Monitoring Americans by I.D. and Federal Database

Two of the principal mechanisms by which the rulers of 20th century police states maintained their control over their people were the File and the Internal Passport. The government kept a cumulative file (called the Dangan in Communist China) on every individual's performance and attitudes from school years through adult employment, and the internal passport was an identification that had to be presented to authorities for permission to travel within the country, even a few miles away from home or job.

These two methods of personal surveillance -- efficient watchdogs that prevented any emergence of freedom -- required an army of bureaucrats fortified by a Gestapo, a Stasi or a KGB, plus the ability to commandeer an unlimited supply of paper and file folders. Technology has now made the task of building personal files on every citizen, and tracking our actions and movements, just as easy as logging onto the Internet.

Unknown to most Americans, coordinated plans are well underway to give the Federal Government the power to input personal information on all Americans onto a government database. The computer will record our school, business, medical, financial, and personal activities, and track our movements as we travel about the United States.

These plans were authorized by the so-called conservative Congress and are eagerly implemented and expanded by the Clinton Administration liberals. They plan to force all Americans to carry an I.D. card linked to a federal database, without which we will not be able to drive a car, get a job, board a plane, enter a hospital emergency room or school, have a bank account, cash a check, buy a gun, or have access to government benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.

Of course, all that information on a government database means the end of privacy as we know it. Daily actions we all take for granted will henceforth be recorded, monitored, tracked, and contingent on showing The Card.

Legislative authority for these dramatic changes in what we endearingly call the American way of life was buried in several bills passed by Republicans and signed by Clinton, including the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (especially Section 656(b)), the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reform Act (known as Welfare reform), the 1998 Child Support Performance and Incentive Act (known as Deadbeat Dads), and the 1993 Brady Bill.

The Immigration Act prohibits the use of state driver's licenses after Oct. 1, 2000 unless they contain Social Security numbers as the unique numeric identifier "that can be read visually or by electronic means." The act requires all driver's licenses to conform to regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Transportation.

The Immigration Act orders the development of a smart card that "shall employ technologies that provide security features, such as magnetic stripes, holograms, and integrated circuits." This magnetic stripe is expected soon to contain a digitized fingerprint, retina scan, voice print, and other biometric identifiers, and it will leave an electronic trail every time you use it.

It's significant that the law orders "consultation" with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. AAMVA has long urged using driver's licenses, with Social Security numbers and digital fingerprinting, as a de facto national ID card that would enable the government to track everyone's movements throughout North America.

The welfare reform act requires that, in order to receive federal welfare funds, states must collect Social Security numbers from "commercial driver's license" applicants. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997, under the pretense of making "technical corrections" to the welfare act, deleted the word "commercial," thereby applying the requirement to all driver's license applicants.

The Deadbeat Dads act established a federal "instant check" New Hires Directory. Employers are now required to "screen" every new employee or job applicant against the new government database of child support order obligees.

Under the Brady Act, starting Dec. 1, no one will be allowed to buy a gun without an "instant background check" with various government databases.

The New Jersey Legislature gave up last week trying to pass Governor Christine Whitman's new driver's license called "Access New Jersey" containing a computer chip capable of storing large amounts of personal data. The bill was derailed by a left-right coalition complaining that Big Mother was trying to play the role of Big Brother.

On June 17, the Department of Transportation announced proposed regulations for the Immigration Act that will start the process of requiring all drivers' licenses to display a Social Security number by Oct. 1, 2000. These regulations will overturn the Privacy Act, which provides that "It shall be unlawful for any Federal, State or local government agency to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual's refusal to disclose his Social Security account number."

If you don't want the Federal Government to convert driver's licenses into a national I.D. card that will allow Big Brother to build a computerized dossier on every American, rush your comments by August 3 to Docket Management, Room PL-401, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nassif Building, 400 Seventh St., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590 marked Docket No. NHTSA-98-3945.

Article written by Phyllis Schlafly, July 15, 1998

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark of his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. [Revelation 13:16-17]

More from Phyllis Schlafly
Liberty vs. Totalitarianism, Clinton-Style ,The Phyllis Schlafly Report, July 1998

Congress's Secret Plans to Get Our Medical Records, Phyllis Schlafly August 19, 1998 column

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