back to article DHS official moots Real ID rules for buying cold medicine

A senior US Department of Homeland Security official has floated the idea of requiring citizens to produce federally compliant identification before purchasing some over-the-counter medicines. "If you have a good ID ... you make it much harder for the meth labs to function in this country," DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy …

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Happy

Already needed

Try and buy Sudafed without ID in the US, can't do it. Smiley cos...

Efros

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Stop

Why?

Doesn't the production of meth involve significant quantities of the relevant ingredients?

And wouldn't the bulk purchase (or repeat purchases) of said ingredients be rather obvious to the retailers anyway?

Having to produce ID wouldn't help with this, and in any case fake ones would probably be used.

The only impact would be on the law abiding, as with the existing sales restrictions.

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@AC

"And wouldn't the bulk purchase (or repeat purchases) of said ingredients be rather obvious to the retailers anyway?"

Maybe it is. Why do you assume this means they will do anything about it, though?

Do something about it = costs money, takes time, liable to get your windows kicked in by miffed drug dealers.

Do nothing about it = costs nothing, doesn't take any time, keeps the profits rolling in.

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Flame

No ID required for boarding planes?

Then why the f*ck do they ask for my ID when I go through security? So I could just tell them "no", and they'd be like "OK, you got us, go on through". I somehow doubt it.

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Pirate

a hale and hearty welcome to the nazis

so now they wont want to sell you medicine without a common id.

soon: no entrance to any federal building without YOUR PAPERS PLEASE!

soon: no crossing state lines without YOUR PAPERS PLEASE!

soon: no renting a car, buying a house, getting married, seeing a doctor, getting medical care, a million other things... etc... without YOUR PAPERS PLEASE!

and if you think they wont keep track of every use of that id, you are out of your mind.

those of us old enough to remember how hated and vile it was drummed into us how the nazis terrorized and controlled entire populations, their own and others, with this very same demans YOUR PAPERS PLEASE.

welcome to the george w. bush century.

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Flame

Untitled

"And the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the freemen and the slaves, it causes that they give to them ALL a mark in their right hand or on their foreheads, even that not any could buy or sell, except the one having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name."

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More madness

This is why US tourism has dropped 20% while everywhere else is up 20%. And why I won't transit North America until Bush and his madness are long gone.

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McID

Perhaps if the big fast food franchises could sponsor a Federal ID card. These companies could then offer meal upgrades, plastic toys and soda refills, etc. This would appease most Americans. Few would not want to carry their McID.

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Pirate

Gordon says....hmmm...

Yet more ideas for Gordy to push through ID cards in UK. Did Gordy and Dubya come out of the same sack - were they seperated at birth?

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re: McID

Actually, it could be even easier. Just have all retail stories (especially supermarkets) tie into the database used by a single card. That way you'd just have to carry one card. Damn sick of having to have a store card for every store just to have the privilege of not being over-charged. Every supermarket, each has its own card. Every pharmacy, each has its own card. Every retail store, each has its own card.

Besides, with all the stupid VISA commercials trying to condition people to not use cash, its only a matter of time before you need to use a card for all commerce transactions. Paper currency will be meaningless. It will all be electronic. And then the fun starts.

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Happy

algorithms

there's a nice algorithm in use by the Italian Financial Police, it looks at the points on your supermarket loyalty card and calculates exactly what your *real* salary is, as opposed to that which you declare to the tax-man. When your US Real ID (western hemisphere travel initiative) or UK/EU ID (required to purchase alcohol because we don't want underage drinking, do we) is integrated with your supermarket Buzz or Bee or nectar or whatever friendly face marketing, and integrated with your access to hospital card and your everything else card (like Estonia) then algorithms will reveal ALL about your life. Super databases, super data mining. Luckily in the UK it'll be implemented by the usual gov consultant and hopefully will fail for a decade.

