In 1972 P.P.S. (pre-Police State) my libertarian/anarchistic friends and I used to wax rhapsodic with regard to going ‘off the grid’, that is, if not actually living off-the-grid, having access to one or more alternative identities and addresses, just in case things got bad in the real world. This came from watching too many spy movies and TV shows.
Of course, things are currently much worse than we ever dreamt in our worst nightmares.
In addition to getting (and renewing) State-issued driver licenses and passports, we though of birth certificates and credit cards, in the alternative identities.
We dreamt a lot.
Not that we were anticipating committing any felonies (in the early 70s, false identities usually were misdemeanors) but we had a healthy respect for the ever-encroaching power of government. This was a just-in-case sort of thing.
But, we were young, and mostly stupid, and didn’t have the financial means to accomplish this. And didn’t want to even commit misdemeanors.
Borepatch recently enlightened us about yet another chink in our alternative identity armor. It seems the ubiquitous mail drop (public or private postal box address) has become more difficult to obtain, maintain and acquire, without giving one’s life away.
Seems the almighty government doesn’t like persons with truly private addresses…
I’m certain the smugglers, drug dealers and thieves who also utilize such services are obeying the law, much as the users of stolen firearms get all their proper documentation ducks in a row. So, this added level of bureaucratic nonsense is about protecting us.