Database was a dirty word yesterday at a rally to oppose New Hampshire’s participation in a national identification card system that would digitally catalog personal information.
More than 100 people – some dressed as Nazis, others wearing three-cornered hats – gathered on the State House lawn. Though the group’s political leanings spanned the spectrum, they agreed that the system is a bad idea, citing identity theft, Big Brother and the violation of the United States Constitution.
“We have to decide . . . if we’re going to stand by like sheep as they brand us,” said Carol Shea-Porter, a Rochester Democrat (who was not in costume) running for Congress against Republican Jeb Bradley.
Because of this law “Real ID Act” that was passed last year, all states will have to comply by 2008.
New Hampshire and Kentucky were offered $3 million grants to test the program.
But the New Hampshire House voted last month to refuse to do so, calling the program “contrary and repugnant” to the Constitution.
No matter what your religious views are, Real ID is a very bad idea. Whether one believes it is a precursor to the ‘mark of the beast’ fortold in the Bible is neither here nor there. I personally believe that Real ID goes against the very spirit of the Constitution of the US.
Katherine Albrecht, a consumer advocate and leader of the anti-Real ID movement, read a chapter from her book, Spychips, about how the government plans to track people through product ID tags. Albrecht of Nashua said that in the wrong hands, a national identification system could have disastrous effects.
It’s like “putting a noose around your neck and hoping the government doesn’t pull the rope,” she said. “You could think you’re giving the rope to Mother Theresa but find yourself looking into the eyes of Adolf Hitler.”
You can never count on any administration to be totally benevolent. No matter how good they are. Even if (and that’s beginning to look like more of an if than ever before these days) you were to believe that the current administration would not abuse the power, you can not count on subsequent administrations being that way.
Rep. Elbert Bicknell, a Deerfield Republican who also spoke at the rally, called Real ID an unfunded mandate similar to special education and the No Child Left Behind Act. He said the identification system won’t help protect our borders from illegal immigrants or terrorists, but will take away our privacy. Americans shouldn’t have to sacrifice their freedoms for “what those butchers did to us” on Sept. 11, 2001, he added.