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article imageObama planning 'identity ecosystems' for American internet users

By Michael Krebs     Jan 9, 2011 in Internet
As cybersecurity concerns among the federal government have become more elevated, President Obama is now exploring internet IDs for American users.
The US federal government would like to create an "identity ecosystem," in an effort to assign identifying markers to all American internet users, according to a CBS News report. The move would be far-reaching and would be assigned to the US Commerce Department.
The plan - as drafted by the Obama administration - is known as the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.
"We are not talking about a national ID card," U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said, according to the CBS News report - which drew from an original story on CNET. "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."
Cybersecurity has taken on a new urgency among federal government circles - as demonstrated in recent plans for a $1.2 billion NSA cybersecurity center in Utah. Information Week reports the new facility will have both military and civilian applications.
The promise of the new Obama administration cybersecurity proposal is partially founded in the idea that American internet users will no longer need passwords, as reported by the Daily Mail.
"Possible methods of creating a ‘trusted identity’ could include issuing a ‘smart card’ or digital certificates that would prove that online users are who they say they are. They could then be used to buy goods and carry out financial transactions on the Internet," the Daily Mail reported.
More about Obama, Cybersecurity, Identity, Technology, Commerce department
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