Obama Administration National Internet ID Program

Illustration for article titled Obama Administration National Internet ID Program

Prepare yourselves, my fellow Americans, for the coming age of the National Internet ID.

What's that oppressive-sounding thing, you ask? Why, ask the President Obama, who has moved forward with plans to give each American an online ID as part of an ambitious—and currently ambiguous—cybersecurity initiative that will be headed up by the U.S. Commerce Department.

Now, before you panic about national ID cards or huge, expanding governments, Commerce Sec. Gary Locke wants to assure everyone that this program won't encompass any of those slippery slope ideas whatsoever.


What it will do, he said, is more akin to providing each U.S. citizen with a single online ID with which to sign into multiple sites, pages and platforms. Confused? Great, because this is governing we're talking about here, and that's the idea.

Officially called the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, the program is expected to solidify over the next few months so hopefully there will be more to report in the spring.

Again, ambiguity is currently the word surrounding this simplified online ID program, which isn't ironic at all and shouldn't be feared by anyone. [CBS News via Engadget]

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As has been mentioned by some of the clearer-minded, better thinking posters around here, this sounds more like a validation measure, not a universal ID. For example, instead of giving your social security number (which can be more easily predicted than you think) to verify your identity when you apply for a credit card, you log in using your "Internet ID."

It seems that the only people panicking about this are people who romanticize Internet anonymity while they cheerfully use Facebook Connect on every site they frequent.