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Obama Eyeing Internet ID For Americans 487

Pickens writes "CBS News reports that the Obama administration is currently drafting the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, which will be released by the president in the next few months. 'We are not talking about a national ID card,' says Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, whose department will be in charge of the program. 'We are not talking about a government-controlled system. What we are talking about is enhancing online security and privacy and reducing and perhaps even eliminating the need to memorize a dozen passwords, through creation and use of more trusted digital identities.' Although details have not been finalized, the 'trusted identity' may take the form of a smart card or digital certificate that would prove online users are who they say they are. These digital IDs would be offered to consumers by online vendors for financial transactions. White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt says that anonymity and pseudonymity will remain possible on the Internet. 'I don't have to get a credential if I don't want to,' says Schmidt. There's no chance that 'a centralized database will emerge,' and 'we need the private sector to lead the implementation of this.'"
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Obama Eyeing Internet ID For Americans

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  • by ghelleks ( 613300 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @10:56AM (#34804054)
    Comments on this draft closed in July, and it's been changed since. But this should give you a sense of what they're actually proposing. []
  • by goodmanj ( 234846 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:18AM (#34804222)

    You've missed my point. I'm not saying that there *should be* a government-run identity system, I'm saying that *if* we have one, we'd be better off if the government ran it.

    If you believe the government will do nefarious stuff with your data, since corporations will hand over their data the moment some guy with a suit and a badge shows up and says "national security", giving your data to a corporation is the same as giving it directly to the government.

    And while it's true that some government officials might be persuaded to become corrupt and sell your data for profit over principle, corporations *by definition* are in the business of putting profit motive first.

    So corporate verification of identity has all the drawbacks of government verification of identity, plus more.

    In essence, when personal privacy is on the line, corporate officials are just government officials who are *guaranteed to be corrupt*.

  • by turkeyfish ( 950384 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:19AM (#34804240)

    The notion that you can use a competitor is laughable, since most "competitors" are now owned by the same few people that own virtually everything else. Don't you know that the wealthiest 1% of the people already own 85% of everything there is to own? Don't you realize that the only national debate going on now is just how much of the remaining 15% they will be allowed to own as well? I guess they've lulled you into a false sense of security.

    At least when the government screws you over, you can vote them out of office. Try that with a phone or cable company. Sure you can "switch to a competitor", but with the same few people owning all the "competitors", do you really think you have shown them? If the market had true competition, how do you explain that 9 times out of 10 prices only go up rather than down? How do you explain that just 5 companies control about 85% of all media outlets and the major shareholders are often the very same individuals? Dream on pal and let Fox News sing you back to sleep.

  • Re:how about no (Score:5, Informative)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @12:29PM (#34804806)
    National Healthcare is about controlling people?

    Two questions, what have you been smoking? And where can I get some?

    The Internet ID is genuinely that bad an idea, as is failing to provide real net neutrality rules, but you've got to be high if you think that national health care is some sort of infringement on your rights. There are exemptions baked into it for people that genuinely can't afford it or have religious objections to it.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.