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Alaska Legislature Stops Real ID Act Implementation


April 12, 2008

(SitNews) ­ The Alaska Legislature approved legislation rejecting implementation of the federal Real ID Act. Lawmakers believe the federal law infringes on the fundamental right to privacy of Alaskans and would effectively bring about a national ID card system. The legislation ­SB202- opts Alaska out of REAL ID by forbidding the funding of anything that would further REAL ID compliance. SB202 is sponsored by Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage.

"The Real ID Act just goes too far," said Wielechowski. "It turns a driver's license into a tracking card and tells the federal government nearly everything you do from buying a gun, entering a federal facility or just taking your family to a national park. If we fail to stop the Real ID Act now, our personal privacy will be gone forever."

The federal Real ID law was passed by Congress in May 2005 as part of a "must pass" federal appropriations bill. The law requires driver's licenses and state ID cards to carry what is known as "common machine readable technology," and that means the government can swipe your card every time you use it. The information can be accessed by all other states and will be maintained by a private corporation. The information could even be used by Canada and Mexico due to treaties the United States has with those nations.

"Alaska has struck a blow for freedom and individual liberty", said Bill Scannell, spokesman for The Identity Project. "Alaskans know that REAL ID is an unfunded mandate from Washington DC that does nothing for security while making Alaskans less free."

The Real ID Act ­if enacted-- could take on "Big Brother" proportions. The federal legislation gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the power to require biometric information to the card. That means your fingerprints, a retinal scan - even your DNA can be added to the card. Many gun owners are also concerned it will be used to create a national gun registry. By opting-out of REAL ID, Alaskans no longer need worry about this.

Alaska is not the only state rising up against the Real ID Act. Eighteen other states have passed legislation similar to SB 202 and another eighteen are considering them. At least 600 groups from Catholic Social Services to the Gun Owners of America are opposed to the Real ID Act.



Source of News:

Alaska Senate Bipartisan Working Group


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Ketchikan, Alaska