Big Brother wants Internet ID System

According to CNET 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.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20027800-281.html#ixzz1Al3y1CAq

Trust the government with all your private accounts? Can anyone say WIKILEAKS??????????

According to Bloomberg: Civil libertarians have expressed concern that the system may not protect privacy as well as the government is promising.

“If the concept were implemented in a perfect way it would be very good,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst for privacy and technology at the New York-based American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s a convenience. But having a single point of failure may not be good for protecting privacy. The devil’s really in the details.” He said the ACLU would “vehemently oppose” anything that resembled a national ID card.

Aaron Brauer-Rieke, a fellow at the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington, a civil liberties group, said it was important that the system would be operated by private companies, not the government. He said he was concerned about how the data on consumer online transactions would be used.

“New identity systems will allow moving from one site to another with less friction and open up data flows, but might also enable new kinds of targeted advertising,” he said. “We have to make sure privacy doesn’t get lost in this.”

Schwartz and McConnell said the new system wouldn’t be a national identity card and that companies, not the government, would manage the data being passed online.

“There will not be a single data base for this information,” McConnell said.

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