Terry Pratchett's quote "an embuggerance" would seem appropriate?

licensed criminals anyone, guild of assassins, or what term would you prefer to confer to our political masters in view of their helping us to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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Black Helicopters

There will never be just one

You'll never get the stores to use just one card as they view the store cards as a _marketing_ resource not just a payment method. This also means that any state ID card will never replace your bank credit card no matter what lies are told by government spokesdroids.

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Pirate

Meth Ingredient Purchase?

>> Doesn't the production of meth involve significant quantities of the relevant ingredients?

And wouldn't the bulk purchase (or repeat purchases) of said ingredients be rather obvious to the retailers anyway? <<

Many times the criminals producing meth aren't going to bother to buy the active ingredient anyhow. My son worked as a loss prevention specialist at a major retailer which sells cold medicines. He was watching the video security system when the bad boys came in, grabbed a storage container from sporting goods, then went over to the cold medicine shelf and literally swept everything off the shelf, into the container, and ran out the side door of the store through the garden department. Elapsed time from the time they grabbed the storage container until they were out the door: 90 seconds. Elapsed time after they cleared the shelf: less than 30 seconds. He literally did not have time to get from the security office to the door before they were out and gone. That's why most stores now have cold medicines under lock and key... California law now REQUIRES that they be locked down.

Late Night Larry

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Black Helicopters

@night troll

Gordy's merry men are already doing it; "No, ID cards aren't compulsory - you just won't be able to learn to drive or see a doctor or get a library book or get <insert massive range of services that you're entitled to> without one. But they're not compulsory. Honest."

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@AC

'Doesn't the production of meth involve significant quantities of the relevant ingredients?

And wouldn't the bulk purchase (or repeat purchases) of said ingredients be rather obvious to the retailers anyway?'

Answer is of course 'yes' and 'yes'.

Investigating such things however requires this novel concept called 'good police work' and 'investigation'. Aka cops busting crooks.

An interesting paradox then, that an effective police force may actually be one of the prerequisites of a functional and genuine democracy... Who'd have thought it?

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Anonymous Coward

Title

Meaningless currency ? Must be on the way. The company I work for already no longer will sell the staff anything unless they use the company card. (Pre-charged with money so they already have it, and you carry any risks, obviously.) Legal tender not accepted. No card? No canteen lunch, no snacks, no anything.

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Ash
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@Coward

Godwin's Law.

Further, "no renting a car, buying a house, getting married, seeing a doctor, getting medical care, a million other things... etc... without YOUR PAPERS PLEASE"

Are you trying to tell me that you CAN:

1) Rent a car without a driving license and credit card,

2) Buy a house without registering as the owner,

3) Get married without providing proof if identity (baring in mind the name change of spouse is legally binding, is it not?)

4) See a doctor without having some kind of previous history (you need to transfer your medical records from old surgery's to new)

5) In the US you can't get medical care without insurance, which I KNOW requires ID

Your ID is required for all of these things.

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Anonymous Coward

bullshit baffles brains

@Brent Gardner. I don't know about the colonies, but over here a lot of officialdom is based on kidology, bullshit and the old pals act. Local councils are particularly prone to this, they claim all sorts of powers they don't actually have. It is often the case that you can (legally, they can't touch you for it) decline to be fingerprinted, dna swabbed (ask Lord Levy and R. Turner if you don't believe me), searched or produce ID. Just because someone wearing a hat asks, or even tells, you to do something doesn't mean you have to do it. Moreover, if you do do as you're told, you'll find you can't moan about it afterwards, because you will have consented to the rubber glove treatment. Alternatively, if you decline the offer of a bit of R&R at the local football stadium, you will generally be allowed to go on your way.

Anecdote corner:

1 [this will make no sense in the US] The dear old NHS seem to be asking for ID now if you get a script for tamazepam (a lot less habit forming than drink, I might add). I told them I didn't have any (the Blunkett left-it-in-my-other-suit defence) and when asked to sign for it I made a squiggle completely different from the signature that was already on the prescription and went on my way.

