Senate Sneaks RFID Drivers License, Internet ID into Transportation Bill

Posted by Adrian Wyllie March 31, 2011 14 Comments 5859 views

By Adrian Wyllie – 1787 Network

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability on Wednesday approved an amendment to include “electronic authentication,” as well as “biometrics” to Florida Driver’s licenses. In addition, the amendment to SB 1150, which passed committee on a 12-0 vote, instructs the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to provide a security token that can be electronically authenticated through a personal computer.

This new amendment lays the groundwork for radio frequency identification (RFID) chips to be implanted into drivers’ licenses. In much the same way that merchandise in a warehouse includes RFID tags to track items through the distribution process, RFID tags on drivers’ licenses would give authorities an additional tool to track anyone carrying a drivers’ license within the reception range of an RFID reader.

The Real ID Act of 2005, implemented in Florida on January 1, 2010, has integrated the more expansive personal data set collected by drivers’ license issuing agencies in the participating states into a national database. 

In Florida, this database already includes biometrics in the form of computer facial recognition data, collected at the time one’s DHSMV photo is taken. Sheriffs’ departments in at least 22 Florida counties tap into the database as part of their facial recognition system, or FRnet, and feed real-time images from video cameras to instantly identify anyone whose face is in these cameras’ field of view.

This FRnet database, which is accessible to federal, state, and even local municipal agencies, also contains highly personal information, including scans of birth certificates, social security cards, marriage licenses, and other documents.

Also in the amendment is a provision for the DHSMV to provide a “security token that can be electronically authenticated through a personal computer.” It is unclear from the amendment whether the driver’s license itself would act as the token or a key fob/USB device would be issued.

The Obama Administration has recently pushed for the assignment of a single, unique authentication key for Internet users, which many are calling the “Internet driver’s license.” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and White House Cybersecurity czar Howard Schmidt met with computer industry leaders in January seeking input on how this new system would work. Locke confirmed that they in the process of drafting a “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace” and said that the Internet ID would likely come in the form of a “smart card.”

The stated goal of the Obama Administration strategy is to provide online consumers an easy way to securely access Internet retailers or financial services without having to remember multiple passwords, while reducing online fraud.

Schmidt brushed off the obvious government surveillance potential of this new technology by saying, “Let’s be clear: We’re not talking about a national ID card.”

But effectively, the Real ID Act has turned the individual states’ drivers’ licenses into a national ID card. Should this amendment to SB 1150 become law and be implemented, it would give federal, state and local government agencies the ability to easily and stealthily track all Floridians without warrant, in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Schmidt also used a similar claim to one used during the national health care debate, which was that participation would be voluntary. In Florida, that may mean that one would have to opt out of getting a driver’s license to avoid the additional governmental tracking systems.

The Real ID Act already specifies that beginning in 2013, Americans must have a Real ID compliant driver’s license or identification card in order to access government services or buildings. This includes the ability to pass through a TSA checkpoint at the airport or enter a federal courthouse.

Will we soon need a Real ID driver’s license to access the Internet or go to Wal-Mart? Given the White House’s recent plans, and the Florida Legislature’s willing compliance, it seems that it is only a matter of time.

About Adrian Wyllie

Adrian is the former Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida, founding partner of the 1787 Network and the 2014 Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Florida. He has over a decade of experience as an investigative reporter, and focuses on liberty causes, government corruption, and Constitutional violations. He is a third-generation Floridian, an entrepreneur, and served in the U.S. Army and Florida National Guard.

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There are 14 Comments

  1. Jack Gannon
    - April 2, 2011

    This well written article, and its intrusive subject, are great reasons to support the Libertarian Party of Florida, and Adrian Wyllie for its Chairman!!!

  2. - April 20, 2011

    Now we know why obammy and his crew visited Simi Valley

  3. David
    - May 1, 2011

    All one needs is a small leaded sleave to park the drivers license in while on the go. I am sure China is selling them already in Walmart. Called the Smart Wallet.

