Schneier on REAL ID

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Some people are afraid to speak out against someone like Bruce Schneier, when he is talking about an area of expertise, like security.

I am not one of these people.

Read that page, and UnRealID, which echoes the same sentiments. Most of it is complete drivel. His points are largely irrelevant or inaccurate.

  • The bill says ID info must be machine-readable, making them more prone to identity theft.

    Problem is almost every state DL is already machine-readable, and there is no reason to suspect that private businesses will be more likely to get this information from me under REAL ID than they are now.

  • Eventually the cards could be required to have RFID.

    OK, complain about that when it happens. It is not in this bill.

  • The cards require actual addresses, no exceptions, not even for judges, police, or undercover cops.

    So a judge or cop doesn't give his ID out for scanning to anyone who doesn't need it. When was the last time anyone who wasn't a government official even LOOKED at your driver's license, let alone scanned it? Every once in awhile a store will look at it, but I wouldn't let them scan it. Just decline to give your ID to anyone to scan, unless they are official. Big deal.

    As to undercover cops ... are you RETARDED? What undercover cop is going to carry his actual ID on him? Undercover cops have always been able to get fake IDs, and that won't change.

  • The ID databases will be linked.

    Yes, the "linked database" boogeyman. The government can SPY on you (as if without this, they would be unable to do so just as easily).

    Of course it would make identity theft easier in theory with a single point of failure, but what the hell do I care, when I am in danger in fact from many multiple points of failure anyway?

  • The IDs cannot be given to illegal aliens, which means, um, our roads will be less safe.

    Uh, no, it won't. Most illegals can't or won't get them now, because they are afraid to, and most of the time they do get them it is because they lied about their identity to get them. And what's the alternative, to license illegal aliens, which encourages illegal immigration, and therefore creates more of an immigration problem, which is inherently a security problem?

He also links to previous pages wherein he basically makes an argument against identification, since it is not perfect, and therefore when we use it, we are trusting it, when we shouldn't. That's true, but what is the alternative? No IDs? No passports? No driver's licenses? Where does it end? He uses a broad argument to attack a specific instance, but this broad argument would also attack other instances in the same manner. Why check ID at military installations? How about random screening?

And then he calls all this is representative of living in a "police state," thereby showing exactly how he arrived at such uncharacteristically poor logic: he is emotional about the issue and unable to objectively evaluate it.

I am not in favor of REAL ID per se. I don't know enough about it, and have mixed feelings about national IDs, and required IDs. But normally sane people can't expect to convince too many people by abandoning their sanity.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on May 10, 2005 4:14 PM.

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