Letters from the Center
Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I’m opposed to the national ID on the grounds that it enables new capabilities for citizen monitoring to the federal government when it has persistently abused and misused its existing capabilities.


I would support a national ID if it were introduced in conjunction with effective legislation to create additional congressional oversight of existing citizen-monitoring programs (eg, the anti-terrorist do-not-fly list) to require that these programs operate with increased transparency.  Specifically, I would like this increased oversight and transparency to focus on increasing the accuracy and effectiveness of these programs, such as by publishing detailed reviews of all “false positives” created by the program and requiring that whatever flaw in the process that enabled that mistake be corrected.


However, given the current state of these programs, and their lack of oversight, accountability, and transparency, I feel that might be too much to ask at this point and thus instead simply oppose the introduction of a national ID at this time.


The problem that the national ID is meant to solve will only get easier over time, so I see no need to hurry.




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I'm what you might call a "radical centrist" and these are my letters to bloggers, journalists, and politicians -- left, right, and center -- where I implore them to pull away from the edges and back to the mainstream. Come read if you like, but I'll keep writing either way.

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David Barrett
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