[Politech] John Gilmore on Satan, athiesm, and evil Canadian databases [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Thu Oct 16 2003 - 10:19:12 PDT

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    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>, gnu@private
    cc: politech@private
    Subject: Re: [Politech] Satan lives in Canadian database [priv]
    In-reply-to: <>
    Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2003 10:15:08 -0700
    From: John Gilmore <gnu@private>
    The state and provincial DMVs are about to spring "Uniform ID" on the
    unsuspecting public, in the US, Canada, and Mexico.  They swear up and
    down that it isn't "National ID".  But their credo is "One driver, one
    license, one database record".  Instead of building one Big Brother
    database, they're building seventy little ones, with a network that
    ties them all together.  See http://www.aamva.org/IDSecurity .  They
    plan to introduce the enabling legislation in each state or province's
    legislature in January.
    Unfortunately, the challenges by people who have sincere religious
    beliefs are just about the only winning lines of cases challenging the
    requirement of photos, fingerprints, home addresses, SSNs, databases,
    etc before people are "permitted" to drive.  We atheists who don't
    believe in the totalitarian "may-i-see-your-papers-please" movement
    get little sympathy from the courts.  The ones who can look God and
    the Judge in the eye and say, "The State can't keep me from driving just
    because God tells me not to leave graven images of myself in its
    database" actually get sympathy some of the time.
    So this is one way that believing in what seems an unusually
    strict deity can actually improve your life.
    This situation reminds me of the tempest in a teapot over driver's
    licenses for Mexican immigrants.  When the state refuses to issue
    licenses to people who are perfectly good at driving but don't have an
    SSN, then large numbers of people drive without licenses, which gums
    up the system (for tracking the ones among them that are bad drivers).
    So the e.g. California legislature allows immigrants to get a driver's
    license using an ID issued by a Mexican consulate.  But they won't
    allow US Citizens to get a license without handing their SSN to Satan,
    even though they do allow this for immigrants!
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