Feeds

US government cools on Real ID threats

That's Uncle Sam in the corner

High performance access to file storage

As a showdown shapes up over federally mandated requirements for state-issued IDs, the US government is signaling it may be ready to compromise.

States have until next Monday to ask that the deadline for complying with the Real ID Act be extended to 2010. The Feds have threatened that a failure to meet the deadline will result in citizens of pesky, non-compliant states being turned away or forced to endure additional screening when trying to board airplanes or access federal buildings or military facilities starting in May. Even with such threats, however, some states are balking at committing to the increased security measures, which, among many other things, require DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) offices to check with other states to ensure applicants don't have more than one license.

Last week, two holdout states, California and Montana, received extensions even though both states refused to commit to follow the plan. Previously, the US Department of Homeland Security said the extension would be given only to states that explicitly pledged to comply with the law.

Last Tuesday, the head of the California Department of Motor Vehicles wrote that his state's request for an extension "is not a commitment to implement Real ID, [but] rather it will allow us to fully evaluate the impact of the final regulations and precede with necessary policy deliberations prior to a final decision on compliance," according to Wired News.

Officials from Montana have gone one step further, refusing to apply for an extension and insisting they will not follow the law. Critics object to the Real ID requirements for a host of reasons. They say requirements that states link their databases jeopardizes individuals' privacy. They also say it costs too much and unfairly interferes with states' rights.

The decision by Homeland Security officials to grant the extensions anyway may signal a tacit concession that its hard line approach isn't working. Requiring citizens of California, the nation's most populous state, to undergo additional airport screening would have put additional pressures on the Transportation Security Administration, an agency that is already viewed by many as overextended.

One can only imagine the outcry at airports if Californians were forced to endure a unique set of bizarre screening rituals.

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer told The Associated Press that federal officials had "painted themselves in a corner."

Remaining holdout states include Maine and South Carolina, which have not sought extensions, and New Hampshire, which passed a law last year making it illegal to comply. On Monday, South Carolina's attorney general held out the possibility of suing the federal government over the requirements but said it would be premature to do so now.

The Real ID act was passed four years after the 9/11 attacks and was billed as a way of making it harder for terrorists and immigrants to illegally stay in this country. It calls for new regulations to be phased in over the next decade. By 2014, the federally compliant IDs would be required to board a plane or enter federally controlled premises except for people over 50. By 2017, people over 50 would also have to present a license that meets the requirements. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.