Latest on Illegal Implementation of Real ID in Missouri

Posted: March 27, 2013 in Legislative Issues, Meetings, REAL ID
Tags: , , ,
Here is a link to the Senate Subpoena of the DOR and all of it’s records pertaining to implementation of Real ID against Missouri law.
License offices upgrading with document scanners; Privacy concerns expressed over new state practices

A recent court case in Stoddard County, Mo., has brought to light the security of personal data gathered by the state of Missouri. The state further has been accused of passing personal data on to the federal government.

According to the Department of Revenue’s web site, additional information is being gathered at license offices to “enhance security and help reduce the risk of identity theft and other kinds of fraud.”

The web site also says that, “Beginning in December, license offices around the state will be converted to the new process at the rate of about 15 offices per week. The rollout should be complete in April 2013.”

The Howell County News asked in a Sunshine Law request for the Department of Revenue to provide the status of such equipment upgrades of license offices located in Howell County, including West Plains, Mountain View and Willow Springs. According to information received from the department’s legal team, the West Plains office was upgraded earlier this week. Willow Springs will receive the upgrades on Friday and Mountain View on Monday. Also next week, the Eminence, Cabool, Mountain Grove and Houston license offices will receive the upgrades.

According to the Department of Revenue’s web site, when renewing a driver’s license or concealed-carry endorsement, “You must provide documents to verify your name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, and Missouri residential address. If you have a ‘mail-to’ address in addition to your residential address, you also must provide proof of the mail-to address.

“If you are renewing your driver license or nondriver identification card, the list of documents required can also be found on the back of your renewal postcard.

“Applicants may still go to any Missouri license office they choose, and the application process and fees will remain the same. At the license office, applicants will receive a temporary, paper license and may keep the old license card which will be punched ‘VOID.’ The permanent license will be produced at a single, secure facility, and arrive in the mail at an applicant’s home within 7 to 10 business days. Overall, time spent in the license office should decrease.

“The license offices will scan all paperwork and securely transmit it to the central office. Outdated equipment in the license offices will be replaced with modern equipment.”

In the Stoddard County Case, the plaintiff, Eric Griffin, attempted to renew his concealed-carry endorsement for his driver’s license. Court records state he was asked to provide a birth certificate, documents such as utility bills for proof of address and more – all of which hadn’t been required. Griffin was told that the documents were to be scanned and sent to an unknown recipient in Atlanta, Ga., with the license mailed to him later. The suit maintains that “disclosing Plaintiff’s personal protected information to any third party or entity of the Federal Government serves absolutely no legitimate purpose …”

The state reportedly is using the services of MorphoTrust USA, with computer equipment upgrades paid for with a grant through Department of Homeland Security.

MorphoTrust says on its web site that they “provide issuing agencies with … state-of-the-art biometric screening solutions (iris, fingerprint, face) that ensure applicants are who they claim to be in advance of issuing secure credentials; … automated document authentication, scanning & archiving solutions including scanners, software and integrated backend databases for multimodal inspection of passports, driver licenses and other credentials.”

According to a Department of Homeland Security report entitled “Secure Identification State Progress: Fiscal Year 2012 Report to Congress,” dated Aug. 28, 2012, Congress passed the REAL ID act of 2005 to require “more secure standards for identification” of individuals … (the act) prohibits federal agencies from accepting state-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards unless the state is determined by the Secretary to meet minimum security standards.”

One of the constraints to the program, the report says, is that the department has “limited authority to require progress reporting. DHS has to rely on grant reporting requirements to obtain data on state progress in meeting the material compliance benchmarks.”

Homeland Security grants have included equipment upgrades such as the ones being done in Missouri, like document scanners, high-resolution digital cameras and high-speed printers.

The report to Congress showed that Missouri has met 15 of the program’s benchmarks to DHS; Missouri was awarded four grants; Missouri did not commit to meet 18 of the benchmarks, but it planned to meet “digital photo” requirements after Jan. 15, 2013, with not committing to meet “end of status,” “MC Commit,” and NC Marking, which are not defined in the report.

In fact, the Missouri General Assembly passed a law that went into effect Aug. 28, 2012, prohibiting the state from participating in the REAL ID program. Chapter 302 entitled Drivers’ and Commercial Drivers’ Licenses, Section 302.183, says:

“The department of revenue shall not amend procedures for applying for a driver’s license or identification card in order to comply with the goals or standards of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, any rules or regulations promulgated under the authority granted in such act, or any requirements adopted by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators for furtherance of the act.

