Thursday, August 11, 2005

Real ID mess

Anita Ramasastry of the University of Washington School of Law thinks the Real ID Act in the US is a real mess. Having been voted down as a substantive piece of legislation last year it was then tacked on spending plans for the war on terror and the tsunami relief and sneaked through without debate. Ramasastry says it will be a nightmare for state governments who have to fund the technical infrastruture, without any extra financial support from the federal government.

"No wonder, then, that more than 600 organizations have expressed concern over the Real ID Act. Organizations such as the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the American Library Association the Association for Computing Machinery, the National Council of State Legislatures, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Governors Association are among them."

Here in the UK, the government's original plans to fund the ID cards through fees have taken a hammering as people have begun to realise how much they will cost and support for the scheme drops off. So the Home Office have promised to cap the fee in an attempt to ease concerns, though I doubt Gordon Brown and the treasury will be keen on that idea. £5billion to £19 billion is going to have to be found somewhere and with fuel prices shooting through the roof I suspect the prospect of forking out hard earned income to help build a large public IT white elephant will become an even less attractive prospect for many.

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