UPDATE: Over sixty organizations are now part of the Anti-National REAL ID public campaign. Click here to see who has joined.
Over Forty Groups Announce National REAL ID Public Campaign
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, 45 organizations representing transpartisan, nonpartisan, privacy, consumer, civil liberty, civil rights, and immigrant organizations have joined to launch a national campaign to solicit public comments to stop the nation's first national ID system: REAL ID.
The groups joining in the anti-REAL ID campaign are concerned about the increased threat of counterfeiting and identity theft, lack of security to protect against unauthorized access to the document's machine readable content, increased cost to taxpayers, diverting of state funds intended for homeland security, increased costs for obtaining a license or state issued ID card, and because the REAL ID would create a false belief that it is secure and unforgeable.
This effort builds on the momentum that is signaling broad opposition to the REAL ID in the states. Montana has become the fifth state, following Maine, Idaho, Arkansas, and Washington, to prohibit cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security in implementing the REAL ID national identification system.
Under the Act, states and federal government would share access to a vast national database that could include images of birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce papers, court ordered separations, medical records, and detailed information on the name, date of birth, race, religion, ethnicity, gender, address, telephone, e-mail address, Social Security Number for more than 240 million with no requirements or controls on how this database might be used. Many may not have the documents required to obtain a REAL ID, or they may face added requirements base on arbitrary and capricious decisions made by DMV employees.
The draft regulations to implement the REAL ID Act are open for comment until 5 p.m. EST on May 8, 2007. To take action and submit comments against the fundamentally flawed national identification scheme, under Docket No. 2006-0030-0001.
Online: Through the public submission portal at: http://www.regulations.gov
Or use one of the more user-friendly sites found at the following web addresses:
Electronic Frontier Foundation portal
Privacy Activism portal
Fax Comments to the Department of Homeland Security through these sites:
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Or send a letter to the agency. Fax: 1-866-466-5370.
Department of Homeland Security
Attn: NAC 1-12037
Washington, DC 20528
All comments must be received by until 5:00 PM EST on May 8, 2007.
Visit the Stop REAL ID Campaign site: http://www.privacycoalition.org/stoprealid
List of all of the Groups Supporting this Campaign:
- American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations
- American Library Association
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
- "There are serious privacy and security issues with the REAL ID Act," said Loriene Roy, ALA President-Elect. "ALA has expressed deep concern about standardized machine-readable driver's licenses and national identification cards because of the potential privacy implications for library users, as well as the increased potential for identity theft for all individuals."
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Association of American Physicians & Surgeons
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Center for Digital Democracy
Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
Citizen Outreach Project
Citizens Against Government Waste
- Carol Khawly, Director of Legal Advocacy at ADC, states that "as a community, we fear that the REAL ID card will be used by different government agencies as well as private parties to profile individuals who look foreign or who have a foreign name."
Coalition Against Prosecutorial Abuse
Computing Professionals for Social Responsibility
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Privacy Information Center
- "REAL ID raises the specter of George Orwell's 1984 the government controlling a central database of personal information, which could be used to monitor the comings and going of American citizens," said CAGW President Tom Schatz.
Fairfax County Privacy Council
Give Me Back My Rights Coalition
Government Accountability Project
Gun Owners of America
Immigrant Workers Union
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of La Raza
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Immigration Law Center
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Patient Privacy Rights Foundation
People for the American Way
- "Make no mistake, this is a national identification system that will affect your everyday life," said Melissa Ngo, Director of EPIC's Identification and Surveillance Project. "Critics of the REAL ID scheme are called anti-security, but it is not anti-security to reject a national identification system that will harm our national security and make it easier for criminals to pretend to be law-abiding Americans."
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Republican Liberty Caucus
Rutherford Institute, The
The Arc of the United States United Cerebral Palsy
The Multiracial Activist
US Bill of Rights Foundation
Virginia Citizens Defense League
Virginia Gun Owners Coalition
World Privacy Forum
- "The breadth and diversity of the opposition is a real testimony to how harmful Real ID is to so many different communities," said Deborah Pierce, Executive Director of PrivacyActivism.org and one of the founders of the Stop Real ID Now! activism campaign. "By getting people and groups who are usually excluded from the debate involved at the grassroots level, we can stop Real ID."
- "The Real ID Act of 2005 turns our state driver's licenses into a national ID card, costs over $20 billion dollars, infringes privacy, and imposes major burdens on taxpayers, anybody renewing a driver's license, seniors, immigrants, transgender people, and state governments - while doing nothing to protect against terrorism," said privacy activist Jon Pincus, one of the founders of the Stop Real ID Now! activism campaign. "This commenting process is a great chance for the American people to tell DHS and Congress the Real ID Act is a bad law that needs to be repealed."
More Groups Join Anti-National ID Campaign:
- America's Right to Privacy
- Arizona Citizens Defense League
- Asian American Justice Center
- Artist Activism Network
- Constitution Party of North Carolina
- Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN)
- Consumer Federation of California
- Center for Democracy & Technology
- The Loyal Nine
- Oklahoma Defense of Freedom Project
- South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow
- Young Democrats of America