The National ID movement is now a reality.
Students of Bible prophecy recognize this as a possible fulfillment of the prophecy found in the book of Revelation which reveals that the antichrist will be able to track and control all financial transactions.
Scripture warns that NOBODY will be able to buy or sell anything unless he has the mark of the beast.
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]
I’m not suggesting that National ID cards might be the mark of the beast. What I am saying is current law puts the government in a position to inappropriately monitor the movements and transactions of every citizen and a national ID scheme would be necessary infrastructure for the antichrist to enforce his mark of the beast.
Real ID Act
Using the war on terrorism as an excuse to monitor all Americans, the “Real ID Act” passed by Congress in 2005. Supported by President Bush and Republican politicians enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” It mandates that as of May 2008, all Americans will be required to obtain federally approved ID cards containing electronically encoded personal information. The personal information will include your name, sex, address, date of birth and a digital photograph at a minimum. The Real ID Act says that driver’s licenses and other ID cards must include a digital photograph, anti-counterfeiting features and undefined “machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data elements” that could include a magnetic strip or RFID tag.
All of this information will be kept in a national database.
Once implemented, American citizens without drivers’ licenses that conform to the federal standards find themselves essentially stripped of their ability to participate in life as we know it. Anyone without the card cannot get a job, open a bank account, apply for Social Security or Medicare, enter federal buildings, exercise their Second Amendment rights, or even take an airplane flight, unless they can produce a state-issued ID that conforms to the federal specifications.
Starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.
So, what’s the big deal?
Supporters of the Act argue that it is needed to stop illegal immigrants from obtaining drivers’ licenses and prevent terrorists from “hiding in the open.” Opponents argue the cards constitute a national ID card, gross violation of civil rights and platform for massive identity theft.
In short, we are looking at a database that allows the federal government to track your every move, finances, spending activities, etc.
Before this act was passed, the federal government had no method for tracking citizens within the United States. If you fly to Las Vegas for a week, the government could not track you without obtaining a warrant based on a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. The “Real ID Act” potentially kills the advertising slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
The Department of Homeland Security was charged with drafting the details of the regulation and will dictate the specifications for the cards and its implementation. At this point the cards are being issued through state DMV offices and incorporated into drivers’ licenses. To obtain the card, citizens will be required to produce a photo identification, proof of address, social security number card and possibly finger prints or retinal scans. The information will then be digitized and put into a federal database. The particularly scary element of this is that there are no limitations on what the can be required by the Department of Homeland Security. Can DNA samples be far behind?
The establishment of a “national” drivers’ license makes a mockery of the 10th amendment and the principles of federalism.
Provisions of the 2005 Real ID Act says that states would be required to link their DMV databases if they wished to receive federal funds. So rather than imposing a direct mandate on the states, the federal government is essentially blackmailing the states into complying with federal dictates. Some states will be required to change their laws to comply with the REAL ID Act.
Under the measure, your new drivers’ license (National ID) will take on an increasing role. And, if you don’t get it done, you can forget about flying on an airplane or boarding a train, opening a bank account, visiting national parks, federal courthouses and other areas controlled by the federal government.
As of 2017, the Department of Homeland Security website says, REAL ID does NOT apply to the following:
- Entering Federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
- Voting or registering to vote
- Applying for or receiving Federal benefits
- Being licensed by a state to drive
- Accessing Health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
- Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations
Of course, any of that can change at the whim of a government bureaucrat. Like most government programs, roll out is incremental. At first they are not too onerous, then little by little new provisions are introduced expanding the program beyond it’s original form.
Eventually, the situation will change. Perhaps more terrorist attacks in the U.S. or simply a more efficient way for government to interface with private business. Whatever the pretense… it will happen. And, when this National ID is fully implemented, American citizens without drivers’ licenses that conform to the federal standards will find themselves essentially stripped of their ability to participate in life as we know it. Americans cannot get a job, open a bank account, apply for Social Security or Medicare, exercise their Second Amendment rights, or even take an airplane flight, unless they can produce a state-issued ID that conforms to the federal specifications.
Starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.
Starting January 22, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight. To check whether your state is compliant or has an extension, click here. But, watch out. Just because your state may be compliant does not mean you’re in the clear. You still need to get one of the newer Real ID compliant licenses before Oct. 1, 2020. Check your local DMV to determine if your current drivers license is Real ID compliant. Passengers with driver’s licenses issued by a state that is compliant with REAL ID (or a state that has been issued an extension) will still be able to use their driver’s licenses or identification cards.
Dr. Richard Sobel, a research fellow at Harvard Law School said, “What ID numbers do is centralize power, and in a time when knowledge is power, then centralized information is centralized power. I think people have a gut sense that this is not a good idea.”
Few people today trust the IRS, NSA, VA, or any of those alphabet agencies with private information. National security agencies can barely keep a secret. The NSA is collecting all your phone calls, emails, and internet searches. Insurance companies are trading information and social media giants are selling your information. If they have your Social Security number, they can virtually look up the entire gamut of information about you.
This national id card system will just makes things easier for HMO’s to get together and deny claims. Or maybe the information gets back to people in the town you live. The banker finds out that you had a heart attack and they don’t want to give you a loan because of it. In 1996, a Medicaid clerk in Maryland tapped into a computerized database and sold patient names to an HMO for as little as 50 cents each. About one-third of all Fortune 500 companies review health information before making hiring decisions.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 which was intended to stem the tide of illegal aliens coming into our nation, 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 authorized the federal Department of Transportation to establish national requirements for birth certificates and drivers’ licenses… in essence, transforming state drivers licenses into national ID cards.
