Federal Grants Offer Little for States Beasts of Burden

Posted: March 12, 2008 in Uncategorized

DHS Implementation Grants Give Little to States Contending with Mandate Costs

“In December of 2007, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released grant guidance and application kits for two grant programs totaling more than $35 million to assist states in preparing for REAL ID implementation. REAL ID addresses a core 9/11 Commission finding to enhance the security, integrity and protection of licensing and identification systems nationwide, and was mandated by Congress, ” according to Dept. of Homeland Security.

All DHS grants are being handled through FEMA as of April of 2007. In 2008, 90 million dollars of federal money has been made available to implement Real ID regulations for all 50 US states.

DHS encourages States to use grant dollars to collaborate with other States and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) to pool funding resources and expertise to design and develop improved personal identification verification capabilities. This would include the creation of a single gateway or Internet portal all States would have access to verify the personal identification information of individuals applying for REAL ID; i.e., drivers’ license or ID card,” according to FEMA’s Public Affairs Department.

The apparent purse strings attached to the grants are compliance with centralized databanking systems for a National ID. The centralization of private data has sent privacy advocates scurrying for alternatives, seeking ways to repeal the Real ID Act.

The cost bids are being set by vendor, Digimarc. Digimarc stands to profit at least 11 billion dollars from US state monies to implement the Real ID regulations, enforced by Dept of Homeland Security. The biometrics company, co-sponsors of the Washington Real ID Convention in September of 2007, spent $350,000 on lobby’s before the act’s passage this winter.

IN OTHER NEWS :

South Carolina Governor Stands Against Real ID Compliance

California Changes Sail Patterns to Go Against Real ID

Lousiana teens entering bars outsmarted current ID conventions by confusing employees while taking pictures. In other news, the Dept. of Homeland Security told Lousiana press Real ID is NOT an unfunded mandate.

Nebraska bucks federal regulation standards for a National ID, avoids potentials for vendor Digimarc to outsource drivers private information.

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