San Francisco to require ID scans, photos of everyone who goes to a venue -- public meeting tonight!

San Francisco's Entertainment Commission has proposed that all bars, clubs, and venues should be required to photograph and collect ID from everyone who comes in for a drink or a show. The photos and personal information would be retained so that police could get a list of every person who was in the club on any given night. Leaving aside the (obvious) fourth amendment issues inherent in governments collecting massive databases of presumed-innocent people's lawful activities and movements, this is also a security nightmare, in which thousands of club staff and their friends would have access to personal information that would be of great interest to stalkers, creeps and identity thieves.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation will present their critique of this proposal to the Commission at a public meeting tonight (April 12). You can also attend and let the Commission know what you think.

Events with strong cultural, ideological, and political components are frequently held at venues that would be affected by these rules. Scanning the ID's of all attendees at an anti-war rally, a gay night club, or a fundraiser for a civil liberties organization would have a deeply chilling effect on speech. Participants might hesitate to attend such events if their attendance were noted, stored, and made available on request to government authorities. This would transform the politically and culturally tolerant environment for which San Francisco is famous into a police state.

We are deeply disappointed in the San Francisco Entertainment Commission for considering such troubling, authoritarian, and poorly thought-out rules. The Commission should reject this attack on our most basic civil liberties. San Francisco cannot hope to remain a hub of cultural and political activity if we are stripped of our civil liberties the moment we walk through the door of a venue.

EFF to San Francisco Entertainment Commission: Don't Turn SF into a Police State

(Image: Demonstration in Albert Square during the 1912 General Strike, Brisbane Police and 'Specials' in Albert Square, Wikimedia Commons/John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

83

  1. Yeah, this has gotta be a joke. Either that or someone at city hall has gone off the rails.

  2. Tell them that this will have a disparate impact on undocumented immigrants and watch their heads explode.

  3. Why? Are there huge problems in clubs? Otherwise, I suspect that the commission is helping itself to free marketing data, at EVERYONE’S risk. Stop going to clubs. The clubs will bitch if they lose or get put out of business, end of proposed rule. Less clubs, less city tax income. There is no need for club-goer’s dossiers. If someone is there for trouble, they will fake an ID anyway.

    1. There is a problem, particularly for the Entertainment Commission. They’ve been under a lot of pressure recently over their seeming inability to close down clubs that have seen multiple fatal shootings over the last couple of years. This is sort of ironic, because they’ve had a number of SF’s best clubs in fear of their existence because they want to run all-ages venues, and the SFEC has been working with ABC to make that impossible.

      Not going to clubs sounds like a good idea, but the SFEC isn’t beholden to the venues, whom the City seems to wish didn’t exist at all.

      If they would impose even an equivalent penalties on a club for wanksta violence as they do for underage drinking that would probably solve the problem right there….

      1. Aren’t fatal shootings the responsibility of the police department to solve? Was the proper answer to Harvey Milk being shot to death in City Hall to shut down City Hall?

  4. The Entertainment Commission should stick to its mission statement; this does not sound entertaining at all.

  5. So SF is trying to keep up with good ol´ american patriotism, eh?
    Exactly what happened in Germany 50 years ago.
    You guys should wake up soon.

  6. I love the fact that even in an relatively open and tolerant free city like San Francisco some dweeb on a committee can seriously put forward a proposal so ludicrously Orwellian it would make the Chinese government gag. The dweeb in question probably has NO IDEA of the significance of what they’re proposing – they just think it would ‘make life simpler for everybody’.

    Boy are they in for a surprise.

  7. “San Francisco cannot hope to remain a hub of cultural and political activity if we are stripped of our civil liberties the moment we walk through the door of a venue.”

    Maybe that’s the point?

  8. My former neighborhood in San Diego has a lot of problem clubs and they instituted something like this. Everyone entering has their IDs scanned. If there’s a problem, they have you on record. The thing is most of the fights actually DON’T occur on club property. It’s out in the streets and alleys and parking lots. So it’s a huge privacy risk (I’m sure if this is a city run program it will be low-bid for sure) for what IMHO is very little benefit.

  9. Considering the ABC has stated in the past that their #1 priority is to shut down every club in the city, I’m not surprised to see the SFEC following in their footsteps.

    BB: that’s not an unfortunate by-product, that’s the goal.

