An anonymous reader writes "Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff is defending the upcoming rollout of the national ID card as vital for the nation's security. Chertoff reminded reporters of the importance of the initiative after this week's uncovering of an ID-forging ring. The Real ID Act of May 2005 dictates the uses and requirements for the documentation, which by 2008 may be required for everything from travel to banking. Just the same, the HSD has yet to dictate how exactly the cards will work. " From the article: "The Homeland Security chief, who is nearing his two-year mark with the agency, was likely trying to quell rampant skepticism about the IDs voiced by some privacy advocates, immigrants and other groups. Some have said they fear that the IDs are a stepping stone to a veritable police state, complete with ready surveillance of individuals. Some have argued that the idea of creating more tamperproof IDs is only a marginally better way to screen out those intent on committing terrorist acts because ID cards don't even begin to tackle a core crime prevention challenge: determining a person's unspoken intentions. "