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The K-Files


Welcome to this week's installment of The K-Files. Last week I took a break from paranormal news recapping for a special report on MySpace and the what it meant for media control. This week, I continue the change of pace with a special report on the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Ah yes, the REAL ID Act--the biggest law no one has even heard of. What will this controversial new law mean for RFID and privacy activists? And, most importantly, what can the average citizen expect when it is set to into practice in a little over 2 years? Read on to find out.

You'd better get ready, 'cause here come The K-Files...

:: Special Report ::

So whoís heard of the REAL ID Act of 2005? Because up until a few weeks ago, I sure as heck hadn't.

What if I were to tell you that in as little as 2 years, weíre all going to have to trade in our state-issued driverís licenses for what is essentially a national ID card? Sounds kind of sudden doesnít it? Youíd think we would have heard more about it on the news or in the paper. Yet here we are, coming up on the new lawís first anniversary in May.

For those unaware of the REAL ID Act (which Iím assuming is a majority of you), it was signed into law on May 11, 2005. Basically, it says that in two years (i.e. May 11, 2008) if a driverís license is to be used for identification purposes, it must meet a set of standards set forth by the Department of Homeland Security. These standards include such common identifiers like full name, signature, address, and a photograph, but the new law also states that they must all have some kind of unified, machine-readable technology. Although exactly what this technology will be hasnít been decided, the Department of Homeland Securityís vocal support for RFID (radio frequency identification) seems to almost guarantee what to expect.

But even more frightening is the sharing of state databases that the law will require. Frankly, I canít see the how linking state driver databases would help deter terrorism as expected. Considering no amount of identification could ever determine evil intent and that any terrorist determined enough will have a way to get his hands on a forgery, I don't see the point in such a system.

And I wonít even get into the possibilities for identity theft associated with a linked and centralized database. Talk about putting all of your eggs into one basket, though.

But you know what? All RFID and conspiracy theory aside, what really bothers me about the REAL ID Act (well, besides the fact that it pretty much passed into law without a second thought) is the more immediate effects it will have on the American citizen. I wonít claim to be some kind of economist, but the system that will need to be set up in order to issue the licenses and then manage the linking of databases must be huge. And I can only imagine the tax and fee increases that will be needed in order to pay for it. Considering Minnesota just remade our license last year, the whole thing seems a bit silly to me.

Even more bothersome than the financial burden this new law creates, and what I find the most frightening of all, is that the bureaucracy of the federal government is about the get a lot bigger. You want to talk about the downfall of western civilization, look no further than a stand in line, wait your turn, red tape, rules for the sake of having rules bureaucracy.

Even though the REAL ID Act of 2005 didnít receive much press when it was signed in last year, I think we can expect much more discussion when the time comes and itís up to the states to implement it. Until then, Iím going to do whatever I can to try and get this thing rejected. Because of it all goes through, we walk a slippery slope, indeed.

You can check out the exact wording of the law at the Library of Congress website Here.

:: Dead End ::


Well, that's all for this week. I trust you enjoyed your trip into this shadowy nether-realm known only as the K-Files.

For the latest updates on the world of Khyron, bookmark http://www.khyron.net/. With content updated regularly, you're sure to find your fix for all things entertaining and paranormal. As always, feel free to send any questions/comments/suggestions to KFiles@khyron.net.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next  K-Files, arriving sometime next week. Later.

~Khyron, 2006.


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