Friday, April 27, 2007

DHS evaluating chipped license proposal

Would encode personal information on driver's ID

Revelation 13:16-17
And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name...

Daniel 11:38a
"But instead he will honor a god of fortresses...

WORLDNETDAILY - By Jerome R. Corsi - April 19, 2007

The Department of Homeland Security is proceeding to evaluate Washington state's proposal for a driver's license "enhanced" with a radio frequency identification, or RFID, chip that would encode personal information.

As WND reported , in a recorded interview earlier this month, DHS spokeswoman Naomi Elmer told WND the Washington state proposal was being considered as an initiative under the Real ID Act - the controversial measure passed in 2005 that includes standardization of state driver's licenses. Nearly half the states have voted not to participate amid criticism it will result in a de facto national ID card.

DHS contacted WND, however, stating Elmer had made an error. Spokesman William "Ross" Knocke said the Washington application was being considered under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, not Real ID.

Knocke clarified that the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is a congressional mandate under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

DHS has issued WHTI requirements that as of Jan.23, U.S. citizens traveling by air between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda are now required to present a valid passport to enter or re-enter the U.S.

DHS plans to issue comparable WHTI requirements for land and sea travel to be implemented as early as Jan. 1, 2008.

"The goal of WHTI is to get the use of more secure travel documents for travelers throughout the Western Hemisphere," Knocke explained. "The state of Washington has put forward a very interesting proposal, and we're quite pleased to be working with them on this."

Knocke said Washington has "proposed to use increased security capabilities for their state-issued driver's licenses and to potentially use advanced technologies in a way that could provide an alternative to the requirements for the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative for land."

"DHS is already working with the Department of State on one possible alternative document that is called a 'pass card,'" Knocke told WND.

A "pass card" Knocke explained, would be roughly the same size as a state-issued driver's license.

He suggested it might be more convenient if individuals are concerned about the size of a passport and would want something wallet-sized and cheaper than a passport.

Knocke said the Washington state proposed "enhanced" driver's license was being considered as an alternative to the State Department's "pass card" under WHTI.

Current passports issued by the State Department do not contain RFID chips. Knocke told WND the State Department is not considering placing RFID chips in the proposed WHTI "pass cards."

"At present our front-line Customs and Border Protection personnel are able to consider as many as 8,000 different legitimate documents when making admissibility decisions about who comes into our country and who does not," Knocke continued. "That is a staggering number of documents that could be considered as legitimate for entry into the country."

Knocke told WND the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is aimed both "at significantly reducing the volume of documents that are going to be legitimate for entry into the country, and strengthening the security, or the integrity, of the documents, cutting down on possible fraud, identity-theft and other forms of criminal activity."

Knocke emphasized WHTI and Real ID are separate programs.

"Real ID is a separate congressional mandate under the Real ID Act of 2005 that is designed to strengthen the security of state-issued driver's licenses," he explained. "All 50 states currently adjudicate their driver's licenses, but there are not uniform standards for the security and integrity of these documents across the country. The standards for issuing driver's licenses vary by state." - - - -

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