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CPSR Journal Vol 19, No 4
Volume 19, Number 4 The CPSR Journal Fall 2001

CPSR National ID FAQ by Andrew Clement

[ Read the program notes ]

Editor’s note: CPSR has recently created two new resources on National Identification Schemes. Here is the first question, from an early draft.

How are currently proposed NIDS like the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) of the 1980s?

The recent spate of proposals for a NIDS bears a remarkable resemblance to the Star Wars proposals in the early 1980s. Here are some similarities:

  • Provides a superficially attractive solution to a largely unknown and fearsome external threat
  • Are promoted mainly by vendor organizations and their political allies having a major financial stake
  • The proposed systems are experimental, unproven, and impossible to test thoroughly before being deployed
  • No independent verification of claims of effectiveness
  • Very expensive ($ billions)
  • Easily defeated by obvious counter measures
  • Involve significant negative side effects and risks and above all
  • Will not be effective against the identified threat.
National Identification Schemes (NIDS) and the Fight against Terrorism:
Frequently Asked Questions
National Identification Schemes: Links to Resources

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