Tuesday, January 18, 2011

President Obama Wants an Internet ID for All Americans (Secretary Locke's Remarks at National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace 2011)

While the government currently has the ability to track, trace and database a person's Internet usage, it cannot do so as easily when a person uses the Internet from work or from a public Internet terminal. However, a universal Internet ID eliminates this potential tracking issue, because the Internet ID would be unique to each individual Internet user in the United States of America. The White House now wants everyone to have an Internet ID. No word on what happens when a person's Internet ID is hacked or identity-jacked by nefarious parties to do evil deeds.

"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," Locke continued.

Source: NBC Bay Area ; White House - Cyberspace Policy Review: Assuring a Trusted and Resilient Information and Communications Infrastructure


The remarks were made by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke at the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) at Stanford University on January 7, 2011. A transcript of the event can be viewed through Google Documents (an excerpt is below) and the highlighted portion below can be viewed at the 08:55 mark in the above video.

To help meet these challenges, the Obama administration recently released a comprehensive cyberspace policy review outlining a series of necessary actions by the public and private sector including improving identity solutions, identity management services, and privacy enhancing technologies. This review has helped to lay the groundwork for the administrations forthcoming national strategy for trusted I'dties in cyberspace, or NSTIC. The final version of this strategy will be signed by the president in the coming mods and Howard Schmidt will be from the White House will be talking more about this in just a few minutes. And many of you are familiar with the public draft release this past summer, and many of you participated in the open public process with comments on the strategy and we very much want to thank you for your thoughts and your recommendations. The end game of course, is to create an identity ecosystem where individuals and organizations can complete on-line transactions with greater confidence. Putting greater trust in the on-line identities of each other, and greater trust in the infrastructure that the transactions run over. Let's be clear, we're not talking about a national ID card. We're [not] talking about a government controlled system. But what we are talking about is enhancing on-line security and privacy and reducing and perhaps even eliminating the need to memorizing a dozen password through the creation and use of more trusted digital I'dties. To accomplish this, we're going to need your help. And we need the private sector's expertise and involvement in designing, building and implementing this identity ecosystem. To succeed we'll also need a national program office at the Department of Commerce focused on implementing our trusted I'dties strategy. The commerce department already has an expensive experience in this realm. Last April for instance we launched an inter net policy task force to address the most pressing Internet issues of the day. The task force was made up of experts from a contrast the department, experts in trade policy, intellectual property, information policy, Cybersecurity, and standards. And the task force is working on develop Cybersecurity policy recommendations for the commercial sector, as well as policy recommendations on other Internet issues like privacy, copy right protection, and international eCommerce. We've reached out expensively for public comments on all these topics and the task force just last month released initial recommendation for strengthening on-line privacy protection. The commerce department has the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the preeminent laboratories within the Federal Government that's part of the commerce department. It also has significant long standing investments in Cybersecurity R&D and in standard dags programs. And all of this experience can help a new program office be effective facilitators for both government and private sector engagement and indeed private sector leadership. In the end, we want to build consensus on legal and policy frame works necessary to make the trusted I'dties strategy successful, including ways to enhance privacy, free expression and open markets. We want to work with industry to identify where new standards or collaborative efforts may be needed and we want to support inner governmental collaboration and we want to support important pilot projects. These are important undertakings. And today's symposium and today's announcement is just an early step in a much longer journey. Of course, we all know that these pilot projects, any follow-on commercial deployments and the immersed ens of an identity ecosystem itself will not be a pan see a. There is no magic bullet to solve all the Cybersecurity issued out there. ( However we do know that robust identity solutions can substantially enhance the trustworthiness of on-line transactions. And they not only can improve security, but if done properly, can enhance privacy as well. Such an I'd identity ecosystem must be led by people that made Internet the Internet what it is today. That's why Howard and and Pat Gallagher our. Have come to Silicon Valley, which remains an epi center of American in in ovation and entrepreneur and Pat's going to be here for the rest of the day to talk more about our efforts but also to gather input from all of you.

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