  10. Bad for personal freedom and for business both. I can’t imagine the venues want to go through the hassle and expense of photographing every single person who comes in and associating those photos with peoples’ ID.

    Maybe liquor stores are behind it…

  11. Not to mention blackmailers, newspapers, organized crime, terrorist, foreign spy agencies, TMZ, bored security guards, and the Democratic Party.

    But here is my point of serious discussion – how does this differ or go beyond security cameras in stores or at the train station? security cameras are arguably responsible for the large decrease in crime over the past few decades. And how do you define the gone-too-far line that gets crossed?

  12. This already happens in Perth, Western Australia. Oh but we also get our finger prints scanned.

    But hey, what else do you get from a land built by convicts but unruly generations a hundred years later… You can’t got to a club over here without running the risk of getting shards of glass in your face, nor can you go to some bars and receive glassware. Yes you heard me, we get plastic cups at some bars and clubs in Perth, Western Australia.

    We are also in the process of being ever so grateful as to having stop-and-search laws put in place so the police can search anybody they want to on the streets at any time, for whatever reason they want.

    Perth, where everyone is treated like a convict, regardless of whether or not you’ve done the crime.

    Man I gotta get out of here…

    Ps We don’t even have a bill of rights. How do I know what my rights are?!?!?!?!?

  13. Participants might hesitate to attend such events if their attendance were noted, stored, and made available on request to government authorities

    1. Remembering how much there is to do in San Jose, and all throughout the peninsula, there are lots of other places to go where big brother is not watching. Sf business and venue owners should be screaming bloody murder over this.

  14. I notice that the Entertainment Commission has not published the minutes for any of their meetings in 2011. San Francisco has an extremely progressive Sunshine Ordinance. If you live in the City, I’d suggest you contact the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force (sotf@sfgov.org) and ask why the Commission is not following the law.

  15. What is “the (obvious) fourth amendment issu[e]”?

    Is this a mandatory search of something that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy about?

    Do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding your identity?

    Do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy when you are in a public place at a specific time? If you are under government surveillance and you are seen being in a certain place at a certain time, have they subjected you to an unreasonable search under the fourth amendment?

    Finally, is this “search” mandatory? Are you not free to decline to being “searched” by declining to attend one of these events?

    1. Sure, I can decline showing ID by simply not attending a function. And yes, I expect my identity to be *slightly* disclosed simply by going out in public. However, there’s a difference between being simply “another face in the crowd” with my identity and personal information (such as where I live) disclosed only as required, and that information being recorded and saved by unknown parties for an unknown (or only possible) future purpose.

      When the alternative to having our every action recorded and disclosed is total inaction (if you don’t like it, stay home), then there is a definite proble,.

      For that matter, this is scarily close to violating my right to free assembly, as well as free expression. This level of intrusion and tracking might very well make sense were I suspected OF or convicted of criminal activity, but for the average, law-abiding citizen, it is intrusive.

    2. “Kiss the shiny, shiny boots of leather” is a Lou Reed song, not the official city regulation for citizens wishing to have a few drinks with friends or see a band perform.

  16. Upon further research, it looks like the Sunshine Ordinance only requires that the meeting minutes be made available, and not that they be specifically posted online. (You can, however, ask to have them provided in Braille.)

    The video feeds of past meetings ARE on the SFGOV website.

    Also, the commission has a public meeting tonight (6:30) in room 400, City Hall.

    1. Know what happens when they scan a fake ID against the database of legit??? You get let into the club… ’til the cops come. Then you can plea yourself out of a felony.

  17. @Imnop:
    “Do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding your identity?”

    Yes. I expect that the state should only require me to provide it when they have a good reason to do so.

    I think that’s reasonable. And I don’t think that capturing my identity just on the offchance I might commit a crime later counts.

    Do you?

  18. I kept waiting to read “April Fools!” We have a 2500 person convention every year in San Francisco. I can guarantee you that at least 3/4 of our board would vote to move to another city if this went through. It’s completely unacceptable.

  19. Reminds me of this:

    “The most touchy aspect of the new ordinance is a requirement that massage establishments keep a written log that includes the date and hour of each service; the name, address and sex of each patron; the service provided; and the technician administering the service. Palo Alto police Sgt. April Wagner said the logs would remain at the massage establishments and would only be accessed by police during inspections and criminal investigations.

