Essays Tagged "Bulletin of Atomic Scientists"

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Real-ID: Costs and Benefits

  • Bruce Schneier
  • The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
  • March/April 2007

The argument was so obvious it hardly needed repeating. Some thought we would all be safer—­from terrorism, from crime, even from inconvenience—­if we had a better ID card. A good, hard-to-forge national ID is a no-brainer (or so the argument goes), and it’s ridiculous that a modern country like the United States doesn’t have one.

Still, most Americans have been and continue to be opposed to a national ID card. Even just after 9/11, polls showed a bare majority (51%) in favor—­and that quickly became a minority opinion again. As such, both political parties came out against the card, which meant that the only way it could become law was to sneak it through…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.