“The use of the Social Security number (SSN) has expanded significantly since its inception in 1936. Created merely to keep track of the earnings history of U.S. workers for Social Security entitlement and benefit computation purposes, it has come to be used as a nearly universal identifier.”
That my friends is not propaganda. It is taken from the Social Security Administration website. It goes very much toward substantiating the idea that certain policies can be created for one purpose and later used for another. It flies in the face of those who support lesser government control and it shows you how things can snowball over time. So why do I bring this up? Well, tucked neatly into some 800 pages of the Senate Immigration Bill are plans for a “national biometric database.” Let’s start with an applicable definition of “biometric” courtesy of dictionary.com:
“the process by which a person’s unique physical and other traits are detected and recorded by an electronic device or system as a means of confirming identity: Scanning of the human iris is a reliable form of biometrics.”
In other words, this Senate bill is potentially aimed at building a database of every freedom-loving adult in the United States of America. Does that surprise you? And if it does surprise you, does it frighten you? I recently came across this story on Wired and I think they have a noteworthy take on the dangers of such policy:
Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf) is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.
Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo.
This piece of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is aimed at curbing employment of undocumented immigrants. But privacy advocates fear the inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet. Think of it as a government version of Foursquare, with Big Brother cataloging every check-in.
“It starts to change the relationship between the citizen and state, you do have to get permission to do things,” said Chris Calabrese, a congressional lobbyist with the American Civil Liberties Union. “More fundamentally, it could be the start of keeping a record of all things.”
For now, the legislation allows the database to be used solely for employment purposes. But historically such limitations don’t last. The Social Security card, for example, was created to track your government retirement benefits. Now you need it to purchase health insurance.
“The Social Security number itself, it’s pretty ubiquitous in your life,” Calabrese said.
David Bier, an analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, agrees with the ACLU’s fears.
“The most worrying aspect is that this creates a principle of permission basically to do certain activities and it can be used to restrict activities,” he said. “It’s like a national ID system without the card.”
The fact that it will be administered by the Department of Homeland Security is enough reason for concern. For an organization that was originally set up to keep the terrorists out, it has become more about policing those who are American Citizens. Many feel that it has been created as the new “Secret Police” and we find more information every day to support that belief.
I know there are people out there who think I am a nut case for going there. Yeah I went there. But I think it’s fair to give credit where credit is due. This plan is not just the work of the “Gang of Eight.” Oh no, Barack Obama has his fingerprints all over this, even though I am sure his prints won’t be in the same biometric database as mine. Check out this video that was released on YouTube 3 years ago. This is not a new story. The reality of the implementation may have changed, but the intent and origination of the idea has not.
To give you an example of how corrupt our government can be, and why we can not trust them with this sort of information, consider a brewing controversy in my home state.
There is public outrage in Missouri over suspected “backdoor gun registration.” Basically the Department of Revenue started scanning personal documents and it has been discovered that they were transmitting that information to both the Social Security Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. They were allegedly building a secret database of gun owners in Missouri. The debate and deception is at such a level that our Republican-led State Senate has voted to withhold funds from the Missouri Department of Revenue until it receives the answers it is seeking.
This is going on all over but you can not always recognize it through the smoke and mirrors. Our state just passed one of the toughest 2nd amendment laws in the nation, making all federal gun limits null and void in Missouri. At the same time we have a Democratic Governor named Jay Nixon who reminds me a lot of Obama. If you won’t answer the front door he will sneak in your back door.
This immigration bill must be defeated. There can be no more infringements on our personal freedoms. David Kravets, the author of the “Wired” article, is correct in his presentation. Today it’s about keeping illegal aliens from getting jobs. In five years or ten years it will turn into something much more.
As for the immigration laws…If they would kick the illegals out then maybe they wouldn’t have to violate the freedoms of the people who are here legally. Our government would rather cater to non-citizens than to uphold the rights of the great citizens of this country and that should tell you something.
I have zero problems with someone who desperately tries to make a better life for their family. What I do have a problem with is a government that rolls out the red carpet for illegal aliens at the expense of people who were born here.
The real criminals aren’t the illegals who are trying to better themselves. I would do the same for my family if I had to. If I got caught I would deal with the consequences. The real criminals are a government who does not have a firm set of consequences in place.
That’s just my opinion.
As with most legislation we see coming out of D.C. this is not about immigration, it is about a whole lot of things that are lost in the fine print. I’m sure they will tell us that we need to pass it to find out what is in it.
More insanity from Washington D.C.