REAL ID: Added convenience, or invasion of privacy? - 172 responses

Mar 05, 2015

Aimed at making it tougher for terrorists to evade detection, REAL ID standards dictate the information and security measures that should be included in state driver's licenses. The first phase of implementing the standards started last January, but as yet NH has made no move to comply. A bill recently rejected by the Senate Transportation Committee would have changed that, giving NH drivers the option of getting a REAL ID-compliant license. In the wake of the vote, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) asked its Facebook members to share their thoughts on the question, "Should NH act to comply with federal "REAL ID" standards?"

The answer was a resounding "no", with 87% of those directly answering the question expressing opposition to REAL ID. Only 13% were in favor of a law that would give NH drivers the option of a compliant license. Thirty-three percent of total respondents opted not to give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to broader issues. In sum, the LFDA received 172 specific comments and 316 concurrences for a total of 488 citizen responses.

Opponents of the REAL ID program argued that it constituted a federal infringement on state rights, and that it represented an unsettling invasion of privacy. "Just another way to take away our privacy and freedom," one poster said. "Our IDs are just fine," argued another. "We do not need a national ID," a third said.

Those in favor of the proposed bill held that it would be good for New Hampshire citizens to have the option of a REAL ID compliant license. "I should have the right to get the ID if I want to," one commenter said. "I think the state should offer it, but be voluntary," another said. "It will make life so much easier for us commercial drivers," one gentleman pointed out.

Commenters who did not give a yes or no response discussed a wide range of issues relating to privacy and the relationship between state and federal governments. "What is it that you believe the federal government doesn't already know about you?" one poster asked. "I don't see a compelling reason to hurry with this," another noted.

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion for this question.

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