    “It’s for police official use only,” Wagner said. “It’s not something that would be published anywhere.”

    http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/show_story.php?id=20670

  20. “Do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy when you are in a public place at a specific time? If you are under government surveillance and you are seen being in a certain place at a certain time, have they subjected you to an unreasonable search under the fourth amendment?”

    Protip: Going to a PRIVATE club or establishment is NOT a “public place”.

  21. I’m reminded of the police’s “dance hall permit” hassles we were put through in the 60s when the powers that be decided they wanted to suppress the whole hippie hoo-rah parlor scene.

    Authorities constantly came up with new, creative roadblocks to throw in the way of operators at the Strait Theater, Avalon, and other venues.

  22. Lol I can’t believe this is real. So where is everyone planning to move anyway? I’m thinking Spain would b nice. As long as I’m in a bankrupt Spanish speaking country it might as well be beautiful Spain lol

  23. Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it to the meeting on time but for those in Sf, you should attend the meeting.

    It is one thing to stand up for your rights and another to just let the government push you around and then giving up by saying that you won’t go to clubs.

    Hear, hear Sf!

  24. This sounds like something out of a novel. Like something that Cory Doctrow guy would write… Not something from the real world.

  25. Just for the record here.
    The Entertainment Commission didnt come up with these proposals, the San Francisco Police Department did. The Entertainment Commission is tasked with considering the viability of them and has the ultimate decision making power of whether they become law…

    I for one hope that they quickly dismiss the ID requirment as well as the other proposals swiftly, and move onto whats important instead…

  26. Somehow the fact tha this is San Francisco makes the tune “California Ãœber Alles,” run through my head.

  27. So if the Republicans and evangelicals get control of the presidency and congress and make homosexuality illegal, they could use your attendance at a known gay bar as evidence of your sexual orientation.

    Has the NSA already gotten control of SF city government?

  28. It sounds like a great idea! We should make sure all the members of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission do the carding work themselves, rather than trusting clubs to do it, because they’re obviously the only people who can be trusted. October would be a good time to start – we’ll have them card everybody going to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass*.

    (For those of you who aren’t from around here, HSB is a free (thanks, Warren!) all-weekend concert in the park that in recent years has gotten several quarters of a million people attending.)

    More seriously, though, somebody should post all of the members’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and pictures, to remind us of what our fine public servants have been doing for us.

  29. It would be good to know about a meeting this important farther in advance than the day it’s occurring. Y’know, some people might care about privacy but otherwise have plans . . .

  30. “Scanning the ID’s of all attendees at an anti-war rally, a gay night club, or a fundraiser for a civil liberties organization would have a deeply chilling effect on speech.”

    Everybody in SF knows which club shootings kickstarted this effort. Everybody in SF also knows the predominant group responsible for these the shootings, and they ain’t gay clubbers, anti-war rallyers or fundraisers. Or animal activists, vegan shopowners or Genius Bar clerks.

    1. Doesn’t it seem like this is also part of the ongoing war between entertainment venues and the idiots who move next door to them and then start complaining about the noise?

      1. Honestly, I think it’s primarily the shootings. Gawain Lavers at #12 seems to have a grip on the situation – especially the Entertainment Commission’s after-the-fact need to “look busy.”

  31. So what, there have been “high profile” shootings at a few clubs… Why not do the logical thing and determine whether anything about those particular clubs/events might have attracted the type of person who would shoot a fellow club-goer, rather than impose draconian restrictions on all bars and clubs??? I guarantee you, not one of those shootings took place at some garage rock venue, new wave night, post-punk show, monthly goth cabaret, britpop party, trip-hop/downtempo lounge, etc.

  32. Bar Owners have been doing this for years here in Vancouver. After a few slaps on the hand, they have it worked out with the Privacy Commissioner.
    I am no apologist for it, but gangland gunplay was getting out of hand in the clubs and a number of people got shot and killed, which swayed the debate.
    Ultimately, the decision as to whether you want to frequent a place because it has the technology remains in the individuals hands. Bars and clubs are private businesses, and if they have procedures you do not like, then do not go to them, or so seems to be the official policy (provided they comply with privacy regulations).
    Here is where it is at legally for now:
    http://idscanner.blogspot.com/2011/01/in-canada-allowing-id-to-be-scanned-is.html

  33. Jamie Zawinsky’s DNA lounge has an interesting blog on the nightlife scene in SF.

    It’s pretty funny to read his analyses of newspaper reports, where they often point out which nightclub an injury was near, whether or not it was open that day.

