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Thread: Forget about national ID cards

  1. #1
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    Forget about national ID cards

    Federal Government Might Use Microsoft Product for Online ID
    Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
    Publication date: 04/18/2002


    Apr. 18--Forget about a national ID card. Instead, the federal government might use Microsoft's
    Passport technology to verify the online identity of America's citizens, federal employees and
    businesses, according to the White House technology czar.
    On Sept. 30, the government plans to begin testing Web sites where businesses can pay taxes and citizens can learn about benefits and social services. It's also exploring how to verify the identity of users so the sites can share private information.

    Microsoft's Passport is being considered as a way to authenticate users of the Web sites, said
    Mark Forman, associate director of information technology at the White House.

    "They are involved in that discussion," he said, adding that the government has not yet selected which technology it will use.

    Forman, who is overseeing the government's purchases of $100 billion worth of technology this year and next, was a featured speaker at the Microsoft Government Leaders Conference in Seattle this week.

    Forman is a former Senate staffer who worked for IBM and Unisys before he joined the Bush
    administration.

    Describing himself as the government's chief information officer, he said his priorities are to
    impose businesslike approaches for technology deployments and to monitor improvements they bring.

    After the Sept. 11 attacks, some politicians and business leaders have called for a national
    identification card, but Forman said that's not in the works. "We don't have any plans for a
    national ID card," he said.

    The White House is instead pursuing an "e-identification" initiative, an effort to develop ways to authenticate people and businesses online who already have government identification numbers such as Social Security, business-registration and employer-identification numbers.

    At the government-leaders conference, attended by representatives of 75 countries, Microsoft
    presented a blueprint for its "e-government" strategy that suggests they use Passport to verify the identity of visitors to their Web sites. It also suggested that its bCentral business Web site could be used to process business tax payments and that citizens could use its MSN Web site to handle address changes and voter registration.

    Governments have long been some of Microsoft's biggest customers. Its desktop software for
    office workers and back-end software running networks are widely by used by state and federal agencies, and the company has developed Internet portals for the United Kingdom, Mexico and other nations.

    But getting the United States to use Passport to authenticate its 285 million citizens online
    would be a coup for the Redmond software company. It would also be a large step toward
    fulfilling Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' stated goal of getting everyone on the Internet to use
    Passport as their sign-on tool.

    Yesterday, appearing at the conference, Gates reiterated the goal, saying he expects
    governments in many countries will find it difficult getting to "critical mass" with authentication
    systems they develop on their own. He said some governments may opt to use companies such as Microsoft or America Online as "the bank" that registers people for online usage.

    Passport was introduced in 1999 and is the keystone of an array of online services the company introduced a year ago, when Gates revealed his ambitions for the service.

    After privacy advocates attacked the plan and a coalition of major corporations formed an
    alliance to develop standards for authentication systems that would work together, Microsoft
    toned down its approach. It now acknowledges that Passport will co-exist with other tools.

    Forman said his team has also been contacted by the coalition, called the Liberty Alliance, and
    will meet with them at some point.

    The current version of Passport requires little personal information other than an e-mail address, but a new, more secure version expected by mid-2003 may be used to store sensitive data on Microsoft's network.

    Microsoft says it has 200 million people registered to use Passport, most of whom signed up
    because Microsoft told them it was needed to use other Microsoft services, such as its free
    Hotmail e-mail service or Windows XP operating system. According to Gartner, a research
    company based in Stamford, Conn., only 2 percent signed up because of the service's stated
    purpose: to avoid having to use multiple identifications and passwords at different Web sites.

    Avivah Litan, vice president and research director at Gartner, said expanding Passport benefits Microsoft by drawing more Web traffic, making its sites more appealing to advertisers and enabling the company to charge "click through" fees for online sales executed using the service.

    But the company may ultimately decide it's not worthwhile to boost the service from a tool of
    convenience for consumers to a verification service relied upon by businesses and government.

    "Once you start vouching for identity, that makes you liable for fraud, that makes you liable for
    identity theft," Litan said.

    Also at the conference, Microsoft announced plans to bring Internet access to government
    services to Mexico through a network of kiosks developed with the company's technology.

    To see more of The Seattle Times, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to
    http://www.seattletimes.com.

    (c) 2002, The Seattle Times. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

    How about this can of worms?
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

  2. #2
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
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    ummmmmmmmmm...thats about all I have to say
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
    -- souleman

  3. #3
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    Angry

    That bites Thanks for info KorpDeath.
    \"SI JE PUIS\"

  4. #4
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    I don't like that one bit.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (Romans 6:23, WEB)

  5. #5
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    so if the gov't institutes this ...and only uses passport...then does that mean that m$ has a monopoly for gov't sites...if so...does the gov't have to sue itself????

    baah...
    I used to be With IT. But then they changed what IT was. Now what I'm with isn't IT, and what's IT seems scary and weird." - Abe Simpson

  6. #6
    Senior Member cwk9's Avatar
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    M$ and the government working together to track people! Holy ****! Think Iím going to go build a bunker in my back yard.

    Why use Microsoft's Passport technology when they could just track us all from windows media player.
    Its not software piracy. Iím just making multiple off site backups.

  7. #7
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    They try to get you to use the thing every chance they get. When I signed up for my hotmail account I had to get one to get the account. I appreciate the free account, but I really didn't want a Passport (free or otherwise).
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (Romans 6:23, WEB)

  8. #8
    Old-Fogey:Addicts founder Terr's Avatar
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    AFAIK it's really just something that some White-house staffer is looking at, and the news got out and now (since it's such a scary idea) the news services are blowing it out of proportion

    Very ironic. States see anti-trust, Feds see trust. Nah.
    [HvC]Terr: L33T Technical Proficiency

  9. #9
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
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    Maybe the government will make microsoft break up, then just buy the Passport technolgy, and keep it for themselves....
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
    -- souleman

  10. #10
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    It's also exploring how to verify the identity of users so the sites can share private information.
    "...share private information"
    Now if that information is private, I don't think you should be sharing it. Because then it wouldn't be PRIVATE anymore.
    savIRC :: The Multi-Platform IRC Client v. 1.8 [Released 9.04.02]

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