The pat-downs, the “your wife has a nice butt” scanning machines, the metal detectors, the long lines — they all rested on one assumption: people’s driver’s licenses are valid.
Now it turns out that a small company in China has been cranking out perfect replicas of driver’s licenses for years. The TSA’s machines could not identify the fakes as fakes.
The words “Made in China” did not appear on any of the fake American drivers’ licenses produced by ID Chief company. This violated an American law. If you make anything in China, the item has to say so.
Can you imagine the level of deception that these people will resort to? Fake ID’s that do not say “Made in China”? It comes as no surprise to me. The Chinese are sly. Wily. Inscrutable. Clouded in oriental mystery.
The fake IDs were used by teenagers to buy cigarettes, booze, and condoms.
The IDs were also used by terrorists.
One such terrorist used a fake ID in his plan to blow up Bulgarians. He blew up seven of them. He also blew up himself. His fake ID went with him. But we are assured by the head of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License that his ID was fake. It is not clear how he used it, but authorities are sure that he used it.
If he could do this, what security does America have?
I admit that I had not heard of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License before I read about the Bulgarian suicide bomber. But I learned fast.
I went to its site: http://www.secure-license.org. There, I learned of a breakthrough. The American government complained to China’s government about ID Chief. Three days later, ID Chief was out of business. Officially. Forever. Make no mistake about this.
Alert researchers at the Coalition found out about this before other media sites picked up the story. This report is from the Coalition.
Employees at the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License noticed Friday afternoon that the homepage of the popular IDchief.ph website displayed only a “closed for business” announcement.
“We are stopping the website and novelty ID service,” the post said. “We do not like criminals and do not think we are bad people . . . we just try to help the poor student have fun.”
On Monday, Illinois Sens. Mark Steven Kirk and Richard J. Durbin sent a letter along with Iowa Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Tom Harkin to Zhang Yesui, China’s ambassador to the United States. The letter asked China to shut down companies selling fake IDs, saying lawmakers are concerned that the fraudulent documents “will get into the hands of terrorists that can use them to circumvent our security infrastructure in their plot to harm our country.”
Brian Zimmer, president of the nonprofit Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, said in a written statement Friday that the senators took the right step in seeking the help of the Chinese ambassador.
“It is clear that action soon followed in China leading to an abrupt end to the menace of hundreds of thousands of counterfeit IDs flooding this country,” Zimmer said.
Fake IDs coming from China are often as high-tech as the real thing, containing holograms and markings visible under black light. Government Accountability Office director Stephen M. Lord warned this summer that fake IDs from China are increasingly realistic and easy to come by.
Officials from the Transportation Security Administration have told Congress in recent months that they worry about the accuracy of the visual checks currently used to verify the authenticity of IDs at airport checkpoints and have started piloting machines to read identification documents.
Think about this. The entire TSA security system has been based on the driver’s license. It turns out that its system was easily breached by a company in China that was selling a fake ID so that American teenagers could buy booze and condoms for the sake of a little fun.
The company is gone. We know this because it said so on its website. But there is an outside possibility that a rival firm exists. It may have a website. The TSA did not find out about ID Chief. It took a Senator’s office — or a tip to a Senator’s office — to use ultra-sophisticated technology — Google — to discover the firm’s existence and its nefarious plan to undermine the security of the West.
It is not clear what key words the researcher used to find the firm. But he did find it, and then put two and two together.
Teenagers having fun. What do the Chinese take us for? Complete idiots? This would imply that the designers of the TSA, which has a budget of $16 billion a year, are nincompoops. We need to nip this in the bud.