Why ID sucks almost as much as David Blunkett

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The text below is from a website belonging to John Gilmore, one of your average west coast geeks who has done very nicely thank you. John is currently taking the US attorney general to court. Whats wrong with showing ID?

What does an ID, any ID, do for security? The honest answer is ‘not much’. If anything, relying on ID for security purposes actually makes things worse.

Shwing ID only affects honest people. If you’re dishonset you can obtain false documents or steal the identity of an honest person.

If a 19 year old college student can get a fake ID to drink, why couldn’t a bad person get one, too? And no matter how sophisticated the security embedded into the ID, wouldn’t a well-financed terroriste be able to falsify that too? The answer to both questions is obviously yes.

Honest people, on the other hand go to pro-life rallies. Honest people attend gun shows. Honest people protest the President of the United States. Honest people fly to political conventions. What if those with the power to put people on a ‘no fly’ list decided they didn’t like the reason for which you wanted to travel? The honest peoople whouldn’t be going anywhere.

Bad people , besides using fake IDs and stolen identities, can also make the system of checking IDs work in their favour. The Carnival Booth effect, as described by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, means that terrorists can probe an ID security system by send a number of peoople on innocent trips through the system and noting who is flagged for extra searches and who isn’t. They then send only those who the system doesn’t flag up on terrorist missions.