The end of liberty

Marty Halvorson martyh@nmcourts.com
Wed, 03 Oct 2001 08:44:41 -0600


At 10/1/01  07:23 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:
>A
>first-pass screen for this is to require multiple picture IDs;  vital 
>information
>and so forth can then be checked.  There's usually identifying information 
>on the
>card that can be checked against appearance, too, besides the fact that 
>there's a
>picture.  The chances of anybody being able to get several pieces of 
>authentic but
>false identification are pretty slim --- unless they're well-funded and
>well-connected. (Which AFAWK these guys were.)

I disagree.  It's quite easy to get several pieces of authentic identification.

If you've ever lost your wallet or purse with everything in it, you'd 
understand.  When mine was stolen, I went to the DMV with a copy of my 
birth certificate in hand and received a new drivers license.  New credit 
cards were pretty easy also.  A phone call to the credit card company and 
they sent the card to my existing address.

Getting the certified copy of my birth certificate involved a letter to the 
Ramsey County Clerk.  My birth certificate was returned.

Replacing my social security card was just as easy, I went to the SS 
office, filled out a form, and they mailed my social security card to the 
address on the form.

Thus, to obtain a fraudulent ID, had I so desired, could have been 
accomplished with nothing more than a letter to a clerk and filling out a 
form.  From that, it's possible to obtain a drivers license.  With a 
drivers license, it's very easy to obtain any other form of ID you desire.

>We
>need to do a better job, sure;  and requiring multiple forms of ID + 
>training and
>motivation (that latter's already taken care of by virtue of 911) for security
>agents goes a long, long way.  Biometrics would be better, sure, but the 
>question
>is whether the incremental improvement over what's possible -w- normal ID
>technology and a little diligence is worth the cost.

My original question was about the need that you seemed to perceive for a 
national ID card.  Today, in most states, the DMV operates as the source 
for ID cards acceptable for nearly everything.  If we truly need to do a 
better job, is it necessary to change the default ID everyone carries (a 
state issued drivers license or ID card), to an ID issued by a national 
organization?  And it that's true, should the national ID card contain 
biometric information?

Another example of creating an identity from scratch happens thousands of 
times every day.  My daughter recently obtained her first drivers 
license.  Getting it was ridiculously simple.  We sent to the DMV, she 
showed her birth certificate, told them her social security number and 
received her drivers license.

Peace,

Marty Halvorson
New Mexico Supreme Court
Administrative Office of the Court
Judicial Information Division
martyh@nmcourts.com
(505) 476-6916