thoughts on the national ID

after reading this.

  • My initial thoughts on the National ID border on some measure of disbelief, not in the fact that the gov’t would consciously undertake such an audacious assault on the right to privacy at such magnitude, but that it would consciously undertake anything at all of any magnitude. Remember, this is a country where the nation’s top criminals enjoy rights like any other.

    Erap continues to live amongst us, and parties heartily as well. Imelda and her children are not only private free citizens, they’re elected top government officials. This is a country where the President’s husband has the nerve to stay at the most expensive suite to watch a boxing match – even as he knows local journalists abound – even as he knows he doesn’t have to be there – even as he knows more and more people in his country consider it a good day when they actually have something to eat, and this on top of the unbelievably callous response of claiming it was all a freebie. That’s not the point, you stupid sonof*tch.

    But I digress.

    I expressed disbelief because such a program requires tremendous manpower, finances, time, money (which explain why it’s sneaking by us as well, considering many can enrich themselves in the process, but again that’s beside the point), and finally extreme doses of political will, and just plain will. The will to make it work that stems from the firm and final belief with zero doubt that the Utopian premise of a National Identification System will make things better for the common man, and doggedly pursue it despite the many obvious hurdles aside and especially those coming from those who oppose it, and who are even willing to take arms against it. The government cannot even feed our hungry, jail a guilty man, or even put up an MRT line between North Station and Welcome Rotonda within budget and schedule. What makes it think it can do something like this?

  • There are 14 details: name, home address, sex, photo, signature, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, names of parents, height, weight, fingerprints, distinguishing marks and tax identification number. Seems logical, but out of curiousity how did these details come about?
  • This is as much IT news as National news. In fact, it is a geek’s dream. Any database person worth his salt will wanna know how they plan to do it – and might have opinions of their own. It’d be an interesting topic. Would there also be web-based component?
  • “In no case shall the collection or compilation of the other data in violation of a person’s right to privacy shall be allowed or tolerated under this order,” the President said in the EO. “Access to the national ID data bank will be restricted with all information classified as “strictly confidential” to be released or modified only with the consent of the individual.”

    That’s as open a challenge to hackers as I’ve ever heard.

  • What other countries are doing this and to what extent is their success/failure?
  • GMA has released the first salvo, and thus it remains for the opposition to start, well, opposing. Reading the statements per se, she makes a relatively good argument for herself, stating the need for “A unified ID system will facilitate private business, enhance the integrity and reliability of government issued ID cards in private transactions, and prevent violations of laws involving false names and identities,”. The average citizen, heck the average geek can actually be caught nodding one’s head on reading that.

    As such the opposition will need to come up with a clear concept of why this is unconstitutional. A layman’s version if you will. Judging from the inq7 article (and this article alone mind you, so I may not be fully informed), there is only a general concept of invasion of privacy. In fact, there seems a higher priority given to the President’s sneaking through legislature to get the Executive Order passed.

    Sneaky and underhanded as it is, to me it is beside the point. As such the public will merely pooh-pooh that issue as yet another of gov’t’s many internal strifes. The bigger and more alarming issue is the loss of one’s privacy, and in order to bring attention to that, light should be shed on among other things: a) what rights are we enjoying at the moment. b.) what do we stand to lose, and finally c.) what do we stand to lose in the light of what the Executive Order is applying. Not only is it important to know our rights are being invaded, but exactly how, stating clear examples the guy walking on the street would understand, is called for.

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