Friday, July 13, 2007

EEVS and Your Security

The U.S. Senate recently attempted to pass comprehensive immigration reform. In two bills, S. 1348 and S.1369 they tried to pass legislation that would, as they state, fix our broken immigration system. The attempt failed, but it is not my intent to write about immigration itself now. I am more concerned about a particular aspect of both those failed immigration bills. The Electronic Employee Verification System, or EEVS.

The goal of EEVS was to help employers verify that they are only hiring eligible workers. Up until this time it was difficult, not impossible, just difficult. With all the fraudulent ID's, it is hard for employers to verify that they are in fact hiring workers eligible to seek employment in the United States. Employment eligibility is an admirable goal, but there are certain aspects of this proposal that I oppose quite fervently.

The first of which is any proposal the government is going to make regarding eligibility will have ties to the REAL I.D. The REAL I.D. is supposed to be a tamper proof identification card that contains your name, birthdate, sex, I.D. number, (probably your social security number), a digital photograph, and address. It may also have such other identifying information as a fingerprint or retinal scan. Radio Frequency Identification may possibly be the means for storing this information, as it is already going to be the means of storing information on passports in the near future.

I have two problems with the use of RFID technology. First is that there is a huge potential for identity theft. It would not be too difficult for someone to acquire the required devices for reading RFID chips. They could quite conceivably sit in a busy location such as a mall or airport and scan hundreds of RFID chips, stealing untold amounts of personal information.

Secondly, with the government involved, I don’t like the idea of not knowing exactly what information is stored on that chip. With the vast amounts of information that is being gathered on our lives it is possible that everything from political affiliation to your medical records could be stored on that chip. Call me paranoid, but I don’t like the idea of just anyone having access to all that personal information concerning my life.

You would be required to show your new REAL I.D. before boarding a federally regulated aircraft, (that means any commercial flight), access any federal building, and it has also been suggested, maintain a bank account. Without this card you would basically be a non-person. You could not function in many ways that you do now.

Before anyone can receive their REAL I.D. they would have to provide a photo ID, documentation of birth, documentation of legal status, social security number, and documentation showing name and residence address.

Can you imagine the mess when 300 million people apply for their REAL I.D. at the same time? Also, what about people who have lost copies of their birth certificates, or who have never had a U.S. passport. How are they going to prove they are legal residents?

Yet this card is also going to be used as your state drivers license. So you will need to apply for one if you wish to drive.

The idea that all this is to prove that we are who we say we are is commendable, but a RFID implanted card is not needed to achieve that. When you go into your DMV and get your drives license you have a photo taken and that information is stored on a computer system, how else would you be able to renew your license by mail without having a new photo taken each year. How hard would it be to set up a system in which you could access the DMV computer system and check to make sure the photos on your drivers license match what is actually on file?

Now the EEVS proposal states that employers would be required to verify potential new hires eligibility to work via the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security. Supposedly they would scan your REAL I.D. and it would either come up showing you are entitled to work, or you are not.

At first this legislation would apply only to people applying for new jobs. Eventually, however, it would apply to every single person working in the United States. So that means that even if you had been at your job for, say 20 years, you would have to present your REAL I.D. and have it checked through Social Security and Homeland Security. You would have to have government permission to work!

Guess what else, this bill would close all judicial review of governmental mistakes. So if the government somehow screws up and causes you to become ‘ineligible’ to work, tough cookies. You would have no legal recourse! You know how efficient our government is, can you imaging how many people would become ineligible to work due to government incompetence?

People need to awaken to the actions of their government. They tell us that legislation they pass is for our benefits. The Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act were passed under the guise of fighting global terrorism when in actuality they have seriously eroded our inalienable rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.

The EEVS act, as part of the failed immigration reform bill, is the same. We are told we need it to ensure employers are not hiring illegal aliens, but it is another means of control and monitoring that the government wishes to impose upon us.

If people would stop watching their endless stream of mind numbing television shows they just might realize that, as Lynyrd Skynryd once sang, “there’s things going on that you should know.”

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