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Homeland Security Again Changes REAL ID Standards

The Bush administration is easing its demand for tough national standards for driver's licenses, acting at the behest of state officials who say the "Real ID" plan is unworkable and too costly, officials familiar with the new policy said. While Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff hailed an agreement with New York last week on more secure state identification cards for citizens as a sign that "the tide is moving more rapidly in favor of Real ID," his department is preparing to extend deadlines for the second time in a year and ease or take over responsibility for new security measures, the officials said. Timothy Sparapani, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said DHS is weakening the program in a desperate bid to keep it alive. The ACLU and conservative libertarian groups that oppose Real ID view it as a de facto national ID with Orwellian implications. Eight states have passed legislation to opt out of the program, nine others have passed resolutions in opposition, and more will consider doing so this winter.

Homeland Security Retreats From Facets of 'Real ID' , Washington Post, November 4, 2007.