    Mandatory food and drug labelling solved the drug-additive problem around turn of the century. How about requiring prominent signs which say how many days since the last shooting, until the count reaches 366?

  34. All the bars in Champaign, IL (at least the ones near campus) would take photos of your ID. Since it was okay to go in at 19 instead of 21, I’d always assumed it was for the bars to protect themselves in case someone got alcohol using a fake ID. Never really thought about it one way or the other. I also haven’t seen that practice in use outside of that small area.

    The gambling boat in Peoria also takes scans of your ID. They have a camera that you have to look into and your ID is overlayed on the screen, I’m guessing so they have a current picture to compare to. Not sure of the purpose there.

    I don’t really have a problem with this in places that you have to meet an age requirement to go into. It’s the buisnesses way of protecting themselves. Getting IDed to get into a more-or-less publically accessible area (a concert, for example) doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose.

    I can see a lot of venues getting behind this for the same reason airlines are behind showing your ID to board a plane: they can make sure the person buying the ticket is using the ticket, thus cutting down on scalping or selling off tickets you can’t use.

  35. Certain London boroughs are instituting this policy already. A famous and long-running mixed fetish club called Torture Garden had a bit of a kerfuffle when they chose to hold their birthday event at a venue that demanded photo id be produced, scanned and held on file for *three years* ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/12/id_scanner/ ) It is well known that fetish events attract almost no trouble in comparison with other types of events. Probably something to do with all the fetish crowd being High Court Judges and MPs.

    Basically, any venue in Lambeth borough that had any kind of problem with violence, when their license is up for renewal, the Police object unless the venue institutes an ID retention policy. This is all in the absence of any legal requirement to do so passed by Parliament. In the case of the venue hosting the Torture Garden event, they weren’t even registered for Data Protection purposes, so the retention was in itself illegal.

  36. When the alternative to having our every action recorded and disclosed is total inaction (if you don’t like it, stay home), then there is a definite proble,.

    For that matter, this is scarily close to violating my right to free assembly, as well as free expression. This level of intrusion and tracking might very well make sense were I suspected OF or convicted of criminal activity, but for the average, law-abiding citizen, it is intrusive.

    While there may be a problem and it may be bad policy (and even bad law), this doesn’t automatically make it a constitutional issue or a fourth amendment issue in particular.

    I suppose that airport screening procedures are intrusive for law-abiding citizens who are not suspected of criminal activity, too, but they don’t seem to pose a fourth amendment problem.

    Protip: Going to a PRIVATE club or establishment is NOT a “public place”.

    A private club may not be a public place, but unless the club is attached to your residence you are going to be traversing public space when you enter/exit the club.

  37. On one side: MAJOR FAIL by the organization trying to institute unconstitutional measures that would be unpopular for patrons and club owners alike.

    On the other side: this sounds like a very desperate move by this organization to try to curtail a major problem of clubs being a congregation point of violent assholes looking to spill some blood.

    If there really are a handful of bars/clubs where crimes are committed on a regular basis, why not have a larger police presence in the area? It is their job to try to curtail violence and increase safety, after all.

    This is a more simple solution to the problem than violating a patron’s right to privacy and dragging down ALL bars/clubs that have to buy equipment to store data, train their employees to work the info, hire tech guys to maintain the system, etcetera.

    To digress, I have to ask, why are there so many violent jerks in the USA? I grew up in the Bay Area and saw a crazy amount of violent incidents there whenever in the midst of large groups of people or in certain towns or parts of cities.

    I’ve been in Europe for most of the past ten years– living in places that were relatively quite poor– and I can probably count on one hand the number of violent incidents I’ve seen. In the USA from the age of 16-21 I’ve seen guns pulled out on probably five occasions, baseball bat beatings, dozens and dozens and dozens of bloody fights, glasses smashed on people’s heads, and on and on.

    It might be time to take a closer look at why so many people are disposed to violence and try to deal with that. Time for a cultural shift, perhaps?

    Sorry for the soap box rant, it just got me thinking how this is a non-issue over here but a common quite scary problem in the States.

