Uncle Sam Wants You to Have an Online ID
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Thread: Uncle Sam Wants You to Have an Online ID

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Uncle Sam Wants You to Have an Online ID

    this ain't fud sports fans
    FOXBusiness.com - Uncle Sam Wants You to Have an Online ID
    Uncle Sam Wants You to Have an Online ID

    By Jay Bavisi co-founder of the EC-Council

    Published July 02, 2010

    | FOXBusiness



    As our daily interactions and transactions have become increasingly “wired,” we have yet to see any truly comprehensive attempts at securing online identities.

    Our complex system of usernames and passwords is astoundingly outdated and increasingly prone to security breaches and theft. Yet, so far it has been mostly up to the individual to protect himself against various forms of identity fraud—with larger corporations taking relatively little responsibility.

    But this could change in a big way. Right now the federal government is proposing a new system being referred to as the “Identity Ecosystem”—which was highlighted in the recently-released draft paper, “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace” [NSTIC].

    The Identity Ecosystem would allow Americans to choose to obtain a single authenticated ID for online transactions. Like a passport, this single ID could travel with them online and be used to access everything from e-mail, to online health records and banking information. Furthermore, the Identity Ecosystem would only reveal the least amount of information necessary for each transaction.

    To highlight the potential consumer benefits of such a system, the White House’s proposal uses the example of an individual filling a prescription online. Under the “smart ID card,” the pharmacy would only receive proof that the individual is over 18 and that the prescription is valid. No other information like birth date or the reason for the prescription.



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    Right now the only online ID management options available to consumers are tools like OpenID and Microsoft’s U-Prove. While these systems work across a variety of popular platforms such as Google (GOOG: 436.55 ,-2.94 ,-0.67%), Yahoo (YHOO: 14.07 ,-0.02 ,-0.14%) and Blogger, they are best used for cases of low-assurance clearance (i.e., personal e-mail and social networking sites). So-called “high-assurance” sites, like banking and health services, aren’t set up to support wide-access systems; they present too much of a liability.

    What’s important to note is that membership in the smart ID program would be voluntary—both for consumers and companies. Individuals who wanted to become members might apply for a smart identity card through their state government. Because the program is voluntary, the government is stressing the importance of consumer confidence, education and usability.

    It’s easy to see why consumers would benefit from an easy-to-use, secure and universal system. What’s harder to understand is the overall impact on e-commerce.

    This program could eliminate the biggest obstacle to the e-commerce industry: fear of identity theft and fraud, which could literally lead to billions of dollars in new online spending. It could also jumpstart health e-commerce, a market that has yet to take off because of serious privacy and security risks.

    But the costs associated with implementing such a system would likely be enormous. The NSTIC has anticipated some kickback and will be offering businesses incentives such as tax credits/breaks, insurance, grants and loans for early adoption.

    However, the question is: Are these incentives enough?

    Although the NSTIC proposal is somewhat vague on this issue, the government will have to be prepared to work with the hardware industry in order to ensure that smart-card readers, scanners, etc. are integrated with standard systems. Obviously, consumers that adopt such a system with their existing hardware will need to somehow upgrade their systems. It will certainly require a lot of negotiations within the industry, as the government may run into disputes over patent ownership between companies with conflicting interests. In order to integrate the system into existing sites, companies will need to pour money and resources into writing code to integrate an ecosystem with existing Web assets. And it is tantamount to their task that Web developers avoid security blunders in the process.

    Consider how long it has taken us to get this far - and it’s easy to see how challenging it will be to teach common users how to successfully utilize an ecosystem that controls all of your online authentication with various “user-controlled” settings.

    Should this system be implemented, consumers must be prepared for a “new” experience and accept that convenience over security can no longer be their daily mantra.

    Implementing such a comprehensive system will be tough—and requires widespread and fairly immediate support. The government must be able to win over consumers and businesses at the same time—or the Identity Ecosystem is likely to become a chicken-egg problem—with consumers unwilling to join a program that businesses aren’t a part of, and vice versa.

    Furthermore, many modern services are complex. Take for instance online health: this would require the collaboration of doctors, hospitals, insurance providers, pharmacies and individuals.

    The bottom line here is that the White House’s proposal depends on businesses voluntarily agreeing to turn the current e-commerce system upside down, incur massive new costs and collaborate with competitors – a dim possibility, to say the least.

    Although the White House should be applauded for this idea, it is doubtful that such a voluntary approach is likely to win over the big companies who will end up footing the bill or passing it on to consumers.

    The private industry has been trying to enact this type of online assurance model for some time now, and with little success. It is far more likely that the White House will have to work with Congress to legislate this type of a reform.





    Jay Bavisi is president and co-founder of the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council), a global organization that researches, consults and provides training on issues of e-commerce and cybersecurity. Jay is a regularly featured speaker at e-commerce and cybersecurity conferences in the U.S., Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
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  2.   
  3. You already have an online ID. It's called an IP Address.

