Let’s see some ID, pal

Here’s a very cool website/organization: Papers, Please: The Identity Project, dedicated to monitoring and publizing the clamp-down of governments on freedom of movement.

Demands on citizens to ‘show their ID’ have spread from airports to all major forms of long distance domestic public transport. Some of these ID security programs check people against secret government lists. Some of these programs are simply tests of the traveler’s obedience. Dissent through public protest is in danger of being chilled by the fear of ending up on government lists.  We are witnessing the advent of a national ID card, passed by Congress as the Real ID Act. . .

As someone whose name is on the U.S. government’s terrorist watchlist, these are developments I follow with no little interest.  (Turns out there’s a very bad David J. Williams out there.  One of the penalties of having a somewhat generic name.  Or maybe it’s me.  It’s not like they’d tell me.  It’s not like the name’s ever coming off that list anyway.)  Back in my days of management consulting, when I was flying all the time, I always found it weird to be getting the third-degree everytime I crossed the U.S. border, when I’d usually spent the better part of every flight working on a book about a society where identity is the primary mechanism of government control—and the manipulation of identity is a standard tool in every razor’s arsenal. . .

3 Responses to “Let’s see some ID, pal”

  1. John C Says:

    Maybe you should stay out of the zones lol. Who is your razor?

  2. Joni Says:

    Where I live a young person have to show his/her ID to prove his/her age in order to buy cigarettes, booze or get admitted to a bar. Fortunately it is not necessary to show your ID when traveling inside the country but you are pretty much identified when you use an electronic bus card.

  3. meesh Says:

    heh! nice post williams. i am a big fan of this organization and its aims to hopefully keep people in the know about their rights.

    i still think it’s odd that i don’t have to show ID to ride the trains here….i am so used to amtrak asking for ID…i can see why it would be way easier to attack here instead of the US….for one, the oceans that separate the ‘terror states’ and also this free wheeling travel issue….especially on the rails….

    the swiss just voted recently to extend the schengen….i am not sure what would happen to me as a US citizen declining to be identified in any airport here….i also now have a swiss ID card that is supposed to allow me to move about the country of switzerland but not to fly outside of switzerland. for this i would need to have my passport…..