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I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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A Feast For Crows
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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Government Selling Your Identity Online

Here's another example of why you should fight the concept of national ID cards and any other form of comprehensive identity database.

From the Napa Valley Register story in the title link:

SACRAMENTO -- The Social Security numbers, addresses and signatures of more than 650,000 Californians have been available for purchase since 2004 -- for about $6 each on a Web site operated by the secretary of state's office.


The Web site had been used to post bank lending and collateral statements -- so-called Uniform Commercial Code filings -- that were frequently purchased by financial institutions conducting loan research. The site contained about 2 million records, a third of which contained individual borrowers' information. The rest had information about business loans.


For three years, the Secretary of State's office routinely placed thousands of documents containing Social Security numbers on the Internet and then sold them to the public for $6 each." The state has literally been selling on the Internet an ID theft starter kit," said Sacramento assemblyman Dave Jones.


"I was really surprised to see this and really stunned to see the names of people I knew in the community, businesses large and small and see their social security numbers, signatures and their addresses," said State Assemblyman Dave Jones.

In fact, Jones' staff got 14 people's records from the Secretary of States' website for less than $90.

As if this particular issue of selling identity information online wasn't bad enough, here's another story to make privacy conscious people cringe:


The personal information — including Social Security numbers — of 71,000 Indiana state health care workers were accessed by a hacker in January.

The attacker accessed the data, as well as the credit card information of 5,600 individuals and businesses.

If you are curious about what people might be doing with these Social Security numbers, here's an example from

The state Division of Motor Vehicles issued about 27,000 driver's licenses to people with invalid Social Security numbers, according to a state audit released Tuesday.


Almost 12,800 of the invalid numbers belonged to dead people. About 7,500 of the people who provided those numbers had revoked or expired driver's licenses.

About 7,200 of the people providing other invalid Social Security numbers also had revoked or expired licenses, according to the audit.


The DMV didn't require Social Security numbers to issue a license before last year. Since August, the agency has used an online verification program that allows employees to check the authenticity of Social Security numbers with what officials call "ironclad accuracy."

Keep in mind that the above stories all came out in just the last few days. If you keep an eye out for the subject of identity theft, you will continuously find stories like these on the internet news sites. If you let the government put all of our identity data in one place to create a multipurpose national ID card, you will simply do the following:

  • Create a single target for people to hack, bribe, buy and steal identity information from
  • Allow criminals to operate with impunity once they obtain such an ID card, as the government keeps telling us how this "hacker proof", "theft proof" ultra secure" cards can't be compromised and thus can be trusted by everyone

We are safer when government agencies and corporations have as little information about us as possible, and when that information is as compartmentalized and as difficult to access as possible. We don't need a single magic number that lets a data miner access our credit history, medical records, buying habits, home address, tax records, firearms ownership, driving privileges, etc. all from a single database. We are already near this point since people widely misuse Social Security numbers for more than tax purposes. Lets not make matters even worse.



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