Opponents of mandatory or quasi-mandatory identification cards on the religious Right receive got pointed to the Bible’s alarm against the “sin of David,” whom Satan incited to bear a census in addition to whom God punished for thence “numbering” the people (1 Chronicles 21). Caesar’s all-empire registration that took Joseph in addition to Mary to Bethlehem (Luke 2) has similarly colored the sentiment of many Americans that whatever regime information collection for revenue enhancement purposes is business office of a wider conspiracy.
Likewise, the introduction of a government-assigned number inwards monastic tell to receive got upwardly a task was viewed every bit fulfillment of the biblical prophecy of the “mark of the beast” inwards Revelation 13: “no homo mightiness purchase or sell, salve he that had the mark, or the shout out of the beast, or the number of his name.” The widening job of ID numbers is said to live on mandated yesteryear international organizations such every bit the United Nations (UN) in addition to the European Community, every bit business office of the New World Order predicted inwards Daniel 7:23 in addition to Revelation 13:4–8.
The Social Security Administration’s “Enumeration at Birth” program, inwards which newborns are assigned Social Security Numbers (SSNs), is business office of a “global conception for enumeration,” mandated yesteryear the UN. New identification applied scientific discipline is seen every bit especially worrisome, amongst fears, for example, that bar codes comprise the number 666, the grade of the beast.
On the Left, the assignment of SSNs to workers inwards the 1930s produced concerns, for illustration yesteryear the United Mineworkers, of a potential employers’ “blacklist” of troublemaking laborers. However, much of the opposition to the SSN was fueled yesteryear opposition to President Roosevelt’s New Deal itself, in addition to made job of conspiratorial accusations largely every bit a rhetorical flourish.
Just earlier the 1936 election, Republican presidential candidate Alf Landon asked rhetorically if millions of Americans would at 1 time live on fingerprinted in addition to photographed in addition to “opened for federal snooping.” The Hearst newspapers asked, “Do y'all desire a tag in addition to a number inwards the shout out of simulated security?” in addition to spread the rumor that all workers would live on required to article of apparel Canis familiaris tags displaying the SSN.
Although the fears in addition to conspiracy theories that met the introduction of the SSN tin at 1 time appear farfetched, it is nevertheless the illustration that the numbers receive got give-up the ghost all-purpose identifiers, despite assurances at the time, in addition to fears well-nigh the erosion of freedom in addition to privacy are non unfounded.
However, the U.S.A. does non receive got a national ID carte du jour every bit other countries do. The most-commonly checked regime IDs are the driver’s licenses issued yesteryear the 50 states, but less than xx per centum of the population has a U.S. passport. More than 7,000 dissimilar jurisdictions number all fashion of nascence certificates, which are the “breeder documents” upon which other IDs are based.
Proponents of universal ID cards outset from the observation that the U.S.A. already has a de facto national ID card, inwards the shape of driver’s licenses, in addition to a national ID number, inwards the shape of the SSN. In the wake of the terrorist assail on September 11, for example, advocates for a national ID carte du jour argued that the existing scheme had to live on made to a greater extent than robust yesteryear combining the existing cards into one.
In a similar vein, opponents of national ID cards propose that the electrical current scattered scheme is but the slippery gradient to the introduction of a national ID. These skeptics assert that, because totalitarian systems rely on ID cards (Nazi Germany’s IBMsupplied ID system, the Soviet internal passport, in addition to apartheid South Africa’s locomote yesteryear scheme beingness primal examples), ID cards themselves stand upwardly for the sparse border of the wedge of a Big Brother terra firma apparatus, which could live on introduced yesteryear stealth in addition to inwards a piecemeal fashion, via modest technological improvements in addition to policy changes.
Mainstream civil liberties in addition to privacy advocates such every bit the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, in addition to the Privacy Foundation hit non run into whatever conspiracy inwards this, although slippery-slope arguments tin sometimes play the same role every bit conspiracy theory inwards viewing together what would otherwise live on unrelated, disparate events. Sometimes privacy advocates volition employ the hint of conspiracy to simplify the presentation of what is actually an declaration well-nigh incremental, technological determinism.
Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 rather dissimilar grouping of ID opponents does run into a literal conspiracy. In U.S. history at that spot is a longstanding populist, right-wing fearfulness of the encroachment of “big government” into the life of the average American, in addition to ID cards are often seen every bit business office of a larger conspiracy of the federal regime (and the so-called New World Order) to command the private life of citizens. Members of the Patriot movement, inwards groups such every bit the Militia of Montana in addition to the Posse Comitatus, receive got attempted to rescind or revoke their ain driver’s licenses or SSNs, inwards a procedure called “asseveration.”
For example, Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols had at 1 indicate attempted to dorsum out of a $20,000 debt yesteryear attempting to repudiate his U.S. citzenship; he destroyed his driver’s license, passport, in addition to voter registration card. Similar ID-revocation techniques receive got been used inwards attempts to avoid child-support payments, dorsum taxes, gun registration, seatbelt laws, speed limits, in addition to similar infringements on “sovereign” citizens.
These groups depict ID cards every bit business office of a conspiracy to claw citizens into rejecting their “sovereign” status. Even the ZIP code is feared every bit a shape of “adhesion contract” to nullify sovereignty. The thought of ID cards every bit an antisovereign conspiracy is by in addition to large employed every bit business office of a strategy for avoiding taxes or other fiscal burdens, although this sort of revenue enhancement avoidance has been universally unsuccessful.
There is, however, a thriving line of piece of work organisation inwards running seminars on the subject, at which attendees mightiness pay several hundred dollars to instruct the appropriate paperwork, addition the powerfulness to themselves concur similar seminars, forming a sort of multilevel-marketing receive for the anti-ID carte du jour conspiracy theory.
In the U.S.A. “liberty” is often a code give-and-take for guns, in addition to fifty-fifty fairly mainstream opponents of gun registration sometimes run into ID cards every bit business office of a much larger pattern, inwards which “fascist” regime agencies such every bit the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, in addition to Firearms (BATF) is targeting gun owners in addition to the “politically incorrect.” The Brady Bill requires that ID such every bit a driver’s license live on shown in addition to checked against a federal database every bit business office of a handgun sale, which has led the gun foyer to equate registration in addition to ID cards amongst gun control.
New forms of applied scientific discipline provoke similar responses from opponents of identification cards. “Smart” cards, which tin ship several megabytes of data, are ofttimes described every bit the adjacent pace inwards bringing well-nigh one-world regime tracking of all persons; the job of such smart cards on armed forces bases has been described every bit a airplane pilot projection to displace the entire civilian population to a trackable, cashless society.
Biometrics such every bit facial recognition, in addition to location tracking via GPS (Global Positioning Satellite), are seen every bit business office of the same plan. The adjacent pace is implantable ID, such every bit the Digital Angel in addition to Verichip products from Applied Digital Solutions. The religious Right banking concern notation that these products inwards business office fulfill the pattern specification of Revelation 13:16 that speaks of “a grade inwards their right hand, or inwards their foreheads.”
Timothy McVeigh, the Oklohoma bomber, spoke of the the world forces implanting a reckoner fighting inwards his buttocks during the Gulf War, but to a greater extent than mainstream commentators at 1 time banking concern notation that such technology is becoming to a greater extent than likely. For the conspiracyminded, high-tech ID systems are seen every bit systems non only for identification, but for heed control.