Re: [Forwarded] RealID: How to become an unperson.

2005-07-12 Thread Peter Hendrickson
Perry Metzger wrote:
 So, the next time one of your friends in Germany asks why the crazy
 Americans think ID cards and such are a bad thing, remember my
 father, and remember all the people like him who fled to the US over
 the last couple hundred years and who left children that still
 remember such things, whether from China or North Korea or Germany
 or Spain or Russia or Yugoslavia or Chile or lots of other places.

And one of those places is the US itself.  African-Americans have no
trouble envisioning scenarios in which mandatory IDs and universal
surveillance could be a problem.  Japanese-Americans don't have to
think very hard to remember that banking regulation can also be used
to freeze bank accounts, or that postal and census data can be used
by the Army to put a particular ethnic group in concentration camps.
Followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not
believe that vicious religious persecution in the US is an
impossibility.

Peter

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Re: [Forwarded] RealID: How to become an unperson.

2005-07-09 Thread Florian Weimer
* Perry E. Metzger:

 [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 But nevertheless, I do not understand why americans are so afraid of
 an ID card.

 Perhaps I can explain why I am.

 I do not trust governments. I've inherited this perspective. My
 grandfather sent his children abroad from Speyer in Germany just after
 the ascension of Adolf Hitler in the early 1930s -- his neighbors
 thought he was crazy, but few of them survived the coming events. My
 father was sent to Alsace, but he stayed too long in France and ended
 up being stuck there after the occupation. If it were not for forged
 papers, he would have died. (He had a most amusing story of working as
 an electrician rewiring a hotel used as office space by the Gestapo in
 Strasbourg -- his forged papers were apparently good enough that no
 one noticed.)  Ultimately, he and other members of the family escaped
 France by illegally crossing the border into Switzerland. (I put
 illegally in quotes because I don't believe one has any moral
 obligation to obey a law like that, especially since it would leave
 you dead if you obeyed.)

 Anyway, if the governments of the time had actually had access to
 modern anti-forgery techniques, I might never have been born.

I share your general concern, but it's not the ID cards which worry
me.  After all, forgeable passports are only a very, very weak form of
defense in an age of non-invasive biometric applications which operate
in real-time.  (I know, we aren't quite there yet, but we're getting
close.)

My concern is that our government is building infrastructure for
monitoring extremist citizens, trying very hard to interdict all
extremist propaganda.  The rationale behind that is the assumption
that most Germans are still latent nazis.  (I'm not sure if this is
really the case, but it seems that anti-democratic feelings are rather
widespread.)  Unfortunately, this monitoring infrastructure covers the
whole population by design, and in case of a coup d'etat, it can be
easily abused by the perpetrators to make sure that they stay in
power.  In other words, this approach is not fail-safe.  I find it
rather unsettling that our politicians seem to be completely unaware
of this risk.

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Re: [Forwarded] RealID: How to become an unperson.

2005-07-08 Thread Dirk-Willem van Gulik

On Tue, 5 Jul 2005 [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 (currently in Boston, MA, after giving fingerprints at the
 airport immigration)

And you may have then noticed the interesting effect; in Germany we have
mandatory cards - carry them round always - but virtually have to show
them. And only to officials often.

In the US they have no official card - yet even the lowest clerk at the
blockbuster video asks for one...

Dw.

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Re: [Forwarded] RealID: How to become an unperson.

2005-07-07 Thread Perry E. Metzger

[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 But nevertheless, I do not understand why americans are so afraid of
 an ID card.

Perhaps I can explain why I am.

I do not trust governments. I've inherited this perspective. My
grandfather sent his children abroad from Speyer in Germany just after
the ascension of Adolf Hitler in the early 1930s -- his neighbors
thought he was crazy, but few of them survived the coming events. My
father was sent to Alsace, but he stayed too long in France and ended
up being stuck there after the occupation. If it were not for forged
papers, he would have died. (He had a most amusing story of working as
an electrician rewiring a hotel used as office space by the Gestapo in
Strasbourg -- his forged papers were apparently good enough that no
one noticed.)  Ultimately, he and other members of the family escaped
France by illegally crossing the border into Switzerland. (I put
illegally in quotes because I don't believe one has any moral
obligation to obey a law like that, especially since it would leave
you dead if you obeyed.)

Anyway, if the governments of the time had actually had access to
modern anti-forgery techniques, I might never have been born.

To you, ID cards are a nice way to keep things orderly. To me, they
are a potential death sentence.

Most Europeans seem to see government as the friendly, nice set of
people who keep the trains running on time and who watch out for your
interests.  A surprisingly large fraction of Americans are people or
the descendants of people who experienced the institution of
government as the thing that tortured their friends to death, or
gassed them, or stole all their money and nearly starved them to
death, etc.  Hundreds of millions of people died at the hands of their
own governments in the 20th century, and many of the people that
escaped from such horrors moved here.  They view things like ID cards
and mandatory registry of residence with the local police as the way
that the government rounded up their friends and relatives so they
could be killed.

