Who’s Behind the Push for “Digital Driver’s Licenses” in the U.S. and Mexico?

By Derrick Broze

As so-called digital or mobile driver’s licenses begin rolling out across North America, we must ask who is behind the expansion of this potentially dangerous technology.

In my previous reporting I have outlined how the push for digital identity programs is a scam disguised as a human right. This scam is designed to lull the world into accepting digital identity schemes as beneficial, convenient, safe, and necessary for the world of the future.

The United Nations and the World Economic Forum are promoting the use of digital identities using blockchain technology and biometric data gained by scanning the faces or retinas of individuals. The World Bank and the UN have also been funding the development of such programs as part of the Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative.

The World Bank is also funding digital biometric ID programs in Mexico, pushing digital ID in poorer countries with the ostensible goal of providing legal identity to the 1.1 billion people who do not currently have one. The goal is to get the world on digital IDs by 2030 as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked objectives adopted by the United Nations in 2015 with the ostensible goal of ending poverty, protecting the planet, and spreading peace and prosperity to all people by 2030. However, privacy advocates and digital rights groups have warned about the dangers of digital ID programs.

Indeed, during the COVID-19 panic many nations implemented “vaccine passports” as a means for travel and work. These programs were essentially the equivalent of a digital ID. Despite the panic having subsided, in June the European Commission and the World Health Organization announced a “digital health” partnership to establish a new Digital Vaccine Passport system for the world. Clearly, digital ID schemes are not going anywhere.

The Era of Digital Driver’s Licenses Is Upon Us

One of the latest efforts to normalize the use of digital IDs is known as mobile driver’s license (mDL), or simply digital drivers licenses. These digital IDs are beginning to roll out across North America in 3 common forms, including proprietary apps owned by a local, state, or national government; various state-approved apps like SmartID; and the Apple Wallet, which 4 U.S. states are currently using to host their digital driver’s license.

According to a guide to digital driver’s licenses, users will open the chosen app, scan the front and back of their physical driver’s license, and then verify their identity with a selfie (or similar biometric data) — something very similar to what appears to already be starting on Twitter. Once verified the user can began using their digital ID app as they would a physical ID card.

In May 2021, the American Civil Liberties Union discussed efforts to mandate digital driver’s licenses. In a report titled “Identity Crisis” the ACLU warned that the use of digital driver’s licenses,

raises the danger that there will be no balanced assessment of the costs and benefits of such a system and that we will adopt systems that do not strike the right balance between the needs for identification, security, and convenience and Americans’ well-founded aversion to government and corporate surveillance and regimentation.

Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, said the switch to digital IDs would have “big implications” for American life. “If not done just right, digital driver’s licenses could be disastrous for privacy, increase inequity, and lead to pervasive ID checks in American life, including on the internet,” Stanley said.

The first version of an electronic ID appeared in Mexico as far back as 2007 with the Gemalto smart-card platform. Gemalto was an international digital security company focused on smart cards, token, and digital wallets. The smart-card was deployed for use in Monterrey, Nuevo León near the Texas border.

In 2016, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) partnered with Gemalto to pilot the “digital driver’s license” in Washington D.C., Idaho, Colorado, Maryland and Wyoming. Colorado would go on to become the first U.S. state to deploy a digital license using QR codes stored in a digital wallet. Coloradoans who volunteered for the program would install the “DigiDL” app on their phones and then download the license.

Gemalto, the company behind these first attempts at digital driver’s licenses, was purchased in April 2019 by the Thales Group. Thales is another one of the driving forces behind the expansion of mobile/digital driver’s licenses.

The Thales Group’s Fingerprints Are All Over Digital ID Programs

The Thales Group is a French multinational corporation which is partially owned by the French government and the 8th largest military weapons contractor in the world.

Beginning in 2007, Thales, in cooperation with local partner Cosmocolor, implemented the first Mexican smart card driving license in Nuevo León. Thales has expanded their technology to the Mexican states of México, Veracruz, and Sonora.

“With over 127 million inhabitants and some 55 million drivers, there are many potential benefits for migration to smart cards driving license in Mexico,” Thales states on their website.

