From the desk of Jim Babka, President of DownsizeDC.org...
How vs Why of Real ID
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security released 162 pages of proposed regulations for the Real ID Act. The bill was (and basically still is) slated to take effect by May, 2008.
There's going to be a ton of things to say about this topic, as well as more than one kind of action to take on it. Over the next couple of weeks we will break down the complex web of information into simple bite-sized chunks for you.
But the most important thing you'll need to know today is that there are bills now offered in both the Senate and the House to repeal (not delay) the implementation of the Real ID Act. They are gathering co-sponsors and steam.
But this is going to be a tough battle. We'll need to do everything we can to fight it effectively.
* That means, we're asking you to please use our convenient Congressional Contact System to send a message of support for the bills to repeal (not delay) the implementation of Real ID.
* It also means that we need to continue making progress on monthly pledges to stay in this fight.
The thesis of today's message is that surveillance is not necessarily security, and that as a technique for crime and terrorism protection, surveillance is nowhere near as important as motivation.
Let's start with a hypothetical scenario.
You've seen it in the movies: A determined and experienced criminal learns that a very valuable art exhibit is coming to town, but to get in and see it, one must produce a valid ID, pass through checkpoints, and view it, while lasers, cameras, and security agents keep guard. Yet the thief succeeds. He gets the highly prized art.
Now, the movie entertains us by focusing on the "how" -- showing us what clever method the thief employed to secure his prize. Inevitably, we learn that the burglar exploited some vulnerability of the security system.
As you leave the theater, you might get the impression that sprinkling additional technology or resources (money) on the problem might've stopped the master thief -- the exhibiting museum could've foiled his plan.
Many things in life are determined by the quality of questions we ask. Protecting valuable art, or ourselves from terrorist attackers is no different. The right question is important.
The better question to ask if one is seeking to _prevent_ crime is "why" -- "What's the motivation for doing it?"
For the art thief, perhaps you can make the steal more expensive than it's worth.
But what if someone is willing to lose their life in the process of killing others -- in the belief that their cause is eminently just and that they will receive eternal reward? What then? Is more surveillance really going to work? Is sprinkling technology on the problem really going to protect us?...
Read the full DownsizeDC Blog entry by clicking on the title link of this post. This crappy program has been stalled for another year thanks to your efforts, but we need to keep the pressure on. Put this sick plan out of its misery ASAP! ;-)
ID: a Real Bad Idea!