I do not wish to argue about which view is correct. Perhaps I am wrong
and Government really is the large friendly group of people that are
there to help you. Perhaps the cost/benefit analysis of ID cards and
such makes us look silly. I'm not addressing the question of whether
my view is right here -- I'm just trying to explain the psychological
mindset that would make someone think ID cards are a very bad idea.

So, the next time one of your friends in Germany asks why the crazy
Americans think ID cards and such are a bad thing, remember my father,
and remember all the people like him who fled to the US over the last
couple hundred years and who left children that still remember such
things, whether from China or North Korea or Germany or Spain or
Russia or Yugoslavia or Chile or lots of other places.


Perry

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[OT] Re: [Forwarded] RealID: How to become an unperson.

2005-07-06 Thread J.A. Terranson

On Tue, 5 Jul 2005 [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 your ID card. Exactly that circular problem as mentioned in the
 posting.

 But when I explained that circular problem, they checked by phone with
 the town's registry office and gave me the copy of the birth
 certificate without an ID card to solve the problem.

While I am glad it worked out for you, I somehow doubt that the workers of
the once great city of New York would be quite as accomodating :-/
Fortunately, I found a way around the problem that didn't force me to try
and find out though!

 But nevertheless, I do not understand why americans are so afraid of
 an ID card. It has by far more advantages than disadvantages, and

This is probably a uniquely american thing - culturally we are a bunch of
loners, who all believe that the government has no *right* to identify
or otherwise monitor us.  As a scrappy bunch of loners with attitude
problems, the pros vs. cons of The Card really never make it to the
equation: as a people, most of us just naturally have a Time May reaction
to authority in general and government authority in particular.
Personally, I'd rather go back to the old paper license I used to have in
the 80's that had no pic and was not usable as ID, but I know it isn't
going to happen.  Sigh...

-- 
Yours,

J.A. Terranson
[EMAIL PROTECTED]
0xBD4A95BF


Never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public
plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to
the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always
be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by
predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.

Joseph Pulitzer
1907 Speech

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Re: [Forwarded] RealID: How to become an unperson.

2005-07-06 Thread Steven M. Bellovin
In message [EMAIL PROTECTED], [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:


But nevertheless, I do not understand why americans are so afraid of
an ID card. It has by far more advantages than disadvantages, and
actually the US driving license is already a kind of ID card.

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.

 And
whenever I enter the US, I have to give the fingerprints of my index
fingers and they take a picture of me. That's worse than an ID card. 

Agreed.

--Steven M. Bellovin, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb



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Re: [Forwarded] RealID: How to become an unperson.

2005-07-06 Thread hadmut
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?


reards
Hadmut









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Re: [Forwarded] RealID: How to become an unperson.

2005-07-06 Thread Stefan Kelm
 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.

True. But funny, isn't it: I always enjoy looking at the most
puzzled facial expression of some twenty-odd year old selling
beer at a football game trying to understand my german passport.
They give up eventually, selling me what I wanted...   :-)

(asking me for an ID is absolutely ludicrous in the first place
since I've been looking older than 21 for decades now...)

Cheers,

Stefan.
---
Stefan Kelm
Security Consultant

Secorvo Security Consulting GmbH
Ettlinger Straße 12-14, D-76137 Karlsruhe

Tel. +49 721 255171-304, Fax +49 721 255171-100
[EMAIL PROTECTED], http://www.secorvo.de/
---
PGP Fingerprint 87AE E858 CCBC C3A2 E633 D139 B0D9 212B



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Re: [Forwarded] RealID: How to become an unperson.

2005-07-06 Thread Jörn
--- Jonathan Thornburg [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  - 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. [[...]]

I think this has a lot to do with the fact that Germany and the US have
different standards of liability. The legal drinking age in Germany is
16 for beer and wine and 18 for distilled alcoholic beverages. A minor
under the age of 16 may consume alcohol with parental consent, as long
as that parent or a legal guardian is present. A violation is a mere
misdemeanor and may result in a fine but, in reality, hardly ever does.


The consequences of selling alcohol to a person who is not of legal age
are far more severe in the US. Aside from losing your liquor license
(and hence very likely your main source of income), you can expect
both, criminal prosecution and a civil suit, in most places. That's why
establishments in the US err on the side of caution and card their
customers. Most bars, liquor stores and gas stations even have zero
tolerance policies. It's not unusual for a twenty-something year old to
be carded for a pack of cigarettes or a single beer can.  People would
never put up with something like that in Germany.

Another factor is that the German ID card is mainly used by government
agencies. There are severe restrictions for non-government uses.
Private businesses may, for instance, not use the unique ID numbers as
identifiers or store them in a database. That makes them pretty much
useless for most non-official purposes. In the US, businesses are
pretty much free to request your SSN whenever they please.

