ACLU of Maryland Launches "Real ID, Real Exposed" Campaign on College Campuses; Video Details Danger of Identity Theft

Affiliate: ACLU of Maryland
April 17, 2008 12:00 am

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ACLU of Maryland
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CONTACT: Meredith Curtis, ACLU of Maryland, 410-889-8555;

BALTIMORE – As part of a growing national movement in opposition to implementation of the federal Real ID Act by the states, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland has launched a campaign to educate young people and all Marylanders about why Real ID should be rejected. The “Real ID, Real Exposed” campaign features a video on YouTube, posters, postcards, website, and Myspace page designed to raise the profile of Real ID in Maryland and help organize the increasing number of people and organizations who oppose this misguided law.

The Real ID Act creates an unprecedented national identity card, mandates that states expose the personal and private information of their residents to heightened risks of identity theft and data fraud, has a national price tag in the billions of dollars, and fails to establish real security. ACLU is calling on Maryland to join 17 other states in rejecting Real ID implementation.

“Real ID is a real nightmare for Marylanders’ privacy, freedoms and pocketbooks,” said Susan Goering, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland. “Real ID would also leave Marylanders ŒReal Exposed’ to identity theft by warehousing personal information like Social Security numbers and birth certificates in one national database that would accessible to federal and DMV employees ­ or whoever hacks in.”

Maryland ACLU’s edgy YouTube video brings home the fact that, with Real ID, the personal information of over 250 million Americans will be in one database. It asks: “Should the government be enabling one stop shopping for identity thieves?”

The “star” of the video is John Roemer IV, who opposes the Bush Administration’s attempts to compromise civil liberties following 9/11. Mr.

Roemer is a 48-year-old Baltimore County resident who graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences, and is the owner of Roemer Ecological Services, Inc. He coaches cross country and track and field for Hereford High School, and is an avid runner. Mr. Roemer is also the son of John Roemer III, former Executive Director of the Maryland ACLU from the late sixties to early eighties. The younger John Roemer witnessed his father’s deep involvement in 1960s peace and civil rights movements, which inspired him to be politically active in his own life.

A street team will be distributing posters and postcards about the campaign on college campuses across the state ­ from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore.

Watch the video! Click here for the “Real ID, Real Exposed” campaign:

Click here to join the ACLU of Maryland’s Myspace page:

Click here to learn more about the federal Real ID Act:

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Learn More About the Issues in This Press Release