Your Fingerprints Are Literally All Over This Housing Bill


reason contributor John Berlau looks at the fine print of a Senate housing bill and finds a mess of whorls that might just play havoc with your right to anonymity:

…a measure creating a federal fingerprint registry totally unrelated to national security passed a U.S. Senate committee almost without notice. The legislation would require thousands of individuals working even tangentially in the mortgage and real estate industries—and not suspected of anything—to send their prints to the feds. The database and fingerprint mandates were tucked into housing and foreclosure assistance bills that on Tuesday passed the Senate Banking Committee by a vote of 19-2.

The measure the committee passed states that "an indvidual may not engage in the business of a loan originator without first … obtaining a unique identifier." To obtain this "identifier," an individual is requiredto "furnish" to the newly created Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry "information concerning the applicant's identity, including fingerprints for submission" to the FBI and other government agencies.

More here.

True confession: The first merit badge I ever earned in the Boy Scouts on the long path to the rank of Eagle, was Fingerprinting.

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  1. Not too surprising, you already need to be fingerprinted at the local PD if you work for any SEC-regulated business (well Citigroup at least).

  2. Alright. That’s it. I give up.

    Go ahead, call the nannies. Tell em’ I want to be taken care of cradle-to-grave now. I want to be an organ of the state, because it becomes more apparent every day that I won’t have a choice, and I might as well force myself to believe that’s what I want…

  3. Nick An Eagle Scout? Jesus Chrysler, Baden Powel is turning in his grave.

    I was the laziest scout ever, never made it past 1st Class and that was only because they kept threatening to kick me out for failure to motivate.

  4. I want to be an organ of the state

    You already are an organ of the state, guess which one.

  5. I’m not sure the American taxpayer is actually an organ of the state. A closer analogy is condom of the state. Something that has a function for a while and then is discarded.

  6. TWC – David Lynch – director of Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive & Blue Velvet – was an Eagle Scout.

  7. I was an Eagle Scout, now godless heathen. But I learned a lot of useful stuff, and problems aside, I think it’s better for kids than sports.

  8. They’re letting Eagle Scouts run the online wing of libertarian magazines now?

  9. I tried being a Cub Scout. That didn’t work out. They actually wanted me to study shit when I wasn’t in school. WTF?

  10. Isn’t an Eagle Scout a Cub Scout that sticks with it when they should be out chasing girls?

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  11. I was the laziest scout ever, never made it past 1st Class and that was only because they kept threatening to kick me out for failure to motivate.

    Ha, I have you beat. I never made it past 2nd Class in about 6 years of scouting, and I think that was honorary. If they only had a merit badge for slacking….

    I did punch this punk kid that I hated in the face on the way out the door, literally. It was soooo worth it.

  12. According to the satirical “Liberal Lexicon” in one of Rush Limbaugh’s books, the Boy Scouts are a right-wing paramilitary organization, which makes the Eagle Scouts their Green Berets. 🙂

  13. By the way, Scouts often attend weekend camping events along with other groups (4-H, church groups, etc.) where girl-chasing and other debauchery is their main motivation for going.

  14. Old Bull Lee, so right on. Best camping trip we ever took was when our outfit was camped right next to teh Girl Sprouts in Peters Canyon (heh) which is all high dollar homes now.

    At 11 years of age we weren’t exactly sure what was going on, just that it was a heck of a good time to spend the bulk of the weekend sneaking around the girls camp. Alone with girls. Who smelled good. Life was never the same after that.

  15. JW, good job man.

    I made it to 1st Class because they kept threatening to kick me to the curb for not moving up. I liked camping and my friends so I caved. 🙂 I think they compromised, in part, because I was in charge of the food for campouts and I wasn’t eating no PBJ’s. We had good stuff, like cube steak for dinner and bacon and eggs for breakfast.

    Sometime about half way through 7th grade I lost interest and quit.

    Whenever I get frustrated with my eleven year old son for having next-to-zero motivation I remember how lazy I was and it helps me to be more patient. Lucky for him. 🙂

  16. I think it’s better for kids than sports

    I thought D&D was even better at that age but maybe that’s just me.

  17. I made Life, then the family moved to a new city and I was never able to settle into a new group. Swimming a quarter mile across an open lake at 12 or so was quite the confidence builder. Four lengths in open water to get the Mile Swim badge.

    My son made Life, then we moved and he never went back. He go to repel done a shear 100 foot rock formation in Arizona at about 12 or 13.

    The BSA has lots of political problems right now, but there are far more terrible ways to spend your formative years.

  18. Steven Spielberg is a Eagle Scout. Someone handed him a camera as a young scout, you know the rest.

    He was still active in the organization when my son was scouting (early 90’s).

  19. I think there are a lot of things that are good for kids, including Scouting. You have to let them find their own way though.

    My son has a natural talent for baseball but it bored him to tears. I hated to see the talent go to waste but sometimes you have to let it go. It isn’t like making the kid learn math.

    And speaking of D&D, the boy overcame his dyslexia, in part, by spending a lot of time on the computer.

  20. “I want to be an organ of the state”


  21. I looked into the kid version of the Civil Air Patrol when I was a kid. Don’t remember what it was called. It sounded interesting. It turned out to be a club for kids whose parents wanted to turn into air force pilots. I only went twice. They spent the vast majority of that time practicing drilling. It was really, really silly.

    The boy scouts, by comparison, are a bunch leftists.

    I guess I never really fit well into these kinds of organizations.

  22. Hmm.. I was (am?) an Eagle Scout – Electricity was my first merit badge, followed by Astronomy and Reading, as I put off all that pansy first aid and safety stuff till later.

    I also played D&D heavily as a teenager.

    I also majored in mathematics as an undergrad.

    Never played sports past church-league basketball.

    Common thread? or just geek?

  23. I think it should also be a regulation that a photographic database be maintained of all federal employees, including elected officials and their staff . . . of their bare breasts; headshots including upper torsos unclothed. No eyewear. This is important. These photographic identification tools are vital, not only to national security but also to public safety, and the health and welfare of the nation. And I promise only the security screeners at our airports will be authorized to stare directly at the photographs, and only in the line of duty, from the hours of 10:00 AM to 12:47 PM. I’m serious, now.

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