2 A mate of mine had to pay a reasonable amount of money into the bank, so got the money laundering thing. After a load of faffing about, form filling etc. the clerk asked him where the money had come from. He mouthed the word drugs and the process carried on without missing a beat.

3. There was a story S. Yorks police were telling car type criminals they "had to sign this form", which gave the cops permission to crush the offending car. Only one problem, it was BS; don't sign, keep the car.

The moral of the story is if you ignore them, they go away.

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Coat

S. Yorks police.

Clever that:

"Here's your ticket, here's your court date and if you'd just like to sign here so that we can destroy the evidence for you........"

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@ Nick Palmer

"Gordy's merry men are already doing it."

And why the f* aren't we stopping them? I pledge to refuse ID card related interviews. Do you?

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Stop

"entering federal buildings" ?

So you can't walk into an FBI office without an ID card?

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Happy

Can't enter a federal building....

Humm,

Tried to pay my taxes but you would not let me into the building :-)

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Coat

@ "Your papers, please"

Surely you mean "ihre papieren, bitte"??

(so I played Medal of Honor too much. So sue me.)

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I tried to report for jury duty but you would not let me

Because the moron at the gate would not recognize my ID. Therefore your honor I am not guilty.

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Anonymous Coward

Meth shopping list (or "Things we should require id for")

Acacia bushes

Ephedra bushes

Dry ice

Fertiliser

Lithium batteries

Salt

Refrigerant

Lantern fuel

Drain cleaner

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jai
Silver badge

genius

this is a genius plan though, isn't it?

because surely, ID cards are only issued to those that the Federal State likes. so illegal aliens and terrorists and so on won't get one

then, instead of having to worry about rounding up all these unwanted types and dealing with them, you just wait for the common cold to do the work for you and wipe out the unwanted.

and then, next time the election comes around, you revoke the id cards for all those who voted for the other guy

at least in 1984 the establishment had to put some effort in to stamping out non-conformists. but this way, there's no effort involved, just wait for illness to take it's course and weed out the undesirables. the evolutionary process will ensure that the gene that makes some people distrust the government is slowly lost.

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Happy

ID for Drugs

The US are only catching up with Australia on this, for over 2 years you have had to have photo ID to purchase Sudafed (and similar) over the counter. My Aus friend, who was in the UK for Xmas, was astounded that Sudafed is on the self help shelves in UK supermarkets!

Photo ID is also needed to send a parcel Internationally either by the Post Office or other courier service.

Confirmed ID (Photo, & 2 proofs of address) is required to hand over Car Registration Renewal papers to the Roads and Traffic Authority (in NSW) - even if it's on behalf of your neighbours car!!!

Many shops have a "Photo ID" policy for Credit Card purchases over $50

Photo ID is required to obtain Bank, Mobile Phone, house rental and many other services.

Driving a car without your photo ID Drivers License is a $200+ fine in NSW

Of course one has to remember the structure that formed modern Australia - that probably explains it!.

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Anonymous Coward

@Paul Banacks

It's a bit more difficult than that, potentially you've got to do without medical care (unless you can pay for it?) driving licence, put up with the bailiffs stripping your house etc etc.

The other ways around it are voting tactically against labour (ie. Tory in a lot of places) or doing the-peasants-waving-scythes thing. Not that I am for one minute advocating or condoning terrorism. <grovel /> <tug forelock />

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Pirate

Hooray for cheap flights

Nowadays it's easy enough to go to a certain disputed territory in the eastern Mediterranean and get whatever I need without having to show:

(a) ID

(b) a prescription.

And I get a nice sunny holiday to boot! Huzzah!

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Black Helicopters

Ummm...

Let me see if I have this right:

1) I'm a resident of a non-REALID(iocy) state

2) I flew into a REALID(iocy) state a week ago and am now attempting to board a plane to return home

3) My new traveling companion (I did mention her, right?) is a resident of a different REALID(iocy) state than the one we're flying out of

4) How the he!! are the watchdogs going to determine which of us needs to provide a REALID(iocy) card?