  38. This is such a great idea!

    Everyone that works for the government should be on camera & GPS 24/7!

    Everyone that works for the government should be audited every year and have an total psychological evaluation every month.

    If they’re not doing anything wrong, why would they object?

    Also, every cop should be shot and maced before they are allowed to carry guns or pepper spray.

    Oh wait, what’s that? Government servants want to exempt themselves while forcing tax payers to submit?

    What would George Washington do?

    1. I agree with your sentiment, but actually, cops *are* required to be pepper sprayed before they can carry it. They also have to run an obstacle course after being sprayed. This is to ensure they can get past the psychological impact of the pepper spraying in case it’s ever used against them.

  39. I think the article makes some good points, but then again, we’re also dealing with people being shot in front of a crowded club right after closing and everyone claiming they didn’t see anything. I think if a club has a history of frequent violent incidents, they should be forced to record their patrons or be shut down. If the patrons don’t like it, they can choose somewhere else to slam vodka redbulls.

    There are a number of clubs in San Jose that do this every night and their otherwise ghetto clientele manages to leave the guns in the car. Clearly, it works. It’s not as if it is currently illegal to perform any of these activities, and people are certainly doing so already. You could stand around with a camera across the street from any venue you like and photograph everyone going in and out and no one has the right to stop you. In fact, if they’re the right sort of hipster, they’ll pose for you all night. Clubs are merely using a simple device (think small box with a light and a camera) to take an image of each patron’s ID. You know, the ID you have to show to get in anyway? It’s not difficult, it’s not particularly intrusive, and it’s clearly effective.

    Also, it’s not as if the government would have access to these scans any more than they do to security camera footage that virtually all bars and clubs already collect. The “government” (read: the police, and only after a crime was committed) will not be “collecting a database” of people’s “movements”, neither will “thousands” of club employees have access to these records. How big do they think these clubs are? Thousands, really? And their friends you say? Not just the licensed security professionals that the city would require to be employed at the club? Why in god’s name would anyone give access to these records to the barback or the coat check girl or “their friends”? Ever worked at a club and tried to get a friend into the back office where they keep the CCTVs and the safe? Um… not so much. Next thing you know they’ll be handing out all the credit cards from behind the bar to whoever asks. Idiotic FOX “news” worthy hyperbole much?

    Also of note: I don’t believe there are many gay bars in San Francisco with legal occupancies of over 100 (in fact, proportionally there aren’t that many bars of any kind with over 100 “official” capacities), and consequently most (if not all) of the gay bars would not be included in this regulation, so this whole gay bar thing is nothing but pandering to a liberal knee-jerk mentality. This is pretty much about huge clubs I wouldn’t set foot in because they’re run by greedy irresponsible owners who over-serve guys from Pleasanton in rhinestoned jeans. (When douches get drunk it’s not usually pretty. Just sayin’.) Yeah, DNA lounge will have to get an ID scanner too. That sucks, but when some poor German tourist isn’t getting shot in front of her husband outside some other club, it seems like a pretty small price to pay.

    I totally get the lefty pinko panic this sort of thing induces, but a deeper examination just reveals that all the regulation will ultimately do is force a bunch of negligent bar owners to operate their club the way they should have been doing all along. Unless you want to get the daylights sued out of you, get some decent security cameras, have a reasonable guard to patron ratio, and make it clear you’re paying attention to who comes and goes. It’s your job. This Electronic Frontier Foundation is just trying to make themselves sound relevant, but sadly they’re ignoring the facts of the matter. People are getting hurt so other people can make tons of money without shelling out enough cash for security. You want to do something about exploitation and oppression, look into that. The city’s just trying to babysit these jerks.

    Did anybody actually read the proposal, or is it more about just going off the ridiculously reactionary article?

    1. This Electronic Frontier Foundation is just trying to make themselves sound relevant

      You don’t even know what you don’t know.

  40. Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

    – Benjamin Franklin

  41. We already have this in place in Brisbane, Australia. There’s talk of taking it Australia-wide. The information is all stored and controlled by private enterprise – a network of pubs and clubs. Scary.

  42. Um, what? Didn’t San Fransisco participate in the “embargo” of Arizona last year because the State was insisting that criminals caught in the commission of a crime be able to prove their citizenship with ID?

