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Obama is planning to issue Internet IDs for Americans

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President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official said here today.

It’s “the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government” to centralize efforts toward creating an “identity ecosystem” for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.

That news, first reported by CNET, effectively pushes the department to the forefront of the issue, beating out other potential candidates including the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The move also is likely to please privacy and civil liberties groups that have raised concerns in the past over the dual roles of police and intelligence agencies.

The announcement came at an event today at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, where U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Schmidt spoke.

The Obama administration is currently drafting what it’s calling the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, which Locke said will be released by the president in the next few months. (An early version was publicly released last summer.)

“We are not talking about a national ID card,” Locke said at the Stanford event. “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.”

The Commerce Department will be setting up a national program office to work on this project, Locke said.

Details about the “trusted identity” project are unusually scarce. Last year’s announcement referenced a possible forthcoming smart card or digital certificate that would prove that online users are who they say they are. These digital IDs would be offered to consumers by online vendors for financial transactions.

Schmidt stressed today that anonymity and pseudonymity will remain possible on the Internet. “I don’t have to get a credential if I don’t want to,” he said. There’s no chance that “a centralized database will emerge,” and “we need the private sector to lead the implementation of this,” he said.

Inter-agency rivalries to claim authority over cybersecurity have exited ever since many responsibilities were centralized in the Department of Homeland Security as part of its creation nine years ago. Three years ago, proposals were were circulating in Washington to transfer authority to the secretive NSA, which is part of the U.S. Defense Department.

In March 2009, Rod Beckstrom, director of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity Center, resigned through a letter that gave a rare public glimpse into the competition for budgetary dollars and cybersecurity authority. Beckstrom said at the time that the NSA “effectively controls DHS cyber efforts through detailees, technology insertions,” and has proposed moving some functions to the agency’s Fort Meade, Md., headquarters.


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  • I think this is already in the works, world-wide. It’s called IPSEC. If I understand correctly, it’s going to be based on X.509 secure certificates issued to routers, servers, and your own computer, based on identifying information that you will be required to provide, such as your birth certificate, driver’s license and/or passport. This schema is already being rolled out by ICANN and the various Regional Internet Registries (RIR) around the world. I’m speculating that many Internet sites will require you to have such a certificate to visit their Web site and many routers will also not handle your Internet traffic requests unless you have one.

    I find it odd, however, that someone should suggest that Obama would require identification such as a birth certificate to be on the Internet, since close scrutiny of his own Kenyan Coast Providence General Hospital birth certificate shows he is not even entitled to be President of the United States. While his followers refute this vehemently, his baby footprint on the birth certificate is verifiable evidence which is sufficient to invalidate claims that the birth certificate has been faked.
    While Obama’s fingerprints might be faked, It’s not possible to fake the lines and dots making up his footprint, even by graphic scaling, since no one else, except Obama himself, has Obama’s foot print to compare the footprint to.

    • Scott

      You know John, it doesn’t matter where he was born if his mom was a US citizen. I don’t understand people’s fascination with this topic. Why not talk about the real reasons he shouldn’t be in office? Like not repealing the Patriot Act when he said he would, or not shutting down the gulag in Cuba? That stuff’s real.

  • It’s a voluntary system for single-password convenience and commerce security for online purchases. Not a gestapo thing.

    – Balkingpoints / www

    • Jeremy

      How is a single password more secure? Instead of a dozen points of failure, you have one, when your lone password is compromised, you’re screwed.

  • less gov plz

    more big brother :-x

  • msbetz

    Wonder which name will appear on the illusive birth certificate? He has so many.
    And probably more, also, all those social security numbers, How about health records, and university records and passport records….THE WORLD WANTS TO KNOW!

  • kachonka

    Wrong Scott. The Father’s birth of origin is the considered factor for eligibility. Go play in the sand box with the rest of the unemployed obamanites

  • Alvin Wil

    It’s definitely a ” BIG BROTHER THING ” You really think once it’s up and they have you in the sys. it will stay private. When has obama told the truth yet.He lies about every thing. Lied about troops home , Guantanamo, NDAA, 30,000 spy drones over America. He is a zionist puppet We will go to another illegal war with Iran , not for a secure America but for zionist agenda. zionist corporations that make billions from the death and destruction of the world and thousands of American troops. Obama is a zionist “WAR WHORE ” AND HIS FORGED BIRTH CERT MAKES A HELL OF A DIFFERENCE. IT’S A FELONY TO FORGE A BIRTH CERT. COMMIT PERJURY, COMMIT FRAUD AGAINST AMERICA. HE IS NOT AN AMERICAN OR HE WOULD NOT BE STEALING ALL OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO MAKE A NEW WORLD TAKE OVER EASY . HE IS A SERIAL KILLIN MASS MURDERER. HE BREAKS THE LAW REPEATEDLY. OPEN YOUR FU_KKEENNN EYES.

  • Alvin Wil

    it’s not about a password it’s so they will know who is looking at what, when where and why. . you always have to keep a close eye on the people you enslave. I guess us white people will really learn what it’s like to be a slave. Maybe then we’ll stop fighting and unite to take ” OUR ” country back from these zionist assholes. UNITED WE WIN DIVIDED WE LOSE OUR COUNTRY AND FREEDOM. WE NEED TO PUT THE PAST BEHIND US. WE WONT WIN DIVIDED. THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT REALLY NEEDS ALL OUR HELP THEY HAVE A GOOD START BETTER TO BUILD AND WORK TOGETHER AND KICK SOME 1% TERS ASS.

  • Wm

    They may as well add Revelations 13:17 to this legislation.

    ” And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark , or the name of the beast, or the number of his name .

    Beast = System

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