Geeze...anyone in Canada want to adopt a 52-year-old US citizen who's getting sick and tired of the REALIDIOCY his country is displaying?

Honestly, if I could afford to do so, I believe I *would* leave the "Land of the Free" and never look back.

Black helicopter 'cause I once held a TS* Security Clearance and worked on a couple of Black Projects; they're probably still watching me...

* No, I'm _not_ joking...I worked at Texas Instruments, in the Defense Group, during the mid-80s and early '90s. We built missiles and guidance systems.

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Coat

@Barrie Shepherd & Michael Hoenig

Barrie, being Canadian, I had never been asked for photo ID to go with a credit card purchase until I went to Las Vegas last month, where I was sometimes asked for photo id for $10 (sunglasses) and somethimes not for $50+ (buffet for 2) (ok, so I'm really cheap).

Michael, our cops are jealous of yours. Things will change so we are no better off than you are. sorry.

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Paris Hilton

Idiocratic

First, @Ash, you *can* get medical treatment without insurance in the US.

Now, this is flat-out government-sponsored extortion. Much like a lot of these beneficial programs are, like unemployment insurance, etc. Oh, you want medical care? You want to go to school? You want to purchase sinus and allergy medication? You want to visit a relative? To do that, we must have access to your very essence.

I have read in numerous credible news sources that the 9/11 terra'ists were all on some gubberment agency's watch list. That didn't stop them from getting into the country.

Piss on all of the details and ranting I was going to do here. Suffice to say that RealID is only necessitated by the fact that our government is NOT DOING ITS JOB at ANY LEVEL. PERIOD.

Paris, because I just wanna yell FUCK!

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ID in the US

Actually it has less in common with Nazi Germany, who were mainly about persecuting one particular ethnic group, and more like the old Soviet block.

Snatching people for torture and interrogation, no unauthorised travel (remember, the DHS now requires airlines to submit passenger lists for travel authorisation) and indefinite imprisonment in internment camps without the right to know why you've been imprisoned, or the right to see the evidence against you.

As for refusing ID at security check points, well good luck with that. If you are asked for it, then I can 100% guarantee the person asking has no clue they are breaking the law, and will not hesitate to refuse entry if you refuse or to have you detained if you attempt to argue your way through. Certainly the people around you, being Americans, will be equally ignorant, obnoxious and determined to put in their 2 cents. Which means you will be carted off by popular consent.

On the other hand I have been through security check points which on many occasions were manned by people that do know the law. The only document required is a boarding pass. It is not illegal for you to pass by without one, however the airlines themselves are legally allowed to set rules of their own provided they don't break any laws. Requiring their customers to prove they've bought a ticket in order to reach a departure gate and before they're allowed to board a plane breaks no laws and discriminates against no one.

Unfortunately in this country, there is an astonishing and completely irrational fear permeating society that allows government to undo centuries of struggle for civil rights, overnight.

So I have no doubt the first attempt to get a British-style national ID card passed into law will be successful provided they throw in the required buzzwords, terrorism, ID theft and children. No particular order required.couple of factually incorrect commercials to get an ID card through congress.

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Anonymous Coward

@Meaningless currency ? Must be on the way.

IANAL and I can only speak for the UK but

"The company I work for already no longer will sell the staff anything unless they use the company card. (Pre-charged with money so they already have it, and you carry any risks, obviously.) Legal tender not accepted."

This *may* be illegal. It *is* illegal if they pay you without your consent only in a way that can be redeemed at company stores (as per the song) but that's not quite what you describe. Still sounds dodgy though.

Can anyone more knowledgeable comment?

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IR

Already get asked

I can't even buy generic ibuprofen without showing ID in Washington State, which they then enter into a database and flag up if you've bought more than X amount in a month.

Most US states will issue ID cards that look exactly like drivers licenses but with NON-DRIVING written on it. Really easy to get as long as you have other forms of ID.