  43. I live in San Francisco. I (used to) go to clubs quite often. . .

    On occasion I will still meet a friend at the Elbo Room on Sundays for some Reggae niceness or see a show at Yoshis or the Independent. But as said above: the real violence happens *outside* the clubs more often than not, and the chumps that cause it are rarely patrons in the first place: sorry ass no-game having suckas that congregate in the area to holla at females and cause trouble.

    This is a terrible idea. This poorly thought out plan is rife with possibilities for abuse.

    Again’ it.

  44. As has been mentioned in previous comments, in an attempt to curb alcohol-related violence this has been in place in Western Australia and Queensland for a while now. Only at the bigger venues because that’s where the trouble happens.

    But to be realistic, what do you expect when you cater to the Ed Hardy-wearing Jersey Shore-wannabe types to whom an evening out isn’t complete without a fight? *shrug*

    The smaller, more alternative places do the sensible thing of exercising discretion as to who gains entry into the club, and as a consequence have way less drunken douchebags to deal with.

  45. The only good thing left in San Francisco is the Golden Gate bridge. It’s got to be the most beautiful bridge anywhere.

  46. There was an attempt to roll out a “pub fingerprinting scheme” across the entire UK, starting in Yeovil, about 5-6 years ago which mysteriously collapsed and was never heard of again.

    Nevertheless, various places across the country do insist on scanning ID, though it’s not widespread. I would personally refuse to enter any such venue.

    Oddly, the abominable shithole that is Portsmouth is the only city in the entire nation I’ve been to which seems to have an “everybody must show ID” policy across every venue, to the point where I’ve seen someone who obviously looked 40 or so refused drinks because he couldn’t demonstrate he was old enough.

  47. It should be a unilateral policy that includes churches, government assemblies, industry associations, etc. That’s where the real kooks hang to formulate dangerous plans.

  48. Update: The EC announced, at the meeting, that the mayor wanted time to look into this rule, and the subject was given a continuance–they’ll hold another meeting later to decide on whether to implement it, and have more discussion then.

    Save The Rave was handing out flyers with their talking points, and the commission seemed happy to shelve the whole thing and spend the meeting on other business. They only took public comments last night.

  49. “Your papers please”. Why not just shove the Verichip up our arse and get it over with?

  50. Cory, thank you so much for posting this! I managed to make it out yesterday after work, and I’m so glad I had a chance to be there.

    I was expecting nothing but a dull, stuffy commission meeting with the grim determination to wait it out and speak my peace during the public comments portion of the meeting. However, I did not even need to speak, as dozens of erudite members of the community spoke more thoroughly than I could have on the subjects of privacy, personal liberties, and these poorly considered, knee-jerk, ultimately unviable reactions to the issue of night life related violence.

    There were so many young people there, speaking passionately! It made my heart swell to think that so many young adults could be bothered to attend a preliminary commission hearing at city hall. But the room was nearly full, and the message sent was overwhelming–these proposed rules are bollocks and bad for our community.

    Thank you again for blogging about this issue, and thanks to the whole boingboing crew for providing this invaluable forum for engaged (and ridiculously fun) communities around the globe!

  51. Smells like a Police State!

    Ray Bradbury was right, this country is in need of a revolution. It is intolerable that Americans should have to show their traveling papers in the land their ancestors fought to keep free!

  52. Airport screening IS a 4Th Admentment problem-it VIOLATES IT.

    Current so called Supreeme Court’s a “Problem” too.

  53. lazy ass cops. violating our constitutional rights just so they don’t have to do as much leg work/paper work to get justice is not okay. do your job better, how bout that idea?

  54. I’m a little confused how it is that there’s a flood of club shootings in a city that notionally has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.

    Anon #63 did make a good point. It seems a little. . . convenient/disingenuous/hypocritical that the city government cries bloody murder over a policy even I think is of dubious effectiveness in regards to illegal immigrants, but they’re more than happy to trot out the same basic process, using the same basic arguments, and expecting nobody to really notice just because the circumstances are only slightly different. Were I living in San Francisco, I might feel offended that I’m considered less worthy of moral outrage because I didn’t illegally cross a border, or that all I wanted was a drink and catch a show.

    The larger issue isn’t just that people’s IDs are being recorded. It’s where this power goes, and how it will eventually become abused for the name of public safety and order, that should be bothering the hell out of people.

Comments are closed.