Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Coming Soon: National ID Cards?

Filed under
Security

Driver's licenses will become national ID cards--and Americans will be at greater risk of identity theft--under a new federal law that passed without significant congressional debate, critics charge.

The Real ID Act will require that states verify every license applicant's identity and residency status, and that they store addresses, names, and driving records in a database that every other state can access. It also mandates anticounterfeiting features for the licenses and a "common machine readable technology." In three years, licenses that don't meet the standards won't be accepted as identification for boarding an airplane, opening a bank account, or satisfying any other federally regulated use.

The law's sponsor, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) said that the law "seeks to prevent another 9/11-type terrorist attack by disrupting terrorist travel." Opponents contend that the act is primarily meant to prevent people who illegally immigrate to the United States from getting licenses.

When he introduced the bill at a press conference earlier this year, Sensenbrenner referred to a part of the report from the September 11 Commission that read, "Members of al-Qaida clearly valued freedom of movement as critical to their ability to plan and carry out the attacks prior to September 11th.

He said that his proposed legislation would curtail such movement and would tighten the rules for political asylum. In response to questions from reporters, he also suggested that the law was intended to "get a handle on illegal aliens in the United States."

he controversy surrounding the new law relates to the way it was passed as much as to what it does. Because it passed as an amendment to an emergency spending bill providing funding for American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Real ID Act did not come up for a vote on its own--or for full debate--in Congress.

"This really is a national identification card for the United States of America for the first time in our history," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) in the Senate the day before the spending bill passed. "We have never done this before, and we should not be doing it without a full debate."

Alexander and 11 other senators, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) last month asking him to block the amendment.

Though Alexander strongly opposed passing the Real ID Act without debate, he said he was "reluctantly" in favor of a national ID in the wake of September 11. Other observers remain deeply concerned by the prospect.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Kernel Space: Linux, Graphics

  • Linux kernel bug delivers corrupt TCP/IP data to Mesos, Kubernetes, Docker containers
    The Linux Kernel has a bug that causes containers that use veth devices for network routing (such as Docker on IPv6, Kubernetes, Google Container Engine, and Mesos) to not check TCP checksums. This results in applications incorrectly receiving corrupt data in a number of situations, such as with bad networking hardware. The bug dates back at least three years and is present in kernels as far back as we’ve tested. Our patch has been reviewed and accepted into the kernel, and is currently being backported to -stable releases back to 3.14 in different distributions (such as Suse, and Canonical). If you use containers in your setup, I recommend you apply this patch or deploy a kernel with this patch when it becomes available. Note: Docker’s default NAT networking is not affected and, in practice, Google Container Engine is likely protected from hardware errors by its virtualized network.
  • Performance problems
    Just over a year ago I implemented an optimization to the SPI core code in Linux that avoids some needless context switches to a worker thread in the main data path that most clients use. This was really nice, it was simple to do but saved a bunch of work for most drivers using SPI and made things noticeably faster. The code got merged in v4.0 and that was that, I kept on kicking a few more ideas for optimizations in this area around but that was that until the past month.
  • Compute Shader Code Begins Landing For Gallium3D
    Samuel Pitoiset began pushing his Gallium3D Mesa state tracker changes this morning for supporting compute shaders via the GL_ARB_compute_shader extension. Before getting too excited, the hardware drivers haven't yet implemented the support. It was back in December that core Mesa received its treatment for compute shader support and came with Intel's i965 driver implementing CS.
  • Libav Finally Lands VDPAU Support For Accelerated HEVC Decoding
    While FFmpeg has offered hardware-accelerated HEVC decoding using NVIDIA's VDPAU API since last summer, this support for the FFmpeg-forked libav landed just today. In June was when FFmpeg added support to its libavcodec for handling HEVC/H.265 video decoding via NVIDIA's Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix interface. Around that same time, developer Philip Langdale who had done the FFmpeg patch, also submitted the patch for Libav for decoding HEVC content through VDPAU where supported.

Unixstickers, Linux goes to Washington, Why Linux?

  • Unixstickers sent me a package!
    There's an old, popular saying, beware geeks bearing gifts. But in this case, I was pleased to see an email in my inbox, from unixstickers.com, asking me if I was interested in reviewing their products. I said ye, and a quick few days later, there was a surprise courier-delivered envelope waiting for me in the post. Coincidentally - or not - the whole thing happened close enough to the 2015 end-of-the-year holidays to classify as poetic justice. On a slightly more serious note, Unixstickers is a company shipping T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters, pins, and stickers to UNIX and Linux aficionados worldwide. Having been identified one and acquired on the company's PR radar, I am now doing a first-of-a-kind Dedoimedo non-technical technical review of merchandise related to our favorite software. So not sure how it's gonna work out, but let's see.
  • Linux goes to Washington: How the White House/Linux Foundation collaboration will work
    No doubt by now you've heard about the Obama Administration's newly announced Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP). You can read more about it on CIO.com here and here. But what you may not know is that the White House is actively working with the Linux and open source community for CNAP. In a blog post Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation said, “In the proposal, the White House announced collaboration with The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) to better secure Internet 'utilities' such as open-source software, protocols and standards.”
  • Why Linux?
    Linux may inspire you to think of coders hunched over their desks (that are littered with Mountain Dew cans) while looking at lines of codes, faintly lit by the yellow glow of old CRT monitors. Maybe Linux sounds like some kind of a wild cat and you have never heard the term before. Maybe you have use it every day. It is an operating system loved by a few and misrepresented to many.

RebeccaBlackOS 2016-02-08 Review. Why? Because it’s Friday.

These are the types of problems found in an independent distro build from scratch. I cannot understand how a system built on Debian could be this buggy and apparently have zero VM support which Debian comes with by default. I can take some solace in the fact that it was built by one person and that one person is a Rebecca Black fan but as far as a Linux Distribution is concerned there is not much here. Some could say “Well its not supposed to be taken as a serious Distribution.” True except it is listed and kept up with on DistroWatch therefor it should be held as a system ready distribution especially when it was not released as a beta or an RC. If this distribution is ever going to be considered a real platform it has a long way to go. I give it about as many thumbs down as the Rebecca Black Friday video. Read more

Android More Leftovers