Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Well I'll Be Damn....They were listening!!

For those of you who supported me and followed me through the 2006 gubernatorial election you will remember that one of my main platform planks was NONCOMPLIANCE with the Patriot and Real ID Acts.

It appears that part of my campaign at least rubbed off on some Alabama legislators, namely Representative Cam Ward who represents Shelby Co. & Bibb Co. in the Alabama House. Now, what Rep. Ward wants to do is oppose the Real ID Act with a reolution. I think resolutions are worthless because they don't do anything. I would like to see Rep. Ward and other privacy conscious Alabama legislators and Senators introduce a bill that would clearly state that Alabama will REFUSE TO COMPLY with the Patriot and Real ID Acts. PERIOD!

Having said that I would encourage my fellow Alabamians to Email Representative Ward and thank him for getting the ball rolling in the proper direction on this issue as well as encourage him to take a much stronger stand than a resolution. Also pay a visit to Cam's website.

From The Tuscaloosa News

An Alabama legislator said Tuesday he wants the state to join a growing effort to stop a national driver’s license database he considers intrusive.

Rep. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said he would introduce a resolution opposing implementation of the federal Real ID Act of 2005 when the Legislature begins its regular session next month.

The Maine Legislature passed a resolution last month opposing the federal identification network and the revolt has since spread to other states.

Under the Real ID Act, by May 2008 states will have to adhere to federal regulations requiring people to present original documents, such as a birth certificate, when applying for a new driver’s license. The documents would be entered into a record-keeping system that is linked to a national database.

“This is the first step toward a national ID," Ward said.

The forthcoming regulations stem from President Bush and Congress’ reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the ease of obtaining fake driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Jeff Woodard, a spokesman for Alabama House Speaker Seth Hammett, D-Andalusia, said Hammett is seeking information on the implications and the costs of proposed federal requirements for securing a driver’s license.

“What we have to weigh is the value of security from terrorists with your ability to present something that proves you’re an American," said House Majority leader Ken Guin, D-Carbon Hill.

Alabama Department of Public Safety Maj. Floyd Bingham, chief of the driver license division, said the estimated cost to implement a new record-keeping system is about $4.5 million, and the annual operating cost would be about $275,000 a year.

Gov. Bob Riley said he would continue Alabama’s implementation of the federal regulations.

“We’ve developed a system that probably is as good as any in the country," Riley said. “We have no plans to change it."

Although the specifics of the regulations have not been determined, privacy advocates say the act would require a digital photo and possibly even a fingerprint on each state-issued license or ID card.

Riley said that he did not think he could “support a system that would have everybody’s personal information."

The Maine Legislature in January approved a resolution objecting to the Real ID Act of 2005 and so far opposition has spread to Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming, the Associated Press reported.

(H/T to Dan at Between the Links

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