Senate Hearings Highlight Need to Reverse Course on Real ID

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October 31, 2007 —  In response to today’s New York Senate hearing on “Protecting Our State’s Security,” which will include a discussion on Governor Spitzer’s recent decision to submit to the Real ID Act, the following can be attributed to Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union:

“Governor Spitzer should reverse course and reject the implementation of the Real ID Act in New York State. The State Senate should pass Res. No. J2096, which is an anti-Real ID Act resolution currently co-sponsored by 22 senators.

Real ID – a national ID card – will facilitate the tracking of Americans’ movements. What starts as a swipe of the card to board an airplane or enter a federal building, which the Real ID Act already demands, could easily expand into requirements to scan the card to pick up your child from school or to attend a baseball game. Each swipe of the card will leave a digital fingerprint that can be centralized into one national database to track Americans’ activities. Coming from the administration that brought us the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping, the possibilities are endless, as is the potential for abuse.

New York does not have to submit to President Bush’s Real ID Act. In fact, the Real ID Act contains so many threats to our privacy, security and pocketbooks that 17 states have already passed legislation critical of it.

The United States has long rejected a national ID card. Governor Spitzer must do the same and refrain from implementing the Real ID Act in New York.”