By Dickson Igwe, Contributor
In a very dangerous world where the criminal and terrorist hold crucial aces in the pack, to steal, maim, and murder, a national identification mechanism that is required to be held by every resident is no longer an option.
Anonymity is too easy for criminals and terrorists.
There are thousands of criminals who have fraudulently changed their identities, walking anonymously in civil society, and who are dangerous to community. Porous borders make it easy for criminals and undesirables to infiltrate a vulnerable community.
A national ID card offers a great tool to law enforcement in the fight against crime. It will enhance community safety, and wellbeing.
Now, with today’s digital environment, a national ID card can actually be a great convenience. Imagine all the cards in your wallet from your driver’s license, social security card, health insurance card, to your credit and debit cards, all amalgamated into one card: a card that is backed up by secure data that can be swiftly replaced if lost. The technology to do this is here today.
A national ID card will be uniform, and difficult to alter or forge. It will be difficult to lose intentionally because of GPS tracking technology.
It will not get lost in the maze of multiple bureaucracies as these bureaucracies will link with the central secure database that holds the information of every card holder, and will of course be backed up securely.
A national ID card could actually make government more efficient by enabling greater cross functionality, and effective information sharing.
Strict criteria must be met for any police officer or investigator asking to see an individual’s national ID card.
Although required to be carried by all residents, the card should only ever be demanded in the course of an investigation, or valid suspicion of criminal activity.
Of course a central agency coordinating this “pooling of national data’’ will have to exist. It will be managed by a type of Director of National Intelligence: a hugely sensitive position.
In turn, that new agency will have to be regulated by a second independent agency accountable to elected lawmakers.
The national ID card will contain a chip and the holder’s fingerprint. It will possess a tracking device that will allow the DNI’s office to know 24/7 where the holder is situated. It will hold the holder’s internet and online data usage, as well as cell phone data usage.
It will most certainly be effective in combating terrorism, and allow the police, through its links with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, greater tracking, and surveillance capability.
All visitors will be required to hold a temporary national ID card issued at the immigration desk with their demographic information and travel information.
Again GPS positioning will allow DNI to know their every move. Illegal immigrants will be easily caught as they will not possess a card when asked to produce it.
As a tool of investigation, it will give the Director of Intelligence powerful intrusive capability. However that capability will be heavily regulated by law.
For example, the DNI – Director of National Intelligence – will know all our dirty little secrets. However, he or she will only be able to offer data and information to police and investigators that is deemed critical to national security after this has been assessed by the regulating agency.
Prior knowledge of a murder, robbery, drug rendezvous, white collar crime, and so on, will enable police and investigators to be more proactive in the fight against crime.
There are numerous scenarios where a national ID card proves effective from the mundane to ominous.
A senior manager is sexually harassing a subordinate. The female subordinate is reluctant to report the matter as she fears termination. The senior manager is discovered in his miscreant behavior through cell phone and internet intrusion. DNI may not consider it a matter of national security.
However a quiet visit from HR enables the senior manager to change course.
A senior official receives a bribe worth several thousand dollars. DNI takes note, and the matter is logged in the official’s electronic file at the central database. DNI may decide to allow the matter pass for reasons of political stability.
However the official is now under monitor. A larger bribe received subsequently, worth several hundred thousand, is another matter, and is deemed a threat to national security. A full investigation is launched into the matter.
A woman is raped and left for dead on a remote country lane. A national ID card would help swiftly locate the woman if she has it on her person. The rapists can be tracked using GPS technology, even if the rapists have discarded their ID cards.
The fact their cards are static will be noted and factored into an investigation of the rape. The pool of suspects is exponentially reduced to persons who have discarded their cards.
A pedophile ring is discovered through internet and social media intrusion. There are a number of very powerful individuals in the ring. This is of course a hugely concerning matter. It will impact national security in numerous ways. It is a national tragedy for the children that are victims.
A secret information gathering exercise leads to full discovery. It also enables a successful investigation into the matter and full revelation.
Senior officials resign and are charged with sex crimes. The nation is spared a long and protracted scandal that could harm the national interest.
A submarine is to surface at a specific time in a cove on an isolated and remote Caribbean island. There is a hundred million dollars’ worth of cocaine on board.
The consignment will be received by a number of drug smugglers in extraordinarily powerful boats who will convey the merchandise to prearranged locations and distribution channels.
DNI is aware of the rendezvous through intrusive digital and cell phone surveillance, and international security links. National ID card GPS coordinates show that the smugglers have clearly discarded their individual IDs.
A Royal Navy Cutter in the area has already been alerted. A number of navy frogmen are waiting for the “fishy business to take place. The smugglers are apprehended.
On board the submarine is the leader of a notorious Latin American drug cartel who foolishly decided to go for a ‘joy ride’.
An execution style hit is planned on a female by her husband who suspects her of being unfaithful. The planned murder is discovered by marrying a certain amount of cash taken out of the husband’s account and a meeting of the hit man and husband overheard by an off duty police officer.
Both men are placed under surveillance. Police suspect that the night of the murder will be the time the killers national ID is discarded.
Sure enough, on an evening when the killer’s card is completely static on the central database’s GPS coordinates, he is observed approaching the wife’s home just as the husband departs. Both men are arrested. The hit is averted.
A terror cell is discovered with tentacles spreading into various homes and businesses. The cell is further linked with Middle Eastern interests and terror type organizations in the volatile region. DNI and his analysts are watching this closely.
A plan is hatched to take down an airline with a new type of plastic explosive easily concealed and difficult to discover. The plot is discovered through a combination of cell phone and internet intrusion, and street surveillance.
A number of terrorists are arrested. Scores of families are saved from horrific tragedy.
A number of security experts have stated that a national ID card of the type described in the preceding narrative could have averted 911, and stopped a number of terror attacks in western cities; so why the delay in establishing a national ID card?
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