Dem hopeful Howard Dean wants national ID cards required for computer log on

“Fifteen months before Dean said he would seek the presidency, however, the former Vermont governor spoke at a conference in Pittsburgh co-sponsored by smart-card firm Wave Systems where he called for state drivers’ licenses to be transformed into a kind of standardized national ID card for Americans. Embedding smart cards into uniform IDs was necessary to thwart ‘cyberterrorism’ and identity theft, Dean claimed. ‘We must move to smarter license cards that carry secure digital information that can be universally read at vital checkpoints,’ Dean said in March 2002, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. ‘Issuing such a card would have little effect on the privacy of Americans,'” Declan McCullagh reports for CNET

“Dean also suggested that computer makers such as Apple Computer, Dell, Gateway and Sony should be required to include an ID card reader in PCs–and Americans would have to insert their uniform IDs into the reader before they could log on. ‘One state’s smart-card driver’s license must be identifiable by another state’s card reader,’ Dean said. ‘It must also be easily commercialized by the private sector and included in all PCs over time–making the Internet safer and more secure,'” McCullagh reports.

“The presidential hopeful offered few details about his radical proposal. ‘On the Internet, this card will confirm all the information required to gain access to a state (government) network–while also barring anyone who isn’t legal age from entering an adult chat room, making the Internet safer for our children, or prevent adults from entering a children’s chat room and preying on our kids…Many new computer systems are being created with card reader technology. Older computers can add this feature for very little money,’ Dean said,” McCullagh reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This was “fifteen months before Dean said he would seek the presidency,” so his position on this could have changed (perhaps multiple times) or not changed at all. Either way, this idea smacks of Big Brother. MDN’s offical response to this idea? YEEARGH!


  1. I figured Mac users in particular would more skeptical about the media, who owns it and its agenda. Especially regarding editorial pieces from zdnet. Whether or not this is part of Dean’s current platform (or the context of his conference speech two years ago) is unclear. I think more info is in order before comparing him to Stalin or Satan. I’ve just watched the media do the same thing to Dean in the last week that they’ve been doing Apple for the last decade. Buck the establishment, and all sights are on you. Maybe some objectivity is in order before we repeat the empty echo-chamber behavior that has become the approved discourse.

  2. all americans should read
    The Buying of the President 2004
    by Charles Lewis and the center for public integrity

    remeber, the one who fundraises more money wins .. Bush did last time with $125.410.986 compared to Gore with $49.427.800

    just read that book .. gives a lot of insight ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Thank you for some cool-headed reflection, hmmm. I see no reason to see Big Brother or Satan at work in this plan. Before being so worried about possible intrusion upon our privacy, consider the fact that nearly everyone has a social security number so that officials already have a means at hand to track most of us.

    I don’t like the idea of a national ID card. I do like the idea of greater protection against identity theft and abuse of children. It seems like a classic case of liberty versus security. If this plan ever gains some political traction, I hope it sparks a thorough discussion amongst the American people before it goes anywhere.

  4. The Patriot Act, to me, seems to be the modern-day equivalent of the Alien and Sedition Acts which was one of the causes of the elimination of the Federalists and rise of the Republicans (now called Democrats). An awful lot of politicians on both sides of the spectrum seem to be hell-bent on eliminating personal dignity and increasing the power of the central government. Jefferson had some pretty radical ideas about what should be done. Today he’d probably get thrown in jail without bail for saying what he did. Politicians just don’t trust people to have common sense. The internet and computers are going to change things in ways that have only just started and politicians like Dean and Bush don’t like it.

  5. I myself feel no more secure from a terrorist attack than the threat of driving my car and getting into a fatal accident. That being said, I feel that the over-dramatization of security is slowly leading to depletion of privacy.

    There is an argument for how this plan and others like it will stop identity theft, child abuse, and the other problems in the world, but the fact remains, it happens everyday and despite futile attempts it will happen tomorrow.

    The people that commit these types of crimes will not stop, imagine if this came to pass and you happened to lose you “ID card” the only thing that would keep your nfo safe is if it self-destructed.

  6. Dean is a nut case. End of story.

    To hmmm: The very same media except for Fox does the same thing to Bush every day that they have been doing to Apple for a long time now.

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