Skip to comments.Obama to hand Commerce Dept. authority over cybersecurity ID
Posted on 01/11/2011 1:01:25 PM PST by Lucky9teen
STANFORD, Calif.--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 remarkably 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.
Jim Dempsey of the Center for Democracy and Technology, who spoke later at the event, said any Internet ID must be created by the private sector--and also voluntary and competitive.
"The government cannot create that identity infrastructure," Dempsey said. "If it tried to, it wouldn't be trusted."
Inter-agency rivalries to claim authority over cybersecurity have existed 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 circulating in Washington to transfer authority to the secretive NSA, which is part of the U.S. Defense Department.
In March 2009, Rod Beckström, 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 cyberefforts through detailees, technology insertions," and has proposed moving some functions to the agency's Fort Meade, Md., headquarters.
One of the NSA's missions is, of course, information assurance. But its normally lustrous star in the political firmament has dimmed a bit due to Wikileaks-related revelations.
Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private who is accused of liberating hundreds of thousands of confidential government documents from military networks and sending them to Wikileaks, apparently joked about the NSA's incompetence in an online chat last spring.
"I even asked the NSA guy if he could find any suspicious activity coming out of local networks," Manning reportedly said in a chat transcript provided by ex-hacker Adrian Lamo. "He shrugged and said, 'It's not a priority.'"
Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20027800-281.html#ixzz1AlL90ufw
No, thank you.
This will be stopped... first by an injunction... and then by a judicial decision.
Duplicate: Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans 1/7/2011, 319 replies
And the Constitutional authority to do this is found where?
And if you posted “throw the bums out!” you’d get a knock on the door.
The reason the Internet is so wildly successful is because it is still free!
Yah, just like they told us here in the 80s that failing to wear a seatbelt would never be a primary ticketable offense. Zoom forward to last year, when I saw stakeouts at freeway entrance ramps -- one cop creepily peering into every car that went by, and a number of motorcycle cops pulling folks over.
We are handing him his walking papers and he can step down right now.
....The move also is likely to please privacy and civil-liberties....
These guys are nuts.
Sounds like another case of “Oh where have the protesters gone since a Democrat took the White House?”
When there is another Republican President, then they are going to freak out again.
If any of the House Republicans are paying attention, cutting the budget at the Department of Commerce, especially the “ID” Division, might be a good place to start saving some money!
Think sales tax. It’s about controlling/knowing what you’re buying and selling for taxes.
Think sales tax. Its about controlling/knowing what youre buying and selling for taxes.
I completely agree, I see it as a big tax scheme, the UN has been squawking a lot of late, too.
The United Nations is known for double-speak. In the UN’s vocabulary, for example, the phrase “innovative sources of financing” really means global taxes. But the General Assembly outdid its usual Orwellian prose at the 2005 World Summit in New York, when it officially endorsed what it called “voluntary contributions” to an Internet kitty for developing countries known as the Digital Solidarity Fund. This is false labeling. The truth is that the financing mechanism for this Fund relies in large part on mandatory surcharges imposed on high tech companies as a condition to having their contract bids accepted by local governments that decide to participate in this bit of extortion—or as the Fund’s founders so eloquently put it, the “obligations to contribute 1% of the transaction to the Fund is neither subject to interpretation nor negotiation”. (www.dsf-fsn.org/en/19-en.htm) We will ultimately pay the tab as these companies pass along the cost of their surcharge to its full paying customers. The money raised will supposedly be used to buy computers and Internet access for poor developing nations. Here is yet another give-away program in which good intentions paid for by the West will no doubt be stymied by the realities of corruption and mismanagement that have beset so many of these types of aid programs in the past.
http://www.caslon.com.au/taxationguide2.htm tax blog
(With a bit tax, there could also be problems with enforcing compliance on the part of carrier companies. Without a central international regulatory agency to oversee the carriers, there would be difficulties in ensuring that companies collect the correct amount of tax and accurately allocate the funds to the designated governments.)
To enforce tax compliance in the future, the government may require the use of digital signatures, which will provide information regarding the identities and locations of buyers. Digital signatures are being discussed by tax authorities, but widespread use will not take place for several years.
43} The White house also quite correctly realizes that the Internet is rapidly emerging as the global marketplace. It will, therefore, be necessary for the legal framework supporting commercial transactions to become global. Predictability of results will be necessary for continued growth. Therefore, electronic commerce transactions should be “governed by consistent principles across state, national, and international borders... regardless of the jurisdiction in which a particular buyer or seller resides.” 
I read that of the top 10 internet sites, 6 are devoted to porn. Yet there main concern is in ‘’regulating’’ the other 4 and others? No mention of porn in all their babbling.
We can't test welfare recipients for drug use, but internet ID's are okay?
What's wrong with this picture?
Our masters won’t feel safe around we peons while we are washing their windows or paying tribute on bended knee unless we have Internet ID, an ID chip in our necks and a shock band around our ankles.