Real ID update: Only four hours left to tell Homeland Security what you think

Deadline for Real ID comments looms.

If you don't like the idea of a national ID card, you have only four hours left to let Homeland Security know your thoughts.

That's because the deadline to file comments on the Real ID Act is 5pm ET on Tuesday. Probably the best place to do that is a Web site created by an ad hoc alliance called the Privacy Coalition (they oppose the idea, but if you're a big Real ID fan you can use their site to send adoring comments too).

Alternatively, Homeland Security has finally seen fit to give us an email address that you can use to submit comments on the Real ID Act. Send email to with "Docket No. DHS-2006-0030" in the Subject: line.

In case you haven't been following this, Real ID compels state governments to follow Homeland Security's rules for federalized ID cards that will be required for state residents to do things like open bank accounts, enter government buildings, and fly on commercial flights. A national database will be created to make all this work. Here's some background from when this scheme was enacted in 2005 as part of an "emergency" military spending bill.

More recently, Homeland Security has published details -- in the form of draft regulations -- on how these federalized IDs will work.

Because Congress ordered the department to implement Real ID, Homeland Security can't do nothing, and any real fix to the law will have to come through a legislative rewrite or appeal. But the draft regulations could be improved in terms of privacy, autonomy, and security, and those are some areas that it would be good to address in comments sent today.

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