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May 19, 2005

US Citizen

I was in Seattle this Monday speiling up my consulting group's ability to solve a particularly nasty problem in government procurement pricing for a large aerospace manufacturer. (Hmm who could that be?). We met in a very nicely lit and carpeted secure facility and showed our drivers licenses at the reception. But I use the term 'we' loosely, because I whipped out the passport.

My passport expires next year and I will have to renew it without having filled all the pages with visas from around the globe. That's ok I suppose, because I do a fair bit of domestic travel now, and I just love using it.

In all the foofoorah about the 'Real ID', there's something that frequent flyers and our attendants understand. The passport is a superior piece of identification. It takes longer to get, it's harder to forge and generally a class of more serious people use it. The idea that some new database or registration process at the DMVs of this nation are going to make us marginally more secure is a dead issue as far as I'm concerned. It's a half step. Simply said, a passport is harder to get, fewer people have them. It's a more important document and it's a better form of ID.

It should be common sense that if you want more security, then you should add a more stringent requirement for identification purposes. But giving that same ability to everyone defeats the notion. It simply raises the bar for everyone, including forgers.

Posted by mbowen at May 19, 2005 08:13 AM

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If forgery is outlawed, only outlaws will forge stuff.

Posted by: Xrlq at May 19, 2005 09:23 AM