As of April 2, 2008, all 50 states have either applied for extensions of the original May 11, 2008 compliance deadline or received unsolicited extensions, meaning that the REAL ID Act will not become an issue at federal facilities and airports until December 31, 2009…

What am I talking about? Did you know about this? May 11th of next month? I looked into this craziness, and according to good old Wiki, by the people for the people, ;) ,

The REAL ID Act of 2005 is U.S. federal law which imposes certain security, authentication and issuance procedures standards for the state driver’s licenses and state ID cards, in order for them to be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes”, as defined by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Currently, the Secretary of Homeland Security has defined “official purposes” as presenting state driver’s licenses and id cards for boarding commercially operated airline flights, entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants. The Act is Division B of an act of the United States Congress titled Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005.

The Real ID Act implements the following:

  • Establishing new national standards for state-issued driver licenses and non-driver identification cards;
  • Waiving laws that interfere with construction of physical barriers at the borders;
  • Updating and tightening the laws on application for asylum and deportation of aliens for terrorist activity;
  • Introducing rules covering “delivery bonds” (rather like bail bonds but for aliens who have been released pending hearings);
  • Funding some reports and pilot projects related to border security; and
  • Changing visa limits for temporary workers, nurses, and Australian citizens.

In the left hand corner ladies and gentleman we have, Real Nightmare Dot Org and in the right hand corner we have Homeland Security. Let the fight begin…

According to Real Nightmare Dot Org

The Real ID Act is a law signed by President Bush in May 2005, which, if it is accepted by and carried out by the states, would turn state driver’s licenses into a genuine national identity card and impose numerous new burdens on taxpayers, citizens, immigrants, and state governments.

Real ID would force the states to standardize driver’s licenses cards across the nation into a single national identity card and database. It does this by stipulating that state driver’s licenses and state ID cards will not be accepted for “federal purposes” – including boarding an aircraft or entering a federal facility – unless they meet all of the law’s numerous conditions, which include:

  • Standardized data elements and security features on the IDs
  • A “machine readable zone” that will allow for the easy capture of all the data on the ID by stores or anyone else with a reader
  • The construction of a 50-state, interlinked database making all the information in each person’s file available to all the other states and to the federal government

A requirement that states verify the “issuance, validity and completeness” of every document presented at motor vehicles agencies (usually called “DMVs”) as part of an application for a Real ID card.

Simply put, Real ID would offer significant costs and disadvantages without any corresponding advantages:

  • By definitively turning driver’s licenses into a form of national identity documents, Real ID would have a tremendously destructive impact on privacy.
  • The Act would impose significant administrative burdens and expenses on state governments, and would mean higher fees, longer lines, repeat visits to the DMV, and bureaucratic nightmares for individuals.
  • Yet, it would not be effective at increasing security against terrorism or bring any other benefits which would justify those costs.

For more FAQs go to http://www.realnightmare.org/about/2/.

Then according to The Department of Homeland Security,

REAL ID is a nationwide effort intended to prevent terrorism, reduce fraud, and improve the reliability and accuracy of identification documents that State governments issue.

The REAL ID Act requires that a REAL ID driver’s license be used for “official purposes,” as defined by DHS. In the proposed rule, DHS is proposing to limit the official purposes of a REAL ID license to those listed by Congress in the law: accessing a Federal facility; boarding Federally-regulated commercial aircraft; and entering nuclear power plants. DHS may consider expanding these official purposes through future rulemakings to maximize the security benefits of REAL ID.

Continuing to protect the privacy of license holders was a key consideration for DHS in the development of this NPRM [A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is filed with the Secretary of State when DHS proposes to adopt, amend or repeal a rule. ], which contains a detailed analysis of the three key privacy issues posed by the Act: (1) the connectivity of the databases; (2) the protection of the personal information stored in the State databases; and (3) the protection of the personal information stored on machine readable technology on the DL/IDs. We invite comments on whether the steps outlined within the NPRM are appropriate and adequate.

I am sure they do…for more of DHS take on the REAL ID go here and for those who are truly brave and want to know it all, Minimum Standards for Drivers Licenses and Identification Cards Acceptable by Federal Agencies for Official Purposes: Final Rule.

I’ll keep my opinion to myself on this one and just leave you with this…

;)

-Cara

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If you like the idea of being welcome at the places where your food is produced, don’t count on your not-so-local poultry grower allowing you, the consumer, to view his massive sheds of monocultured birds any time soon. Without natural immunities that could otherwise be acquired by outdoor life, his flocks need to be protected from the slightest infection. When operators are even slightly lax in applying rigorous measures of “biosecurity,” a case of the sniffles in one bird can escalate to a mass outbreak, forcing a giant cull involving millions of birds.

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