Found this on www.cbsnews.com:
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 unusually 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.
Inter-agency rivalries to claim authority over cybersecurity have exited 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 were circulating in Washington to transfer authority to the secretive NSA, which is part of the U.S. Defense Department.
In March 2009, Rod Beckstrom, 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 cyber efforts through detailees, technology insertions," and has proposed moving some functions to the agency's Fort Meade, Md., headquarters.
(End of story. My comments follow.)
This sets off so many alarms within me, it isn't funny.
Consider the following statements from this article ; 1) Details about the "trusted identity" project are unusually scarce. (Now THAT alone should raise the hackles on anyones' neck) 2) There's no chance that "a centralized database will emerge,...(This sounds too much like "Trust me" from the Feds.) 3) It's "the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government" to centralize efforts toward creating an "identity ecosystem" for the Internet, (Just why is this even necessary? No explanation on that one) 4) 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." (Yeah, lots of spin in this statement. What it boils down to is the ability to track down voices of dissent. Just having that capability is cause for alarm. It might not be used today, tomorrow or next year. But sooner or later...)
Hey, we're a nation that really drags it's feet on privacy issues. Just look at how the notion of registering firearms goes over anytime it's mentioned. There IS a valid reason for this reluctance, we've seen what happens when nations passively allow this "for the greater good".
About the firearm registration flap. One of the most quoted arguments against registration is "Hitler had the German people do it, when the time came they all lost the ability to dissent". Well that one isn't strictly true.
The truth is, firearm registration was instituted by the Weimar Republic PRIOR to the ascension of Hitler. Those registration laws were intended with the best of intentions, the intention to NOT have a totalitarian leader arise and take over the nation while backed by his own private army/force of thugs. Worked out so well too, didn't it? That feared leader DID arise and use the very pieces of legislation that were designed against him (although in the interests of accuracy I'll note that the leaders of the Weimar Republic were more fearful of the Communists when they passed those laws. Damned little difference in the end result.)
So no, I really don't believe B.O. & Co. are pushing for a totalitarian state with this idea. IAW with their "nannystate" tendencies they're probably doing what they honestly think is the best thing. But history has shown just where good intentions like this can lead.
I DON'T want my name on another government list, for ANY reason. It's already on enough pieces of paper.
This is another step down the slippery slope of eventual totalitarianism. The whole mindset behind this entails trusting the government.
Now let me state I DON'T automatically mistrust all government employees. As a retired military man I have to own up to having been one myself for 22 years.
But we've seen what happens when the government is allowed to act unchecked. Quite often the intentions were noble, the results tragic.
Just think of Ruby Ridge where an unarmed mother and her baby son were shot by an FBI sniper.
Recall how David Koresh and his followers were cooked in Waco, TX because some idiot felt it was time for a shootout.
Remember the photo taken when the Feds removed Elian Gonzalez from his relatives home prior to sending him back to Cuba. That photo was the one showing a fully armed Federal agent pointing his automatic rifle at the cringing aunt who was holding the little boy.
Remember the notice sent to EVERY police department in the country warning about potential right-wing terrorists coming from the ranks of veterans, 2nd Amendment supporters, prolife groups and limited government advocates. Remember how it's been noted that the FBI currently trains their people to be aware of potential violence from the prolife movement.
Can you say, "potential police state"?
Quite often the only thing keeping us from descending into totalitarianism is the outrage of a well informed citizenry. In recent years that information has been available only from anonymous bloggers. As an example, think of Dan Rather and "memogate". It was a bunch of anonymous, pajama wearing fools who pointed out the improbability of the whole thing.
For an eyeopening look at how government listings of various groups can work against us, read "War Against The Weak". It details how over 60K (yes, that'd be sixty thousand) American citizens were sterilized for the "common good" in the first half of the last century. This followed after extensive tabulation of the populations in 27 states. The information gathered included family health history, financial history, work history. All of it used to justify placing negative eugenic policies (sterilizations) in place. It sounds like tinfoil hat stuff, believe me it isn't.
Trust government employees on a case by case basis? Sure, I see a retired one every time I shave. Hell of a guy too. Trust the government in general? No way, no how.
Bottom line, there is no need for this program (especially one that is very scarce on available details). There's no reason for yet another government "watchdog" to be birthed. There IS a need for unrestricted access and anonymity on the Internet. This will continue as long as our MSM are in the hip pockets of politicians of ANY stripe. Because believe it or not, it's up to John & Joan Q. Public to safeguard their own liberties.
Can't be anonymous anymore and accuse someone of being ineligible for public office as required by the Constitution, without the secret service knocking on your door the next day or the garbage collector forgetting to pick up your trash.
That really should bother you, me, MRG, or most of us who post Conservative blogs. The Gestopo all ready has our files opened and are just waiting for the proper night to knock on the door.
We already have an internet ID - it's our ISP #
This is a bunch of baloney!
We're on the same sheet of music here--exercising our rights is becoming a subversive act.
Rick, the garbage men will be working in cahoots with the Feds. It'll be easier to sort through your trash while it's still curbside than to follow it to the dump.
But you already knew that one. I'm just stating the obvious.
Pops, I've no doubt they've got my name somewhere. The more history I read the less optimistic about our future I become.
Adrienne, that ISP# won't give them all the personal information necessary for this new ID. As it becomes more popular it'll be more likely to be made mandatory. Remember how that happened with seatbelts?
IR, we're all on our way to becoming Enemies of The State. See you in the reeducation camps.
This needs to be stopped before it gets off the ground. Lets see if our new Congress has the guts to do the right thing.
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