Archive for the ‘Texas Real ID Budget and Extension’ Category

REAL ID Act Being Implemented in Texas c/o Ellis County Observer

[Texas] Senate Approves Major Homeland Security Bill – The Texas Tribune

The bill would require all law enforcement agencies to adopt Secure Communities, a program administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in which local law enforcement compares the fingerprints of those arrested to a DHS database to determine if the individual can be deported. The bill also would institute stronger penalties for a laundry list of felonies. It would codify proof-of-citizenship requirements for driver’s licenses and state-issued IDs. It would establish an automatic license-plate reader pilot program for vehicles used by DPS officers, and it allows DPS to commission special unit of Texas Rangers to, among other things, conduct background checks, monitor sex offenders and assist during disasters.”  :::MORE HERE:::

BTC-  You should read the many headlines; which essentially took over the Real ID wire to your right.  The best gist is that DHS has indeed kicked the can until 2013.  Some of you may want to celebrate; we know others are….

The most noteworthy line of reporting came from Rep. Lamar Smith’s side of the fiscal fence.

“Noticeably absent from the DHS 2012 budget request is the Real ID program.”  

In keeping with the can-kicking tradition here at BeatTheChip, we post an energetic can-can dance.

However, some Obama Fan Admins dominantly redirected Fatboy Slim’s Can Can Can, so it would be unfair to feature it for you (against the rules).   I have to default you Baz Luhrman’s dedicated footage; which is luridly appropriate for the times.

BTC –  Did someone forget to tell Rep. Lamar Smith of the 11th District that the Texas GOP adopted the repeal of the Real ID Act into the Lonestar State platform?

I expect him to butt heads with Rep. Ron Paul and over 10,000 Libertarian interested constituents as he continues to tow the national security- DHS line.  That’s before we even discuss minority voters and Democratic interests who hate Real ID in an anti-incumbent election year.  Check your boosters, Smith. You should hope you still have a job by November if you plan on moving Real ID like it’s a positive prospect for national security.

Federal Texas officials are beholden to the constituents and to the party they serve. They asked for a repeal.

Which means, PUBLIC, if you have anti-national ID concerns you may now ask any elected Texas Republican for anti-Real ID service and they should deliver.

So – Rep. Smith, where is my repeal bill?

AUSTIN – The 5-11 Campaign, a grassroots privacy organization opposed to the federal ID, declared 30 days of vigilance over identity legislation with connections to Information Analysis Centers (IAC), or what is now commonly known as Fusion Centers.

“Based on reports that fusion centers are targeting 3rd party voters and those who pose Constitutional challenges to the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence gathering efforts, we are aggressively opposing any legislation that would secure our private information for national to international data aggregation. This may include voter ID. No one should be profiled or targeted based on an electronic record of how they voted. A routine intelligence seizure based on a national security directive, such as the one issued in Missouri, would lead to arbitrary and reckless disregard for our privacy and personal sovereignty,” says Sheila Dean, President of the 5-11 Campaign.

This legislation observed for action during the vigil includes opposition to HB 4036. The Texas bill calls for compliance with the federal ID mandate. American license information, social security number and citizenship documents may be stored and shared with customs through an insecure fusion center. Other legislations included during the month long vigil touch upon DNA databases, animal information systems, drivers licenses, identity cards and other relevant attributions of private identity.

Last Monday (3/30), the Public Safety Committee heard testimony which included challenges to existing efforts to gain public consent over fusion center storage of license or ID card information. Many objections were raised over the call for facial recognition technology, among other regulations in the Real ID Act of 2005. Texas’ federal Real ID extension for compliance expires December 31, 2009.

Public Safety committee members are concerned about Texans being refused passage into federal buildings and airports based on Texas federal extension status. According to staffers, the DHS has been unclear about the extension standards until now with one exception; the inclusion of citizenship status on licenses.

“When an license to operate a motor vehicle becomes a de facto citizenship document, it becomes a national ID card. We are opposed to a national ID. We hope the 81st legislature will stand on the 10th Amendement and reject the whole Act,” said Dean.

Incomplete Networks & Intelligence Aggregation

The push to expand identity databases nationally are suffering from a big brother reputation, networking inadequacies and insufficient funds.

According to a report released last month from the DHS Inspector General, fusion centers across the U.S. are inadequately networked, non-existent or vastly underfunded to comply with the federal mandate for identity storage and national identity sharing.

