While Gov. Mark Sanford and other opponents of Big Gummint are busily fighting that hyper-scary Threat to All We Hold Sacred, the Real ID program, Big Brother’s turning to the private sector to get the dirty deed done.
The Financial Times reports that, under a program (that’s "programme" to you Brits) run by Homeland Security, air travelers are voluntarily turning their most intimate identifying info over to private contractors:
Until recently the only thing apart from love that money could not
buy was a guaranteed place at the front of an airport security queue.
That is changing, as an additional 500 US air passengers a day agree to
hand over a $100 (£50) annual fee, plus their fingerprints and iris
scans, for the right to become “registered travellers” in private
programmes supervised by the Department of Homeland Security.
the authorities have run an applicant’s background checks to ensure he
or she is not a threat to airline security, the successful RT receives
a credit card-style pass containing biometric information and the
privilege of joining specially designated fast lanes at a growing
number of US airports. The market leader, Verified Identity Pass (VIP),
has received about 100,000 applications, of which 75,000 have been
I suppose the reader reaction to this news will serve as a sort of litmus test: Libertarians will say, "See? Told you the private sector can get the job done better than gummint!"
Others among us would far rather give up such information only to Uncle Sam, who is constrained by laws written by the representives we elect, than to someone with a profit motive, who might choose to do whatever he pleases with it. Different strokes.