White House Pushing Universal Internet IDs
Enjoy using the Internet in relative anonymity while you can. Like all good things, it won’t last long in the Age of Hope & Change:
A few years back, the White House had a brilliant idea: Why not create a single, secure online ID that Americans could use to verify their identity across multiple websites, starting with local government services. The New York Times described it at the time as a “driver’s license for the internet.”
They are beginning to go through with it.
[This] month, a pilot program of the “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace” will begin in government agencies in two US states, to test out whether the pros of a federally verified cyber ID outweigh the cons.
That is, to see how effectively privacy advocates resist.
Supposedly this will liberate us from having to type passwords. But even if the system were secure from identity theft, having to type a few passwords is a small price to pay not to have to surf the Internet with a bar code tattooed on your forehead like the Mark of the Beast.
Unsurprisingly, the Electronic Frontier Foundation immediately pointed out the red flags, arguing that the right to anonymous speech in the digital realm is protected under the First Amendment. It called the program “radical,” “concerning,” and pointed out that the plan “makes scant mention of the unprecedented threat such a scheme would pose to privacy and free speech online.”
Trust the militant moonbats at Google? Then you won’t like this:
[T]heoretically Google … could have access to a comprehensive profile of who you are that’s shared with every site you visit, as mandated by the government.
Trusting the government makes even less sense, if possible.
Post-NSA revelations, we have a good sense for the dystopian Big Brother society the EFF is worried about. As the organization told the Times, at the least “we would need new privacy laws or regulations to prohibit identity verifiers from selling user data or sharing it with law enforcement officials without a warrant.”
Of course there are also the obvious security concerns:
If a hacker gets their hands on your cyber ID, they have the keys to everything.
But on the positive side, think of how easy it will be for the NSA to track every detail of your online life, the better to protect you from yourself.