Alabama RFID Cards: How Biometrics Helps DHS Fight Terrorism
The Alabama Department of Public Safety (ADPS) are issuing new chipped driver’s licenses and IDs under the STAR ID initiative that promises to “improve the integrity and security of state-issued driver licenses and identification cards, which, in turn, will help fight terrorism and reduce fraud.”
STAR ID is the Alabama legislature’s response to the REAL-ID Act of 2005 (RIDA) which keeps the state in compliance with federal mandates while maintaining ‘security [and] authentication” of Alabama residents.
By December of 2017, Alabama states that all residents must have their STAR ID; having replaced their current ID and driver’s license.
RIDA is tasked with protecting Americans from terrorism by empowering the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies to monitor and profile residents to ensure their authenticity.
Over four distinct phases, the DHS is enforcing state mandatory deadlines for compliance and a courtesy 3 month “warning” period.
The phases of compliance are:
1. Restricted areas for DHS headquarters
2. All federal facilities and nuclear power plants
3. Semi-restricted areas at federal facilities
4. Entry into commercial aircraft
States that have complied with RFID chipped ID cards for residents include:
• District of Columbia
• New Mexico
• North Carolina
• Rhode Island
In 2003 the Department of Defense was receiving software for the Joint Protective Enterprise Network (JPEN) under directives from Oracle’s Homeland Security Program Office.
Oracle was paid $15 million to supply this system to military bases across the nation. JPEN would facilitate the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) and the DHS; as well as connecting hospitals, air traffic control centers, nuclear power plant operators and police and fire departments.
Six years later, the DHS renegotiated contracts with Oracle. Under consolidation, DHS took 487,000 licenses, software and maintenance agreements from Microsoft; as well “unlimited” licenses between Oracle and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The DoDare using biometrics to fight terrorism, catalogue active duty troops and maintain national security interests. The Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA) utilizes biometrics to “identify the enemy” and verify individuals to ensure secure business and governmental functions.
The US Department of State Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) has more than 90 million people’s photographs data based with the continuous use of the Department of Facial Recognition Software.
The DHS Automated Biometric Identification System tracks an estimated 250,000 biometric communications a day. Over 126 million fingerprints, photographs and biographical information are filed for the US government to use at their discretion.
The National ID card by Oracle would establish “a standard and secure national identifier, we could ensure that any system that chose to use it could effectively share information with other systems that use it.”
Larry Ellison, founder of the Oracle Corporation, showed off a prototype of a National ID card at the National Press club in 2001 that included a picture, fingerprint and other digital controls to ensure security. He believed that the US government “could phase in digital ID cards to replace existing Social Security cards and driver’s licenses. These new IDs should be based on a uniform standard such as credit card technology, which is harder to counterfeit than existing government IDs.”