The proposal, which has earned the support of Janet Napolitano, the newly chosen chief of the Department of Homeland Security, would embed radio chips in driver's licenses, or "enhanced driver's licenses." "Enhanced driver's licenses give confidence that the person holding the card is the person who is supposed to be holding the card, and it's less elaborate than REAL ID," Napolitano said in a Washington Times report.
Enhanced driver's licenses have built-in radio chips providing an identifying number or information that can be accessed by a remote reading unit while the license is inside a wallet or purse.
Imagine, she said, going to a First Amendment-protected event, a church or a mosque, or even a gun show or a peace rally. "What happens to all those people when a government operator carrying a reading device makes a circuit of the event?" she asked. "They could download all those unique ID numbers and link them." Participants could find themselves on "watch" lists or their attendance at protests or rallies added to their government "dossier."
She said even if such license programs are run by states, there's virtually no way that the databases would not be linked and accessible to the federal government.
"So if EDLs are the new direction for secure licenses in all states, it just reinforces what many have been telling me that DHS wants to expand this program and turn it into a wireless national ID with a different name," he said. "We'll wake up one day and without a vote in Congress DHS will just pass a rule and say something like 'starting next month you will need an EDL to fly on a plane, or to buy a gun, or whatever.'"