>                          ... once again I heard the readings about the
> edict from Caesar that all people return to their home towns to be counted
> in a census.  Maybe we can take a lesson from that - and have everyone
> return to people who have known the person, uninterrupted, from birth to the
> present in order to get anything notarized.  Anyone who couldn't find such
> people just couldn't get anything notarized, I guess.

It's a lot more complicated than that, Carl.  Society can't demand impossible
conditions from its citizens, as a precondition to existence.  (This is
true even if the condition is possible for 99% of the citizens; the other
1% have rights too.)

(I'm switching topics here from ID-for-notarization to general identification.)

The Supreme Court is currently deciding a case called Hiibel
v. Nevada, in which Nevada passed a law requiring people to show ID to
a cop, and Mr. Hiibel did not do so when the cop demanded it.  He was
arrested and convicted for this.  All the courts in Nevada upheld this
conviction, but his public defenders appealed to the Supreme Court,
and it took his case.  Most of the briefs have been filed, and are on
the web; oral argument will probably occur in March or April.  See:


If ID is required of ordinary people going about their business on the
street, then the process by which they get an ID becomes an issue of
constitutional concern.  The government can't make up arbitrary rules,
like "people who can't find anyone who knew them when they were born
can be locked up at the whim of any cop".  (This would discriminate
against the most elderly, among many other problems!)

Anything that the government requires people to do in order to not be
criminals, has to be doable by every citizen, or the requirement is
unconstitutional.  They can't pass a law saying "We can throw you in
jail unless you produce a pass signed by George Washington", if George
is dead and not signing any more passes.  They similarly can't pass a
law saying "We can throw you in jail unless you produce a pass signed
by the Department of Motor Vehicles", unless the DMV will give a pass
to anybody.  Anybody includes homeless people, those who decline to
provide personal information to government officials, those whose birth
was not recorded anywhere (or whose records burned up years ago), etc.


The Cryptography Mailing List
Unsubscribe by sending "unsubscribe cryptography" to [EMAIL PROTECTED]

Reply via email to