Archive for identity

Opinions mixed about White House’s online identity plan

Posted in Big Brother, biometrics, New World Order with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2010 by saynsumthn

Angela Moscaritolo
June 29 2010
Critics of the White House’s proposed national internet identity authentication plan, intended to improve online privacy and security, say the strategy may do just the opposite.

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), unveiled on Friday by White House cybersecurity coordinator and special assistant to the president Howard Schmidt, is intended to enable individuals to voluntarily obtain a secure credential, such as a smart identity card, from public and private sector providers. Under the plan, this credential would be used for online authentication when banking, accessing electronic health records, sending email and making online purchases.

“No longer should individuals have to remember an ever-expanding and potentially insecure list of usernames and passwords to log into various online services,” Schmidt wrote in a White House blog post Friday.

But the focus of this plan is not where it should be, said John Pescatore, vice president and research fellow at Gartner.

“The real issue why there’s successful cybercrime is because we are still using reusable passwords [as opposed to one-time passwords or other strong authentication methods], and that’s the only choice people have,” Pescatore told SCMagazineUS.com on Tuesday. “If you really want to address cybercrime and identity theft, you address what the government can do to minimize the use of reusable passwords versus putting together a complicated framework which will rely on passwords all over again.”

One of the primary goals of the plan is to develop and foster what is referred to as an “identity ecosystem” where users can be confident about the security of their online transactions, while trusting the identity of each other and the infrastructure on which the transaction is running. Under this plan, members of the public would be able to use their multifactor, interoperable credential to authenticate themselves online for various transactions.

A website has been set up where individuals can provide public comment on the draft strategy.

According to a review of the comments, many worry the plan could actually hinder the security of online transactions because it seeks to enable individuals to have a single, centralized identity. This is less secure than multiple identities, many say, as it creates a “single point of failure.”
“This effort will be counterproductive at best and has the potential to cause problems that are orders of magnitude worse than current identity theft issues,” one commenter wrote.

Many others have expressed similar concerns.

“Now, if a black hat hacker hacks this universal access method, they get universal access,” another commenter wrote.

However, one of the plan’s developers, Craig Spiezle, said there has been some confusion as to how the plan is intended to work.

An individual’s identity would be made up of multiple attributes, not all of which would be used for authentication with every transaction, he explained. For example, an individual may have 50 attributes associated with his or her identity, only a fraction of which would be used to complete a transaction with a particular organization. Also, under the plan, identity solutions should be resilient and capable of being restored if compromised.

“It’s not just having a single identity and password – that would be ineffective,” Spiezle, executive director and CEO of the Online Trust Alliance, told SCMagazineUS.com on Tuesday. “Yes, there’s room for improvement, but I think it’s a step in the right direction to address some of the ills we have in the standard username and password.”

Other supporters believe the plan will have a positive impact on cybersecurity.

“Finally we have before us a proposal that can move society forward in protecting individual privacy, and simultaneously create a secure and trustworthy infrastructure with enough protections to be resistant to insider attacks,” Kim Cameron, chief architect of identity in Microsoft’s identity and security division, said in a blog post Sunday.

Meanwhile, Christopher Burgess, senior security adviser at Cisco, told SCMagazine US.com on Tuesday that the plan is a positive step forward and presents a good vision for the future of online transaction security.

“Putting control of an individual’s data in the hands of the individual is an absolute right step,” Burgess said. “It’s really going to have an impact on online crime. When you raise the cost of doing business for criminal elements, then you reduce criminal activity.”

The proposed plan calls for the federal government and private industry to deploy the identity authentication solutions and encourage the deployment of authentication protocols, such as Domain Name Security (DNSSEC), Internet Protocol Security (IPsec), and Border Gateway Protocol Security (BGPSEC), the White House said in a fact sheet about the plan.

Additionally, according to the fact sheet, the plan calls for the federal government to strengthen privacy protections for users of the “ecosystem,” which may be achieved through the passing of new laws. The government would also create a national awareness campaign to promote the importance of cybersecurity and the trusted identities plan.

“A hill they will have to get over is in the education,” Cisco’s Burgess said. “I think that’s going to be one of the most important parts – educating the citizen on the value – if they expect citizen participation.”

