The Real ID Act and the Public Administration of Global Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Policies
Bart Bevers, Chief Legal Counsel, Health & Human Svc Commission, USA
As a former prosecutor, I understood that each crime I prosecuted had certain “elements,” which must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction. The “elements” of each crime became a pair of “reading glasses” for me. As an investigator began to pitch his case, I would put on my elements-reading glasses and look for where the evidence would fit into the charge we were considering. The first element of every crime is proving the identity of the defendant. It is not enough to prove that a crime was committed. The prosecutor must also prove that the defendant sitting in the courtroom is the person who committed every element of that crime. Prosecutors typically use driver’s licenses and state identification cards to prove identity by linking the defendant in the courtroom to the name on the indictment. That is why the Real ID Act[i] (also known as §§201-205 of Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006 (Public Law 109-234)) is of such significance to law enforcement. The Real ID Act will convert today’s simple drivers’ licenses into governmentally-imposed biometric cards. These cards will tie distinguishing human anatomy to a single, confirmed biographical record. The Real ID Act prohibits federal agencies from accepting a state-issued driver’s license or identification card (presented for official purposes)[ii] that does not meet its issuance standards. Applicants will have to prove that they are U.S. citizens, nationals, or have lawful immigration status to be eligible for either card.
Read full paper
Subscribe to the IICJ