Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Because RealID Isn't Good Enough

Apparently we need not one, but two national ID cards. Illinois Reps. Mark Kirk and Peter Roskam (may they not get re-elected in November) are introducing legislation that would mandate that Social Security cards have “a photograph and fingerprint, as well as a computer chip, bar code and magnetic strip.” [link to,0,471611.story no longer works]

The cards would be modeled after the Common Access Card issued by the Department of Defense, mostly to active military reserve members and their dependents, said U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), a sponsor of the bill. Current Social Security cards have limited security features and have no photo or biometric data, he said.

Perhaps Mr Kirk, should refresh his memory on the purpose of Social Security cards. There’s a reason that they prominently say “FOR SOCIAL SECURITY PURPOSES * NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION” across the front of them.,
“One of the ways that modern criminals use to attack … is by falsifying or counterfeiting Social Security cards,” Kirk said. “We think that a Social Security card should be hard to forge [and] that it should also make it easy to catch an identity-theft crime.”

This sounds all well and good but it’s just patently false. This is actually an attack on illegal immigration. The only main people are asked to show Social Security cards is for jobs and the main market for falsified or forged is for illegal immigrants to get jobs. Identity thieves don’t forge social security cards, all they need is the number itself. Shame on the Tribune for not digging deeper.
[Image from the above linked Tribune article]

One comment on "Because RealID Isn't Good Enough"

  • Ah, but you see, the card clearly mentions the words “social” — which implies the sharing of said information — and “security,” which obviously implies that it’s, well, secure.
    You don’t work in gubbermint, do ya?

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