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United States Government Security Your Rights Online

US Gov't To Issue Secure Online IDs 205

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Tom Groenfeldt reports in Forbes that the U.S. Postal Service has awarded a contract to SecureKey to implement the Federal Cloud Credential Exchange (FCXX) designed to enable individuals to securely access online services at multiple federal agencies — such as health benefits, student loan information, and retirement benefit information — without the need to use a different password or other digital identification for each service. SecureKey already operates a trusted identity service in Canada using identification keys provided by one of five participating Canadian banks. It allows Canadians to connect with 120 government programs online with no additional user names or passwords for everything from benefits queries to fishing licenses. The SecureKey program is designed to connect identity providers — such as banks, governments, healthcare organizations, and others — with consumers' favorite online services though a cloud-based broker service. The platform allows identity providers and online services to integrate once, reducing the integration and business complexity otherwise incurred in establishing many-to-many relationships."
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US Gov't To Issue Secure Online IDs

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  • Re:Brilliant! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @07:34PM (#44637359)

    Posting AC because I worked on this proposal for one of the seven other candidates for this bid.

    The oversight/selection committee for this consisted of people from GSA, NIST, and several other agencies. Speaking as a privacy/security nut myself, I can say their requirements were very privacy-friendly.

    This system is intended to allow people to use third-party authentication mechanisms (provided by Equifax, etc.) to access government systems. The kicker is that neither side is allowed to know who the other side is. The FCCX is intended to be an anonymizer-like service to completely disassociate the public information from the federal systems.

    Regardless of what some other agencies are doing (illegally, immorally, etc.), these guys were really striving - at least in the RFQ/RFP - to do it the right way.

  • Re:Brilliant! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @09:28PM (#44638491)

    Same AC.

    Depends on the site and the level of authentication required. INS will have a different requirement than the IRS, for instance. Different identification services will use varying levels of identification for enrollment, and FCCX will pass on the level of assurance to the relying party. It's a complex system. I don't know how the bid winners will handle the back end, but there's a lot of new tech that needs to be developed. (How do you give data to two parties without telling each who the other is, when you're not supposed to know the content of the message? Not an easy problem.)

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