“DHS did not provide timely and specific guidance on how REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards must be marked, best practices for the physical security of facilities, or information on the systems that will be used for verifying applicant documentation. To achieve full compliance with REAL ID standards by 2011, states must connect with electronic verification systems to verify identification documents. Several of the systems needed do not yet exist. Specifically, 18 of 19 states, or 95%, reported that available grant funding was insufficient. Several states referred to the amount received as a “drop in the bucket.” – DHS INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT



Civil Liberties Assessment & Impact

ACLU: What’s Wrong With Fusion Centers – Executive Summary


Forums and discussions of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s incremental plan for information nexus accounts will take place Tuesday and Thursday during the Texas Homeland Security Conference in San Antonio.


BTC FISCAL REPORT – The Texas appropriations notes to move forward database regulation fulfillments are non-existent according to sources at the Texas capitol. However, concerns voiced about resources available from the federal bailout increase the demand for government accountability. Amid the AIG debacle reports have unearthed that bailout finance has serviced ailing banks outside of the U.S. We will keep you updated on any fiscal movement toward DHS finance.

USA TODAY: More Gate Searches for Flyers; TSA

WASHINGTON — A new, more aggressive effort by airport screeners aims to halt randomly selected passengers for a security check just before they step onto their departing plane, according to a government memo obtained by USA TODAY.

Scores of passengers have already been pulled aside for searches as they waited in line at airport gates for boarding calls. Each of the passengers had already passed through security checkpoints when a uniformed Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer asked them to step out of line to check their IDs or search their carry-on bags.

Passengers can be selected at random or for suspicious behavior, according to a TSA memo dated last Thursday. The program primarily targets riskier flights, according to the memo, which doesn’t specify how flights are singled out.

The TSA says it has done occasional checks of passengers at airport gates and that the new stepped-up effort has nothing to do with any particular threat. Rather, the effort is focused on the notion that mixing up tactics makes it harder for terrorists to monitor how security works, said TSA spokesman Greg Soule.

OHIO Organizes Against Real ID with the Ohio Freedom Alliance ….
Check out their action forum here.

Canada Next to Suffer Under RFID Enhanced Drivers Licenses c/o RFID News

Canada’s Province of Quebec has unveiled its Enhanced Driver’s License. The license, which includes both a bar code and an embedded RFID chip, is approved for use as a passport alternative in crossing the U.S. land border.

The enhanced license will cost Quebecers $40 (Canadian) more than a standard license. Provincial officials believe it will be useful for residents who live near the U.S. border and cross it frequently, eliminating the need to carry a passport on a daily basis.

AUSTIN BTC Commentary :

With most or all of the Texas Legislative spotlight on voter ID, the federal Real ID is in a dangerous position to quietly poison the remainder of the days. While Texas is abiding ever so gracefully with the federal extension to find their way to compliance, DHS is erecting cameras throughout the state. It was only a matter of time before someone pointed out that RFID readers are popping up past the border into Southern Texas, complete with radio promotion propaganda.

A subject raised among Texas activist support groups comprised of civil libertarians, anti- border wall advocates and environmentalists gave rise to a question – how did this wall, complete with expensive surveillance technologies, crop up without due process and public input? Border surveillance compounds with renewed models of the fence are now up for decision making bids. Duncan Hunter’s Real ID rider now is the shadowy facilitator creeping around the edges of the fence issue posing as placebo immigration reform.

One question keeps prompting our alert signals: where is the money coming from to do all of this?

While the State of Texas may not have the money and the cities lining the borders even less, it hasn’t stopped the DHS from muscling in with voluntary-compulsory mandates on towns to “do this or else” at the expense of cities without notifying the public for input or for budgetary accountability. We checked in with Scott Nicols of No Border Wall Coalition to compare notes as to how I, a blogger in Austin, could wake up and find 10 red light cameras up and down the Guadalupe drag without so much as a notice from the City. Apparently, the DHS feds can give the City an I.O.U. do-it-now-or-else ultimatum. Sometimes they pay them back. In these border towns, often they are left holding the budgetary bag.

Now people are sending me pictures of RFID readers going up at the borders and complaining of radio campaigns to “get you home” to goose public support of … Enhanced Drivers Licenses?

Why do we need RFID readers anyway? Well, so they can read RFID tags, some in your car and perhaps in your license. While I have been told by border Senator Shapleigh’s office that they will stop the push for the Enhanced Drivers Licenses. There were murmurs that the stimulus bill held the federal monetizing power to greenlight Real IDs in Texas at Thursday’s TxDOT meeting. All this so Texans can fist bump their way to “coolness” with their toll tags and their dandy surveilled identity cards? “Wow, check out my new government mandated ear tattoo, they branded my left thigh as well!!” – I’m being facetious. This is modern propaganda.


EPIC – On the Dangers of Fusion Centers or Public Data Aggregates

AUSTIN- According to a staffer for Texas State Representative Richard Pena Raymond, DPS approached the Vice Chair of the Appropriations committee for funding to implement Real ID in the State of Texas and was firmly denied.

Full webcast on the day’s appropriation hearing here: