Yesterday The Department of Homeland Security issued the REAL ID Act — supposedly for the standardization of state identification documents. It actually creates a national identity card, to be used as an internal passport within the US.
States must start issuing the new internal passports by May 2008, or else their citizens will not be able to board planes or enter federal courthouses.
No, I’m not kidding.
The full document (in PDF form) can be found Here.
Some choice quotes from the 162-page document:
“Federal agencies would not accept state-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards unless they were REAL IDs for the purposes of boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, entering nuclear power plants and accessing Federal facilities.” (page 111)
“The primary benefit of REAL ID is to improve the security and lessen the vulnerability of federal buildings, nuclear facilities, and aircraft to terrorist attack. The rule would give states, local governments, or private sector entities an option to choose to require the use of REAL IDs for activities beyond the official purposes defined in this regulation.” (page 108)
Your papers, Citizen?