Thales is also involved in bringing digital driver’s licenses to Arizona. The company signed a 3-year contract with Thales to develop the licenses and made them available to the public in March of 2023. Thales has developed similar plans with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Thales says this will make Florida “the first state in the United States to provide mobile Driver Licenses with leading-edge security mechanisms which are fully compliant with “rigorous national and international standards.”

One positive note is that it appears that most Floridians are not yet using the Thales funded mDL.

Currently, Thales provides driver’s licenses and “ID card solutions” to 18 jurisdictions across North America, including Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, New York, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Texas, Washington D.C., Wyoming and Arizona.

The Thales Group also recently celebrated the TSA’s expansion of digital ID programs. “The TSA is rolling out a new version of its Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) scanners to airports across the country so they can accept digital credentials,” Neville Pattinson, Head of Federal Government Sales at Thales Group, recently wrote.

The CAT-2 units are equipped with readers that allow TSA PreCheck-eligible travelers to use mobile driver licenses or photo IDs for TSA identity verification purposes.

Thales has also been involved in digital identity programs in Queensland, Australia and in India, where Thales says they have provided Indian enterprises and organizations with “secure digital services for millions of individuals and their transactions.” The company has worked on biometric products, banking cards, passport readers, smartcard-based driver licenses, and e-vehicle registration cards.

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The multinational corporation operates in 56 countries around the world so there is a high likelihood that their digital ID programs will continue to expand internationally.

The Thales Group is a Piece of The Great Reset

Overall, Thales Group has been a part of the international shift towards digital identities and the promotion of the technology as a human right. In a February 2021 blog titled “Digital Inclusion. The Human Right to Have an Identity” the Thales Group wrote:

The lack of identity is not just a loss in terms of being seen by the system and society. It is an exclusion that prevents people from achieving their full potential. They cannot be educated, they cannot access healthcare services, and their children inherit this legacy as they’re born outside the system.

Of course, the general assumption is that there is no life or liberty to be had “outside the system.” This should come as no surprise to those who have been following the “Great Reset” plans of the WEF and UN since their announcement in June 2020. The Thales Group’s efforts to expand digital identity play perfectly into the Technocratic State envisioned by the Great Resetters.

In June 2022, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, a “hub for human rights study” at New York University (NYU) School of Law, issued a 100-page report detailing the growing dangers of a reliance on digital identity around the world. The report, titled Paving a Digital Road to Hell?, examined the role of the World Bank and other international networks which have been promoting the use if digital ID in recent years.

This report points a finger at the World Bank and the aforementioned ID4D initiative but also notes that the program was started with a “catalytic investment” from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Omidyar Network, as well as various governments.

“We have noted that the World Bank and its ID4D Initiative do not stand alone in pursuing the digital ID agenda. They exist within a global network of organizations and individuals,” the report states. In addition to governments like the UK, U.S., and France, philanthropic foundations, and banks, the NYU report also points a finger at “private biometrics corporations like Idemia, Thales, and Gemalto”.

(The report notes that “new networks such as the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) and ID4Africa” play a role in expanding digital ID programs. TLAV will report more on these networks in the near future.)

The Thales Group is not only invested in the digital ID scam, but they are a major player in the military defense industry, aka the war industry.

Thales has been partnered with Military-Industrial-Complex alum Raytheon since June 2001 when the two combined radar and communication systems divisions. The resulting company is known as ThalesRaytheonSystems and is 50% owned by both parent companies. In 2016, Raytheon and Thales restructured their partnership to focus exclusively on NATO agencies and NATO member states.

As we continue to uncover the names and faces behind the digital ID scams we must remain vigilant. These programs are being introduced at a rate like we have never seen before. Refusing these programs, opting out, and boycotting those promoting them is absolutely necessary.

We must stand strong to protect our privacy and liberty or we will lose it within the next 5 years or less. Do not ignore what is happening around you, or allow fear to push you into apathy or nihilism. Together we can educate our peers about the dangers of digital ID schemes. But we need to start now.

Source: The Last American Vagabond

Derrick Broze, a staff writer for The Last American Vagabond, is a journalist, author, public speaker, and activist. He is the co-host of Free Thinker Radio on 90.1 Houston, as well as the founder of The Conscious Resistance Network & The Houston Free Thinkers.

https://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/category/derrick-broze/

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