On Tue, Jul 05, 2005 at 11:26:54PM -0400, Steven M. Bellovin wrote:
> Let me refer you to a National Academies report (I was on the 
> committee):  Stephen T. Kent and Lynette Millett, ed. IDs -- Not That
> Easy: Questions About Nationwide Identity Systems. National Academies
> Press, 2002.  http://books.nap.edu/html/id_questions/  Briefly, the 
> report notes that there are a very large number of questions that need 
> to be answered about any such system before it's even possible to 
> discuss it intelligently.

Thanks for the hint, but I am too busy to read it in detail before
next week.

However, there is a funny thing I need to mention:

- In Germany we have an ID card and I have it in my pocket all the
  time. But actually it is rarely used, I do need it not more than
  maybe three times a year. At the moment I can't remember to have it
  used within the last two years, except for in my job when entering
  high security areas and some protected company premises. But rarely
  in private life. I know one shop where they do ask for when paying
  with a card.

- In the USA they say they don't have ID cards. 

  But whereever I walk through the streets of cities at the
  east- or westcoast, they all ask me for picture IDs. Some years ago 
  I couldn't even enter a night club without a picture ID, and in
  every supermarket they have signs that they don't sell alcohol or 
  cigarettes without picture ID (besides the fact that I neither drink
  nor smoke). Even in some hotels and gas stations they ask for a 
  picture ID.

Isn't that ridiculous? In the USA where they allegedly don't have ID cards
you are approx. more than 20 times as often asked for a picture ID than 
in Germany where we have ID cards officially. 

Last November I attended an Anti-Spam-Summit at FTC in Washington 
DC. As usual they were checking for metal in the clothes, x-raying 
bags, and (*surprise*) asking for a picture ID. Someone didn't have 
a driving license. They accepted his WalMart Customer Card as a 
picture ID. Isn't that scary?


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