Eight years after 9/11, the public is still surrendering to fear and willing to sacrifice “essential liberty” for a little bit of security. Promulgated under the guise of protecting unsuspecting Hoosiers from identity theft, new Indiana BMV rules, which demand an expanded array of goodies to prove identity, will go into effect this January 1st.
The rules are a result of the “Real ID Act of 2005” when Congress, under the constant harping and fear-mongering of the Bush administration, implemented the Act to help ferret out terrorists hiding under our beds. The Act, at that time, established a deadline of May 11, 2008, for all 50 states to come into compliance with its mandates.
And, all 50 states filed for an extension of that deadline and were given until December 31, 2009, to comply. Interestingly, as of 2009, 23 states have passed resolutions in opposition to the Act, and, Janet Napolitano, Obama’s head of Homeland Security, is a harsh critic of the Act.
But, of course, Indiana’s legislature has fallen lockstep in line with the Act just as it did with the new voter registration requirements. Under the program called “SecureID”, beginning in 2010, Hoosiers will not be able to renew their license by simply bringing in an old one. The requirements are as follows:
- a passport or birth certificate to prove identity,
- two items to confirm the applicant’s address; a bill, a paycheck, or a voter ID card issued within 60 days of your visit to the license branch, and
- either their original Social Security card or a W-2 tax form.
Even those who follow the new rules will go home without a new card. Instead, state computers will check the info and photo and if there are no problems a card will be sent in the mail – a background check to get your driver’s license. How ridiculous. Your identity can’t be established with all the documents you are required to bring in? You need a background check?
The states that have opted for a “no-participation” resolution are perfectly free to do so; however, the federal government will make sure the citizens of those states are duly punished by refusing to allow them air travel, entrance into federal buildings, etc.
Indiana has already implemented a facial recognition system where applicants for new licenses or renewals must remove hats and glasses and not smile when having their photos taken. Hair must be drawn back away from the face. Must be that BMV employees can no longer be trusted with the earth-shattering mission of comparing the human face in front of them with the picture on the driver’s license.
Photo Credit: Government Technology
Remind anyone of Orwell’s prophetic novel “1984?” The Real ID Act of 2005 is nothing more than a march toward a national identification system which Congress has deceptively labeled as necessary to protect us from terrorism. Indiana has decpetively labled it as necessary to protect us from identity theft.
Privacy is an essential liberty, and we are fast losing – if we haven’t already – all aspects of our privacy. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”