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Pirate

feds collecting all use of your ID

>>Godwin's Law.

>>Further, "no renting a car, buying a house, getting married, seeing a doctor, getting medical care, a million other things... etc... without YOUR PAPERS PLEASE"

>>....

>>....

>>Your ID is required for all of these things.

Yes ID is needed already for everything mentioned BUT:

1. Do you want to be forced to use the same ID for every single event?

2. Do you want every use of this one and the same ID to go into one single government database?

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Silver badge

This will work, because criminals are stupid. Obviously.

So.. why not pay someone else, or several someone elses, to buy it for you, if you are some kind of dodgy meth manufacturer?

Oops. But that would mean all this ID balls is completely unneccessary and slows the meth makers down by, oh, about 10 seconds. Or roughly as long as it took me to think that solution up.

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@ Ash

"Are you trying to tell me that you CAN:

[...]

3) Get married without providing proof if identity (baring in mind the name change of spouse is legally binding, is it not?)"

Yup .. Although I'm a Brit, I got married in Vegas. We both brought our passports with us to both the registrar and wedding chapel. We didn't need them. We filled in our names with a stubby pencil, passed over some Dollar bills and were handed a marriage license. End of.

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@Anonymous Coward (Legal Tender)

"This *may* be illegal. It *is* illegal if they pay you without your consent only in a way that can be redeemed at company stores (as per the song) but that's not quite what you describe. Still sounds dodgy though.

Can anyone more knowledgeable comment?"

IANAL, but had to do some background research for a customer on the concept of Legal Tender. If a particular financial instrument is designated "Legal Tender" for a given range of debt values, the vendor cannot refuse them. In the UK, Bank of England notes and coins (below certain limits) are so designated.

For more see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_tender

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Black Helicopters

Government Honesty

Let us in to have a look around, if you don't then we could just go get a warrant so there is no point denying us access.

See that sign there saying it's illegal to drink in public, that means we are going to arrest you now.

both lies the police commonly tell people - and you think they give a damn what the law really is? (what are you going to do about it? ask the CPS to prosecute? yeh, because they are on your side...)

I better post anonymously, I was once in a school play where I played the part of someone who wasn't a loyal devoted citizen, so they have all the evidence needed to mutter "the T word" and lock me up without charge, then send me to a US run "holiday camp"

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more smoke and mirrors

they could just ban anything with Ephedrine in it. Why dont they? To much money to be made by law enforcement, drug manufactures and their suppliers. We just had the big flap where US companies were selling Ephedrine to illegal Mexican drug manufactures that only want the Ephedrine and none of the cut that is used by the cold drug manufactures. So they changed their mix and made a fortune. Crime is good for business.

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@ Ash

1) Rent a car without a driving license and credit card,

Information which is not automatically passed to the government. Given the government are going to want to record uses of this ID, they then know every time you rent a car.

2) Buy a house without registering as the owner,

If your scheme is anything like ours, the important point is that the information will now be keyed according to the person, not the property. Thus building up a file of everything you are or own and anyplace you have lived - even if you only rent.

4) See a doctor without having some kind of previous history (you need to transfer your medical records from old surgery's to new)

Not over here. The last time I went to the doctor, I wrote my name, address and telephone number on a form, saw the doctor and got my prescription without any verification required. On the few occasions I've been to casualty (ER) I was getting medical care whilst my parents were still filling out the form.

5) In the US you can't get medical care without insurance, which I KNOW requires ID

I don't want to commie up the debate too much, but there is something very wrong about an industrialised nation not having universal healthcare.

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No ID can detect evil...

All of the terrorists of 9/11 had perfectly valid IDs, and many of them had no links to terrorism before they went nuts and flew into a building. IDs, of any type, cannot help to sort out terrorists, or drug dealers, or whatever the fear du jour happens to be.

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RealID auction?

I wonder how much a Real ID would go for on Ebay?

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