US approves 'machine readable' Federal ID cards
February 11, 2005
Zapping through legislation on ideas that have been bouncing around UK political debate for years, the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday approved a set of rules aimed at forcing states to issue all adults federally approved, machine readable (possibly RFID-enabled) electronic ID cards, including driver's licenses:
Under the rules, federal employees would reject licenses or identity cards that don't comply, which could curb Americans' access to airplanes, trains, national parks, federal courthouses and other areas controlled by the federal government. The bill was approved by a 261-161 vote.Now, I'm curious what Bruce Schneier and wtwu have to say about this move!
The measure, called the Real ID Act, says that driver's licenses and other ID cards must include a digital photograph, anticounterfeiting features and undefined "machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data elements" that could include a magnetic strip or RFID tag. The Department of Homeland Security would be charged with drafting the details of the regulation.
Republican politicians argued that the new rules were necessary to thwart terrorists, saying that four of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers possessed valid state-issued driver's licenses. "When I get on an airplane and someone shows ID, I'd like to be sure they are who they say they are," said Rep. Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican, during a floor debate that started Wednesday.
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Posted by andersja