 As a Canadian living and working in Germany, my legal ID card is
 my (Canadian) passport.  (I don't have a German (or Canadian!)
 driver's
 license.)  When I bought a cellphone calling plan the cellphone store
 asked for this (I guess the police want to make sure an identifyable
 person can be found for each cellphone number).

They actually have to verify your identity. There is a ruling from
RegTP, which is a governing body in many ways similar to the FCC, that
stipulates that carriers have to retain the complete name, date and
place of birth and current address of anyone who buys a GSM SIM card.
Failure to do so usually results in hefty fines. That's why the
carriers make sure that the ruling is actually enforced.

On a slightly unrelated note: contrary to popular belief, there is no
German law that requires you to have your ID card or passport on your
person. You are required to give your name and date of birth to a law
enforcement officer or authorized agent of the state - but only upon
request. They may even take you into custody until they can positively
verify your identity but you do have to carry ID.
 
 It was clear from our conversation that very few (if any) Canadians
 had ever bought cellphone calling plans from this employee before.
 (Not surprisingly -- there aren't that many other Canadians living
 or travelling here.)  Indeed, I rather suspect mine may have been 
 the first Canadian passport this particular employee had ever seen.

That's indeed quite likely. The original purpose of the RegTP's ruling
was to discourage theft though. There usually is little to no
resistance to giving up your personal data to the government in
Germany. In fact, there's federal law that requires anyone residing in
the country to keep their current address on file with their county's
record office. And this seems perfectly normal to most Germans. If
Congress tried to pass a law that required US citizens to register
their current address with the federal government, people would scream
bloody murder (despite the fact that it would be easy to get anyone's
address from the IRS, individual state's DMV databases or Google, for
that matter).

A terrorist, however, would have no reason to register their real
address or to show a real ID card when purchasing a cell phone. After
all, there are plenty of easier options available (theft, eBay, fake
ID, using public pay phones, etc).

Exactly the same applies to driver's licenses. A terrorist could just
fake one or use fake documents to obtain a real one. I think it's safe
to assume that if high school graduates have the means to obtain a
decent fake ID, terrorists do as well. The only way to tell if a
driver's license is real or not is by checking if the data on it
matches what's in the DMV's database. And that doesn't help if a
terrorist just decides to fake a birth certificate and marriage
license. I would be surprised if your average county clerk or DMV
worker actually managed to check if a document that's maybe fourty
years old is in fact the real deal.

   -J.


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Re: [Forwarded] RealID: How to become an unperson.

2005-07-05 Thread hadmut
Don't laugh. This is exactly the problem I had with my
german identity card.

In Germany, you are required to possess either an identity card 
or a passport once you reach the age of 16. If you're younger you
can just have a children's passport in case you need for travelling. 

Usually applying for an ID card is not a problem at all.

For reasons far beyond cryptography my father chose an
unusual given name for me, one that was usual in around the 8th-10th
century. He named me Hadmut. Most people in Germany have never heard
that name before and don't believe, that this name exists. There is
another name, Hartmut, which is ethymologically different, but sounds
similar. Therefore, most people assume that my name is just
misspelled and would correctly be Hartmut. 

When we moved to a different town some years ago, someone made a
mistake in the municipal register, and entered 'Hartmut' instead of
'Hadmut', obviously because he or she believed it was misspelled.

When I applied for an ID card after my 16th birthday, they told me
that they can't issue one, because my children's passport said my
given name is 'Hadmut', while the register said that I am 'Hartmut'. 

Whoever I decided to be, I would not receive an ID card before I could
prove which of both I am. They asked me to bring a certified copy of
my birth certificate. For reasons even more beyond cryptography, that
copy was lost years ago. So I had to go to the registry office where I
was born to get another copy. Fortunately, this was just 20 minutes by
bicycle away. 

For privacy reasons, you can't just go to a registry office and ask
for anyone's birth certificate. You have to proof your identity - with
your ID card. Exactly that circular problem as mentioned in the
posting.

But when I explained that circular problem, they checked by phone with
the town's registry office and gave me the copy of the birth
certificate without an ID card to solve the problem.


But nevertheless, I do not understand why americans are so afraid of
an ID card. It has by far more advantages than disadvantages, and
actually the US driving license is already a kind of ID card. And
whenever I enter the US, I have to give the fingerprints of my index
fingers and they take a picture of me. That's worse than an ID card. 

Remember the PGP signing party at the 1994 IETF meeting in San Jose? 
Several participants who had never seen me before did sign my PGP key 
after I showed them my german ID card (including Perry). 


Funny side effect: Since most americans don't know that we have ID
cards in germany the card is almost always believed to be a driving
license in the US. 

regards
Hadmut  

(currently in Boston, MA, after giving fingerprints at the 
airport immigration)






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