National ID

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original page: No National ID!

From the Libertarian Party of NY -- Issues -- No National ID!

National ID Card Denounced by Libertarians

Jan 6, 2003: Congressman Ron Paul today denounced the national ID card provisions contained in the intelligence bill being voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives, while urging his colleagues to reject the bill and its new layers of needless bureaucracy.

"National ID cards are not proper in a free society," Paul stated. "This is America, not Soviet Russia. The federal government should never be allowed to demand papers from American citizens, and it certainly has no constitutional authority to do so." more info

National ID for flying?

Libertarian John Gilmore is testing the bounds the TSA is setting. That's not recommended for people who actually need to get somewhere on time!

Other people are discovering that it's possible to get on board a plane without ID if you submit to a much more thorough security screening. (The same kind of screening that some people get somewhat at random, designated by security code "SSSS" stamped on your ticket).

from the RISKS Journal, Vol 23, issue 50 Subject: U.S. air travel without government identification

The article in RISKS also describes a new Continental 'frequent flyer' ID program for those who want to avoid intense screening in exchange for biometric data. However, the incident with Ted Kennedy proves that it's tough dealing with bad data in security databases--even for a senator! That incident looks suspiciously like a hacking coup instead of the 'clerical error' it is attributed to. When we have the 'fast lane' for air travel, how much harder is it going to be to put people on THAT list who don't belong? Especially when their biometric data (stored as just a string of numbers, of course) is right there as "proof?"

There is pressure for all states to require a Social Security Number (SSN) for drivers licenses to make security processing easier, which is clearly against the original purpose for the SSN.

NYS DMV requires SSN for Drivers Licenses?

Well, actually they're saying it is possible that Bob Armstrong's license will be suspended. (Emphasis added.) And the signs at the DMV say it's not necessary for plain (non-suspended nor lapsed) renewals. It turns out, if they don't require you to provide the SSN for a drivers license transaction at the DMV, they still have yours on record. Bonnie Scott got the scoop from the Clinton County (NY) DMV manager (who has an impressive collection of all states' license plates). It's been required since 1995 in all DMV computer records, and the local DMV operators have the ability to override requiring it for an individual transaction, but cannot override a block on transactions (e.g., renewals) if the SSN isn't in the system: only the state DMV administrators can do that.

Here is the letter that was sent to Bob Armstrong about his license.

Where do we start? DMVs are a great place to petition. NY's petitioning period is early July until mid-August.

Take along Bob's letter or your own literature, show it to people as you're petitioning, as they sit and wait in the DMV, and let them know that the Libertarian Party is the one to stand up to it for them.

"Sign the petition, please, so our candidates can get on the ballot? Thank you!"

NYS reg change info

Funny, this last happened about four years ago.


New York Privacy Activist Denied Drivers License

For release June 27th, 1999 The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles would not renew Matt Seigel's drivers license last December because he refused to provide his Social Security Number on their form. Matt believes it to be illegal for them to require it, and wants to keep his privacy. The DMV are dragging their feet in his case--which is keeping him off the road.

Any public agency is required by the 1974 Privacy Act to disclose their legal basis for requesting your Social Security Number, but Matt has now been waiting over six months to hear what the DMV's justification is. He wonders if Ron Paul's proposed Privacy Protection Act will help him get his license back, and prevent others from going through what he has had to.

The Social Security Number was created to administer the social security system, and nothing else.

From a 1998 press release by Ron Paul (R-TX)

Background: In 1974, Congress passed a Privacy Act which was supposed to help individuals keep their Social Security Number private. It forbade government agencies from collecting Social Security Numbers, unless that agency had been doing so before January 1, 1975 to verify the identity of an individual.

Relevant text from the 1974 Privacy Act (will open in new window)

In 1996, though, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibilities Act was passed. For the first time, it started setting up a system where Social Security Numbers were to be used outside of the need to collect Social Security payments: now, their use was supposed to be extended just for immigration control and making sure that folks kept up with their child payments. It seemed harmless enough, and it passed.

When it passed, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibilities Act only required Social Security Numbers for commercial drivers licenses (affecting about 10 million Americans), but one year later, Congress was tacking an amendment onto the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (H.R.2015) that removed the word "commercial" from this bill that was now Public Law 104-193 (Title 42, U.S.C. 666). In other words, this amendment in the budget bill struck one word from the law and thereby added the 170 million non-commercial drivers in the United States to the list of people now required to provide an "identifying number," when requesting a license, and--with a change of 21 words--it now removes the right for states to substitute another unique number for the SSN. (Louisiana is challenging this statute... see below.)

[ deception.html More information about the gradual distortion of U.S.C. Sec. 666]

Another interpretation of the Immigration Control Act and U.S.C. Sec. 666

1999 News: On June 24th, Ron Paul (R-TX), supported by Maurice Hinchy (D-NY) and other representatives, introduced the Privacy Protection Act of 1999. It would repeal the sections of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibilities Act that set the national ID in place.

Matt Seigel is willing to carry his his case forward, and Libertarian lawyer Dan Conti has agreed to represent him in a lawsuit against the New York State DMV. They have filed an "Article 78" which is a formal request for an answer from the state. With other privacy advocates, the Libertarian Party hopes to make a stand against U.S.C. Sec. 666, an intrusion into our basic human right for privacy.

What's the problem with everybody knowing my Social Security Number, anyway?

There are many reasons people might not want to provide a Social Security Number. Some people, such as ministers, have previously been allowed to opt out of Social Security, but as of October 1, 2000, they would need one if they wanted to drive. Other people object to the assignation of numbers to people on religious grounds, and/or to the photos that are also now required under this same law. Previously, the first amendment had been held to protect the religious against laws like this that violate their beliefs, but lawmakers have made no such exception for U.S.C. 666. In fact, Christian families who do not want to number their children for the governement are now discriminated against on their tax returns, since the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 eliminated he federal child tax credit for children without Social Security Numbers. In 2000, when Sec. 666 goes into effect, will they have to give up their drivers licenses?

[ More about the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997]

Chronicles 21:1-14, which some Christians believe prohibit them from obtaining SSNs

Revelations 13:15-17, which describes a mark "so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark"

Privacy groups are also concerned. Social Security was originally enacted as a voluntary insurance scheme to prevent widespread poverty among the elderly, but little by little, the number has been used to catalogue all aspects of an American's life: from their school and medical records, to bank accounts and income tax statements, and now, it seems, anybody wishing to drive a car.

"There is no satisfactory condition under which Social Security Numbers may be required as a condition for travel." --Scott McDonald, a grass-roots privacy activist

The more companies and government agencies that index your personal info by Social Security Number, the easier it is in this new information age for others to find out about you--as incidents in 2005, 6 years after this page was originally written, are proving--and possibly steal your identity, harm your credit rating, or give you a criminal record. When your photo, height, weight, eye and hair color are all conveniently indexed by Social Security Number, and available to any person who can get a job at the DMV, your privacy is invaded a hundredfold more than before. Eventually, every police department in the nation will be able to reference your photo and arrest record as easily as the phone company can call up your bill when you call them. And every computer cracker will have their choice of places to go to access your private info, even more so than today.

Unless action is taken now, the checkout clerk will scan and maybe even see your Social Security Number every time you buy a sixpack or a bottle of wine!

Help us draw attention to this issue!

Urge Congress to Defang the Matrix (LINK UPDATED 9/28/04) (The ACLU also outline more details of the database of information that will be created as a result.)

Then, write a letter to the editor. Let them know that you're not just a number.

Related links

Good, but doesn't go far enough:

In 1998, the Omnibus Appropriations Bill deliberately withheld funding for the provisioning of the National ID system

Better: Louisiana bans DMV from Requiring a SSN, but concerns remain over the provisions in the Immigration Act

Great: Anything from Ron Paul, e.g., Ron Paul's Privacy Protection Act of 1999 (press release)

More Info:

Grassroots Granny and the Washington State Citizens Against National ID, another Privacy Activist who opposes a National ID (LINK UPDATED 9/28/04)

Privacy Notice to be posted in places of employment

Washington Post article on the personal data clearinghouse