“Any biometric data previously collected, obtained, or retained in connection with motor vehicle registration or operation, the issuance or renewal of driver’s licenses, or the issuance or renewal of any identification cards by any department or agency of the state charged with those activities shall be retrieved and deleted from all databases. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any data collected, obtained, or retained for a purpose other than compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. For purposes of this section, “biometric data” includes, but is not limited to:

(1) Facial feature pattern characteristics;

(2) Voice data used for comparing live speech with a previously created speech model of a person’s voice;

(3) Iris recognition data containing color or texture patterns or codes;

(4) Retinal scans, reading through the pupil to measure blood vessels lining the retina;

(5) Fingerprint, palm prints, hand geometry, measuring of any and all characteristics of biometric information, including shape and length of fingertips or recording ridge pattern or fingertip characteristics;

(6) Eye spacing;

(7) Characteristic gait or walk;

(8) DNA;

(9) Keystroke dynamics, measuring pressure applied to key pads or other digital receiving devices.

No citizen of this state shall have his or her privacy compromised by the state or agents of the state. The state shall within reason protect the sovereignty of the citizens the state is entrusted to protect.”

Sen. Mike Cunningham, who represents District 33 in the Missouri Senate, agreed that such data collection is forbidding by state statute.

“The federal government has no business maintaining citizens’ delicate information — it is over-reaching, “big brother” behavior that we will not brush under the rug,” he said in a recent editorial column. “The various actions the federal government could take with our information are endless. There are the security aspects to consider. Where will our information go? We cannot risk the possibility of private data living in an unsecured network that would make Missourians more susceptible to identity theft.”

State Rep. Shawn Rhoads, representing Howell County, as well as Howell County Sheriff Mike Shannon said the state has no need to collect private data or forward, especially regarding concealed-carry endorsements. Rhoads said the state legislature will be addressing it this week; lawmakers were on spring break last week. Shannon said the number of citizens requesting conceal-carry endorsements has increased dramatically – up from 36 in January and February of 2012 to more than 180 in January and February of this year. The clerk who had been handling the permits had been working on them on a part-time basis, but is now solely working full time on them and has to require appointments with applicants to keep things running smoothly, said Shannon.

Greg McLaughlin with Black Ops School of Combat in West Plains agrees.

“The government knows too much about us already,” he said. “Besides, a country that has given its citizens the right to keep and bear arms should only assume one thing: that its citizens are keeping and bearing arms.”

McGlaughlin teaches firearms training, offering concealed-carry classes and more. He believes gathering such data is an infringement on Second Amendment rights.

“The people of this great country have proven through the years that its citizens are more than responsible to keep and bear arms. Consider the fact that there are over 308 million people in this country and only about 13,000 murders in 2010. That is less than one half of one percent. Of those 13,000 murders, only about 70 percent involved a firearm,” said McGlaughlin. “The whole nation should not be punished for the few who are irresponsible … Any where that had gun registration has always led to gun confiscation.”

Bob Parker, a former candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and visited the Howell County News with McLaughlin, said, “They are, in effect, registering all conceal-carry permit owners,” likely keeping the data in DHS databases.

State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, who held hearings with the Department of Revenue, said in an interview on a talk show with conservative host Dana Loesch that he believes DHS is keeping the data in a central database, with documents required including marriage and birth certificates, utility documents and more.

“Missouri’s own IRS is gathering and keeping biometric data on you … people are shocked and appalled,” he said, adding the Department of Revenue is “building a database on every law-abiding Missouri citizen.”

Other reports indicate that DHS audits MorphoTrust USA twice a year. Schaefer, in the hearing, confirmed that Department of Revenue officials do not have procedures in place to ensure Missourians’ data have been destroyed from MorphoTrust files before each six-month audit by DHS.

McLaughlin and Parker both said they believe Department of Revenue is “voluntarily breaking the law” while most people are “totally unaware” of it.

Parker alleges and Wikipedia confirms that MorphoTrust USA is part of Safran, a company whose web site says it “has developed expertise in the full range of technologies required for the development, production and integration of drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV): aircraft, launch systems, gyrostabilized day/night optronic pods, mission planning, inertial navigation/flight control, and data/image transmission.”

“That’s documentable,” said Parker. “That’s not conspiracy theory.”

“I hope Missouri is able to stand up and stop it,” said Parker.

(From Howell County News)

Comments
  1. gene ballay says:

    Thank you very much for all the time and work required to keep us up to date on this.

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