For the plan to be successful, citizens must have assurance that their information is under their control and is secured in a reliable manner, he added.
Finally, to manage the identity ecosystem, the government would establish an office to oversee the strategy and an industry advisory council to ensure the long-term success of the ecosystem, the White House said.

The plan was developed collaboratively among government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, along with private-sector businesses and privacy advocates.

The White House plans to release a final version in the fall.

Researchers work on memory-erasing drugs

Posted in Abortion, Alex Jones, New World Order, RU-486, Tomorrow's Children, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2009 by saynsumthn

Researchers work on memory-erasing drugs

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Researchers work on memory-erasing drugs
Thursday, November 19, 2009

AP– (11/19/09) — Taking a pill could wipe away all of your painful memories.

HealthFirst reporter Leslie Toldo tells us about research that sounds like a sci-fi movie plot.

There is proof it can be done. The real question is, would you really want to do it?

The answer isn’t as easy as you might think.

These pictures, medals and pins are reminders of a time war veteran Allen Megginson would rather forget. “I think that no matter how much time passes, it’s really not going to ease the pain any.”

Megginson fought in the Iraq War. What he saw and experienced are now memories that haunt him every day. “Sometimes the wounds that hurt the most are the ones you can’t see.”

What if Megginson could forget those horrible memories? After decades of research, neuroscientist Dr. Andre Fenton and colleagues have discovered what they call the memory molecule. “This is the first physical identification of a molecule that is definitively important for storing memory,” Fenton claimed.

In a lab experiment, Fenton manipulated that molecule in the brains of rats. The animals were put on a turntable. One area delivered a mild shock to the foot. But when researchers injected a drug called zip into their brains, watch how the rats go straight to the spot that shocked them. They forgot what they had learned.

“We could always see that the animals could no longer remember to avoid that particular place.”

While this research is in animals, investigators from Harvard are studying whether another drug called propranolol can weaken the emotional response to memories in humans. But medical ethicist Felicia Cohn, Ph.D. says there are real concerns about editing memory

“You start changing somebody’s memories, you can raise the question of whether or not you’re changing their identity in some fundamental way.”
Even Megginson says he wouldn’t want to take a drug to help him forget. “I may have these bad memories, but they make me the person I am today.”

Researchers are also studying the effects of certain painkillers, anti-nausea drugs and the abortion drug RU486 for memory blocking in animals.

BACKGROUND: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event. The intense fear triggers split-second changes in the body to defend against danger. In PTSD, this reaction is changed or damaged. People with PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are no longer in danger. Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. War veterans and survivors of physical and sexual abuse are commonly diagnosed with the disorder. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some people develop PTSD after a friend or family member experiences danger or is harmed. The sudden, unexpected death of a loved one can also cause PTSD.

ERASING MEMORIES?
It sounds like science fiction, but some researchers are studying whether certain drugs can erase or dim bad memories. The possibility of memory blocking has some ethicists concerned. Felicia Cohn, Ph.D., director of medical ethics at the University of California, Irvine, says erasing memories may be erasing someone’s identity. “If you start changing somebody’s memories, you can raise the question of whether or not you’re changing their identity in some fundamental way,” Cohn told Ivanhoe. She says even bad memories teach us important lessons. “Whether it means we become more protective with our children or we lock our doors more often at night, or you know, even subtle behavior changes can really make a big difference in the way we live,” Cohn said.

ZIP: Researchers in Brooklyn are studying the drug known as “ZIP” in animals. They conducted an experiment where they put the animals on a turntable. One region of the table delivered a mild foot shock, so the animals learned to stay away from that area. After the researchers injected ZIP into their brains, the rats went straight to the spot that shocked them, meaning they forgot what they had learned.

PROPRANOLOL: Researchers from Harvard and elsewhere have been studying whether the drug propranolol can dim the emotional response to memories in people with PTSD. In one preliminary trial, investigators found the pill “significantly reduced physiological responses” in the patients. Researchers say the drug works by influencing the reconsolidation of memories, which is the shaping of already-formed — or consolidated — memories. In another recent study involving the drug, researchers trained 60 people to associate a picture of a spider with an electric shock. After the conditioning, students who were given propranolol before seeing the picture were not startled, while the other students were.