> ... 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: http://www.epic.org/privacy/hiibel/default.html 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. John --------------------------------------------------------------------- The Cryptography Mailing List Unsubscribe by sending "unsubscribe cryptography" to [EMAIL PROTECTED]