Month: May 2019

Good Security is More than the Illusion of Security

In the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the downed hijacked airliner the U.S. Congress determined that some of the terrorists boarded commercial aircraft using fraudulently acquired state identification cards.

They are issued by Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) for people without driver’s licenses.

As a consequence, the US Congress passed REAL ID.

In lieu of creating a national ID card, the purpose of Real ID is to upgrade security features and diligence standards in the issuance of driver’s licenses.

The Congress imposed a condition. If there was non-compliance with Real ID, after a grace period, the federal government would no longer accept the state issued document (i.e. boarding aircraft, access to federal buildings).

Almost twenty (20) years later, there are still issues with compliance in the middle of federal/state political dog fights.

At the least American governments attempt  to make the most relied upon means of identification more secure. There is room for adding new strategies to avoid a single point of failure.

I fear this is not the case in Canada.  Light years behind in concern about security, provincial issuers of driver’s licenses, and other identification tokens such as health cards, would have to be convinced to do more than the perfunctory screening procedures now it place.

Every government identification issuer makes security trade-offs. Their decision rests on finding the political balance between improved security,  the costs, and inconvenience to voters.

Canadian issuers of driver’s licenses and other tokens such as health cards are reasonably masterful at hood winking Canadians into believing that they take issuing means of identification security seriously. Things will predictably remain the same until some catastrophic physical or financial event induces change to their security mindset.