Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A more coherent analysis of REAL ID

Bruce Schneier wrote in January 2007 and as usual spawned a lively debate in the comments about the probable costs, possible benefits, and possible risks posed by the REAL ID legislation.

I'm in agreement with Bruce that the benefits of the system probably are not equal to the cost given the nature of the current failures of the system. There will always be a weak link in establishing the identity of someone prior to issuing a trusted ID. Short of tagging someone at birth with an embedded/implanted ID, there is never a way to know for certain that someone is who they say they are. And even in such an authoritarian, futuristic state, as Bruce points out, all it does is raise the cost of forgery.

And of course, the thought of it clashes directly with the independent, liberty oriented culture of which I am a part.

Time has a piece that expands a bit on the NPR audio program I linked to a few days ago.