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IPFS News Link • Surveillance

How the U.S. Government Forged a Surveillance Society

What most Americans do not know is that the blue print for REAL ID did not originate in the United States, but in the backrooms of a United Nations organization called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). That organization is tasked with the goal of creating a once-size fits all international identification system using massive data banks that contain individual biometric information on nearly everyone in the world. Biometrics is defined as measurement of the body. One might correctly think of fingerprinting, iris scans and facial recognition as biometrics. In compliance to this goal, REAL ID mandates a certain picture quality for all drivers’ licenses. Those photos are to comply with the ICAO’s Document 9303 biometric format. Your photo taken by a local DMV is run through special software which measures and analyzes the unique identifiable characteristics of your face. The process results in a unique numeric code which identifies a person according to facial measurements. In other words, under REAL ID, using the adopted standard of the ICAO, your face is reduced to a number code, a number which is read by a computer and be tracked by surveillance cameras worldwide. Why would the United States agree to implement such a system? What happened to the promise that we would not let the terrorists change our way of life? How did the United States move from a free society, bent on preserving our freedoms in a dangerous terrorist-driven world to one of total surveillance over the actions of every citizen? What was the unseen hand that led to such decisions? The international focus on drivers’ licenses through REAL ID came as a result of plans for international biometric passports. Passports, of course, are a control device of travelers both coming and going through US borders. Discussion regarding the use of E-Passports started soon after 9/11. It was not until the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 that our federal government put in place the framework for the issuance of E-Passports. E-Passports utilize both biometric technology and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. Focusing on passports, however, was about to create an international problem for the US government that would force it to accelerate and expand its surveillance plans, leading to a global surveillance system beyond what most in Congress intended.