  4. #3
    While this may sound good to some, IMO it will only accomplish two things:
    1. Allow Big Brother to track all of your online transactions and communications faster.
    2. Waste a lot of money while enriching a selected few others.
    No wonder the White House is in love with the idea!
    Kill them all and let God sort them out!

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mudinyeri View Post
    You already have an online ID. It's called an IP Address.
    Your IP address does not define you, follow you, or authenticate you.
    If you've got several computers in a house behind a router, all of you are likely using the same IP address.
    If you change locations you are almost certainly assigned a different IP address.
    Even when your computer uses a single IP address, there could be anyone sitting at the keyboard.

    An online ID would overcome each of those obstacles in identifying who is doing what, and going where, and when they did it.

  6. #5
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    Might the next step be to have it tattooed on your hand? Like most opportunists and others seeking to insinuate themselves into your personal business, the Government isn't likely to be recommending ANYthing that doesn't serve its own purposes. Caveat emptor!
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  7. Quote Originally Posted by Booga View Post
    Your IP address does not define you, follow you, or authenticate you.
    If you've got several computers in a house behind a router, all of you are likely using the same IP address.
    If you change locations you are almost certainly assigned a different IP address.
    Even when your computer uses a single IP address, there could be anyone sitting at the keyboard.

    An online ID would overcome each of those obstacles in identifying who is doing what, and going where, and when they did it.
    I'll agree that your IP address doesn't define you or follow you. But it does "authenticate" you in many ways including your access to this forum. For instance, if the moderators or administrators of this forum wanted to ban you, they could do so by blocking your IP address.

    Your PC has an IP address even if it's behind a router. That's how the router identifies your PC to provide access to network services like the Internet. Have you ever had your Internet connection go down at home and gotten an error message that said you needed to refresh your IP address?

    An online ID could be stolen, just like I can spoof your IP address or steal your driver's license.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mudinyeri View Post
    I'll agree that your IP address doesn't define you or follow you. But it does "authenticate" you in many ways including your access to this forum. For instance, if the moderators or administrators of this forum wanted to ban you, they could do so by blocking your IP address.
    The IP address is identification of an access method. Yes, that blocking of my IP would temporarily block easy access of the forum. But, as you noted, it is possible to spoof an IP address. Thus proving my point that the IP is not authentication. It's treated like authentication, but it is not.

    When I say authentication, I mean authentication of an individual, not authentication of something they are using. Think of it more like your car. It is yours, you paid for it, you are almost always the one in the car, but it does not identify you. You could let someone borrow the car, or there could be more people in the car than just you.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Mudinyeri View Post
    You already have an online ID. It's called an IP Address.
    I think the idea is that Big Brother wants you to have a permanent internet ID. IP addresses change. Or if you use a "public" computer (cafe or library) your IP doesn't identify you, but identifies the network. If I roam around town and connect on someones unsecure wireless network, I could be nearly impossible to identify. MAC address is basically an identifier, but finding out who "owns" that MAC address is very very difficult, and would only ID me if I use my own computer, like a laptop. If I went to an internet cafe and they didn't require an ID to use their access, I would be unknown. The IP address and MAC address would simply tell an investigator that I used that particular PC on that particular network. They'd have no way to know who was typing on the keyboard.

    Big Brother wants you to have an "online ID" that functions like a social security number and identifies you no matter where you use the internet. With a "big brother ID" I could travel to a whole nother state and would have to use that ID to log onto the internet even using some shmucks unsecure wireless network at an apartment complex and be "known".

    Next thing they'll come up with is to require the manufacturer or seller to collect identification on the purchaser of a laptop or PC MAC address, just like buying a gun from a dealer (all in the name of "national security", of course). And so Obummer can have a reason to form a new government agency to "create jobs".

  10. Quote Originally Posted by Booga View Post
    The IP address is identification of an access method. Yes, that blocking of my IP would temporarily block easy access of the forum. But, as you noted, it is possible to spoof an IP address. Thus proving my point that the IP is not authentication. It's treated like authentication, but it is not.

    When I say authentication, I mean authentication of an individual, not authentication of something they are using. Think of it more like your car. It is yours, you paid for it, you are almost always the one in the car, but it does not identify you. You could let someone borrow the car, or there could be more people in the car than just you.

    Not really. I could go to the library in a town 100 miles away and still log onto the forum. It would be impractical to configure the forum to allow only certain IP addresses to log in, as they change so often. And having a banned IP list in the forum wouldn't be worthwhile for the same above reason. The user name/password works, but only on this particular forum.

    Think more of a user name/password to access the world wide web from ANYWHERE in the U.S., from any PC, on any network. Sort of like a cell phone. No matter where you use it, they know it's YOU unless it's stolen.

    Just think how many jobs we could "create" by implementing such a system. It would be bigger than the FBI and have field offices in every state!



    .

  11. Oh yeah, and don't forget, you'd have to pay a fee like a car license plate in order to get your big brother ID.

    There's always a fee involved with anything big brother does on your behalf to make you safer, don't you know.

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