My collection of rants and raves about technology, my kids and family, social/cultural phenomena, and inconsistencies in the media and politics.


The ID card of the Beast

I didn't really go looking, but I just happened upon several interesting stories involving RFID. Several stories were familiar (schools adoption RFID to take attendance, RFID to track cadavers), but the one that really got my attention was about the US House of Representatives passing a bill requiring all states to have an ID card, and for that ID card to have a machine readable component, such as mag stripe or RFID. This isn't just an email rumor, the full text of the bill is in Thomas, the online reference to all bills passed in Congress.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday a sweeping set of rules aimed at forcing states to issue all adults federally approved 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.


The Bush administration threw its weight behind the Real ID Act, which has been derided by some conservative and civil liberties groups as tantamount to a national ID card. The White House said in a statement this week that it "strongly supports House passage" of the bill.

This isn't exactly the mark of the beast (hand and forehead), but it's not hard to see how this could turn into a restriction on travel without this pseudo-national ID card. Once the technology is widely accepted, it could be used for other things. I don't want to fall into the slippery-slope fallacy, but I can't imagine why governments and corporations wouldn't want to start using this for commerce. From a practical point of view, it's an obvious progression. From a Christian point of view, keep watching, and keep oil in your lamp.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home