Further, the Immigration Act ordered 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.
AG and Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 6417)
As with virtually every other immigration “reform” effort we’ve seen over the past decade, this bill imposes a National ID Database scheme on American citizens. The database, known as “E-Verify,” is a massive intrusion into the privacy of every American. All of your personal information — including “biometric identifiers” — could be stored in this national database. E-Verify is being sold to citizens as a way to address illegal immigration, but it isn’t really about immigration. . .
. . . it’s about government power and giving the feds the ability to monitor and control law-abiding Americans like you.
And the ugly truth is, E-Verify will do nothing to fix our immigration issues. As we saw recently when news broke that Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts was tragically murdered by an illegal immigrant, the perpetrator simply stole someone else’s identity to get a job and remain in the U.S.
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 1998 Child Support Performance and Incentive Act (known as Deadbeat Dads), 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.
Phyllis Schlafly points out, “Allowing the government to collect and store personal medical records, and to track us as we move about in our daily lives, puts awesome power in the hands of government bureaucrats. It gives them the power to force us to conform to government health care policy, whether that means mandating that all children be immunized with an AIDS vaccine when it is put on the market, or mandating that expensive medical treatment must be withheld from seniors. Once all medical records are computerized with unique identifiers such as Social Security numbers, an instant check system will give all government agencies the power to deny basic services, including daycare, school, college, access to hospital emergency rooms, health insurance, a driver’s license, etc., to those who don’t conform to government health policies.”
While it is easy to give in to the rhetoric of “protecting” children or some other defenseless group, we must be cautious that in a rush to provide protection in the short-term, we do not do permanent damage to our national heritage of liberty. Benjamin Franklin once wrote, those who would give up essential liberty for temporary security deserves neither liberty nor security.
History shows that when government gains the power to monitor the actions of the people, it eventually uses that power to impose totalitarian controls on the populace.
Liberty vs. Totalitarianism, Clinton-Style ,The Phyllis Schlafly Report, July 1998
Big Brother Is Watching You!
Using Cybersecurity and Privacy as an excuse to identify users on the Internet, proposals are floating around to create a internet driver’s license to strengthen the communications infrastructure. The National Strategy for Trusted Identitites in Cyberspace is an example of government proposals. Helping individuals and organizations utilize secure, efficient, easy-to-use and interoperable identity credentials to access online services in a manner that promotes confidence, privacy, choice and innovation. The NSTIC calls for a vibrant Identity Ecosystem. State pilot tests are now going on in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and is only a matter of time until some sort of Internet ID program is rolled out across the country.
National Health Identity Card
Bill Clinton first proposed a national medical identification card in 1993 as part of his ill-fated plan to provide universal health insurance. After the failure of his health system plans, however, the government has incrementally been achieving his plan one piece at a time. Sometimes the bills are presented as “for the kids” (e.g., the 1997 Kidcare bill) and sometimes as “stop the fraud” (e.g., the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act known as Kennedy-Kassebaum), or “thwarting terrorists” (2005 Real ID Act), but the bottom line is to require computerized reporting and to gather more and more information about American citizens on government databases.
The “cradle to grave” aspect was originally started with the 1993 Comprehensive Child Immunization Act which authorized the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) “to establish state registry systems to monitor the immunization status of all children.” HHS has since sent millions of taxpayers’ money to the states to put children on state databases, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
Insurance companies and public health researchers, say the advantages to a national health identity card would outweigh the disadvantages. Doctors and hospitals would be able to monitor the health of patients as they switch from one insurance plan to the next. Patients would not have to wade through a cumbersome bureaucracy to obtain old records. Billing would be streamlined, saving money. A national disease database could be created, offering unlimited opportunities for scientific study.
One advantage mentioned is that if we had a streamlined system like what’s being proposed, it could decrease the cost of health care delivery or reduce the cost of insurance. Does anyone honestly believe they would receive that benefit? I contend that if a savings were realized, it would be the insurance companies that reaped greater profits and the patient would get nothing. Much of the high price of health care delivery now is caused by bureaucracy and greed of the insurance industry.
Privacy advocates and some doctors’ groups warn that sensitive health information might be linked to financial data or criminal records and that already tenuous privacy protections would be further weakened as existing managed care databases, for example, are linked. They say that trust in doctors, already eroded by managed care, would deteriorate further, with patients growing reluctant to share intimate details. And in a world where computer hackers can penetrate the Pentagon’s computer system, they ask, will anyone’s medical records be safe?
A.G. Breitenstein, director of the Health Law Institute, an advocacy group based in Boston, said: “That information will be irrevocably integrated into a cradle-to-grave medical record to which insurers, employers, government and law enforcement will have access is, to me, exactly what privacy is not. People are not going to feel comfortable going to the doctor, because now you are going to have a permanent record that will follow you around for the rest of your life that says you had syphilis, or depression, or an abortion or whatever else.”
Congress’s Secret Plans to Get Our Medical Records
Not for Identification Purposes (Just Kidding)
Freedom to Fascism
ID Cards – intergovernmental cooperation in worldwide implementation
Microsoft Exec Calls For ‘Driver’s License For The Internet’
NIST’s program office on the government’s online ID strategy
State pilots test ID management for online services
Announcing the DNA Control Grid
GeneWatch.org on The UK Police National DNA Database
How DNA Is Turning Us Into a Nation of Suspects