  4. D40
    - May 1, 2011

    Everyone must resist this tyranny. I got my new FL DL this last year. The first thing I did was to black out the bar codes with permanent marker. Then I destroyed the magnetic strip with high powered magnets and pin pricks. I laugh every time I need to present my ID and they can’t automatically read the magnetic strip or the bar codes and must enter the information manually. If I live long enough to renew again to a new DL with the RFID I’ll run the thing through a 10,000 volt Jacob’s ladder arc and fry the damn thing. Screw Big Brother!

  5. todd anders
    - May 1, 2011

    I usually hit my ID with a hammer a few times and place magnets on both sides overnight to stop the signals. I even filled in bar codes on some to make them unreadable

  6. - May 1, 2011

    This is total Tyranny at best our freedoms are lost at a dizzing pace the last few years. I say vote them all out in 2012. Big government should always be feared. I smell Hitler coming back.

  7. - May 1, 2011

    Where is Allen West my hero when I need him most?

  8. Lol
    - May 4, 2011

    So the FLORIDA Senate sneaks this in and they paste Obama’s picture in the article. Stay classy “Liberty” Underground. I guess liberty and freedom equate to the right to smear anyone you don’t agree with regardless of facts.

  9. James Moore
    - May 4, 2011

    When will we soon not be able to buy or sell without the mark of the beast?? <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  10. Alan Haggard
    - May 5, 2011

    Yet another reason I’m thankful I don’t live in Florida.

  11. Charles
    - May 5, 2011

    RFID tags don’t contain any more information than a bar codes, which probably don’t contain any more information than just your licence number. Also your typical RFID reader can only pick up tags from a few yards away when you have a clear shot, and it’s incredibly easy to block a signal. This isn’t some CSI shit where they can see a satellite images of you at all times because you have an RFID tag on you.

    The idea that people are posting about how upset they are over this breach of privacy from their Facebook accounts is laughable.

  12. - May 5, 2011

    Hey Kids :

    The Fla. Senate committee voted a bipartisan 12-0 for this amendment to a bill.
    Just when do bipartisan committees vote an amendment without objection with a few senators voting oppisition? Never ! Except when they have a chance to increase the size and power of the Nanny State and serve their corporate masters.

    This amendment if passed into law invites massive STATE ABUSE of citizens Fourth Amendment rights. And there will be abuse. Lots of it. The Patriot Act etc, et, al on the fed level. Citizens are well aware about the massive abuse of the unconstitutional laws passed by the Feds.I shutter to think what abuses we don’t know about.

    How can these senators be representatives of the people of Fla., when there is massive objection to these sorts of rotton fish laws, by the citizens ?

    Goverment in general does not represent the people any more. They represent corporate fascists and their marketing interests. Along with the Nanny State interest, by following ones every move.Gross Fourth Amendment violation. Albeit when has a politician let constitutionality hinder their votes and bogus and non representitive positions and laws. That the people abhor.

    Florida is my home, although I don’t live there now. I’ll be back !

    People if you don’t vote these power/ money creeps out of office, at least keep your wallet and cards inside a lead woven sleave.Then one can’t be tracked.

    A question for Liberty Underground and other sites that report on these horrid laws or potential laws. I do hope you publish my comments after I ask a question. After a brief prologe to it.

    The Federalist Papers were published under false names to protect the writers from the tryrannious pain of the Crown’s anger at their writings. Ditto for most Letters To The Editor and Commentaries in newspapers back then.

    Why do you ask for people who leave comments for their e-mail address and name? Those two questions stifle more and exuberant questions from readers. especially reticent ones.That information is not important or needed.

    When you see a garbage comment just don’t post it. Easy.

    What is needed are powerful comments and questions from readers.
    Please drop this reqiurement as our Founders did for the publication of ideas and challenge to the corrupt leaders.

    Otherwise opinion is stifled and a eletronic trail is left for FBI Fusion Centers and other agencies to noisey about. Places where their noses are not welcome !

    Also how can a site be ” Underground ” if a trail is left ?

  13. Joe
    - September 7, 2011

    Great Post

  14. MobileDude
    - October 29, 2011

    Excellent article. Thanks.

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