Tuesday, February 05, 2008

DHS Official Moots Real ID Rules For Buying Cold Medicine

Dan Goodin writes on The Register:

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 Stewart Baker told an audience last month at the Heritage Foundation. Cold medicines like Sudafed have long been used in the production of methamphetamine. Over the past year or so, pharmacies have been required to track buyers of drugs that contain pseudoephedrine.

His comment came five days after the agency released final rules implementing the REAL ID Act of 2005 that made no mention of such requirements. It mandates the establishment uniform standards and procedures that must be met before state-issued licenses can be accepted as identification for official purposes.

Beyond boarding airplanes and entering federal buildings or nuclear facilities, there are no other official purposes spelled out in the regulations. And that's just what concerns people at the Center for Democracy and Technology. They say Baker's statement underscores "mission creep," in which the scope and purpose of the REAL ID Act gradually expands over time.

More here.


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