. During the Soviet rule national ID had to be carried all the time and presented virtually everywhere. Airline? Show your ID. Check into a hotel? Show your ID. No, you can't check in with that lady because the ID does not identify her as your wife (I am serious, that's how it worked). Want to apply for a job? Show ID. No, you can't have the job because your address of residence is listed in another town. The ID had to be updated if you changed apartments.

    Are you guys ready to give up that much of your freedom?

    In the present day Russia the ID turned into a useless Soviet relic which solves no problems. It just keeps a few beaurocrats from looking for a new job. It's just funny to see how much things have changed in the last 10 years.

  • by burbilog ( 92795 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:00AM (#2418857) Homepage
    It did not stop terrorists from blowing two buildings into pieces.

    You get passport here at 16 and you have to show it to patrols (at least in Moscow), you have to provide its number when you buy or sell car, rent a hotel room, get hired, etc, etc.
  • by rsimmons ( 248005 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @11:33AM (#2420030) Homepage
    Linking driver's license data between states does not make for a national ID card. You are not required to get a driver's license, nor are you required to get a walker's ID. You are not required to get any sort of ID right now, and that's the way it should stay.
  • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) <> on Friday October 12, 2001 @03:32PM (#2421591) Homepage Journal
    Originally, when Social Security ID's were being created, Congress had to make a law against using it as a national ID system.
    If your card is old enough (mine isn't), it even has a notation on it that it isn't to be used for identification purposes. Your parents' cards would almost certainly be marked that way. Some time in the 70s or 80s, they quit putting that on there...probably to disabuse people of the notion that it would never be used as an ID.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton