Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National ID push is back

Originally posted 06/15/2011 on lubbockonline.com

They're doing it again. Pushing for a national ID card. I've looked at the issue before and I'm sure I will again. It's an issue that won't go away. Recently a Ron Paul video was put up on youtube, though it's not dated beyond the upload date. On June 10th Bob Barr of the Atlanta Journal Constitution commented on the new push to use E-Verify to implement a defacto national ID based on another post at the Cato institute by Jim Harper. E-Verify is a national program designed to decrease hiring of illgal aliens. Participation is voluntary, but there is a push to make compliance mandatory for all employers. That would effectively create a cardless national ID system for workers.

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Epic has filed a brief with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and posted it at JDSupra opposing the expansion of E-Verify. It notes that despite legal limits imposed on E-Verify, the DHS refuses to limit it to employment records:

First, the SORN claims E-Verify data "may also be used for law enforcement," followed by specified examples in parentheses, "(to prevent fraud and misuse of E-Verify, and to prevent discrimination and identity theft)." 36 It is important to note that the agency fails explicitly to commit to these parenthetical examples as legal limitations. Second, the agency seeks unfettered power to distribute E-Verify records both to public and private parties.

Before E-Verify has been expanded, the DHS is already trying to expand the uses of it beyond the limits imposed by law. We cannot trust government agencies with our personal, identifying data. The risk of abuse is too great.