U.S. Considers Internet ID

41 replies
Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans - Tech Talk - CBS News

"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."

- at least until someone with a root kit on your computer gets your trusted digital ID.
#considers #internet
  • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
    Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

    Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans - Tech Talk - CBS News

    "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."

    - at least until someone with a root kit on your computer gets your trusted digital ID.
    Well you are an attorney, tell me how it can turn out

    I'm too lazy to think of it myself lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Just say NO.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

    If Quinn signs the new bill, I will move to Montana or another similar state. If Obama enacts this, I'll move out of the country.
    I think there are smart ways to do this sort of thing.

    I do not know whether Obama's plan is one of them.

    If it isn't smart, and it's mandatory, I'm with you. But if it is smart, or if I can say "yeah, thanks but no thanks" - I'm fine with it.

    And on some level, I really think we need to know whether it's stupid or not before we start calling it that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Ummm... How many of you actually read the article?

    This sounds like the gizmo you get from Paypal, which rotates passwords. A root kit wouldn't give you control of anything at all this way. There's the question of what happens if someone else gets a hold of your gizmo, but physical access can be a problem with something like a password manager, too.

    If it works the way the article made it sound, and it's optional (which they stressed), I'm having a hard time seeing the problem.


    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      This sounds like the gizmo you get from Paypal, which rotates passwords.
      It sounded to me like they're just kicking around ideas and don't have a firm plan at all yet.

      The "news" in this article is that it's being handled by the Commerce Department, rather than the NSA or DHS. That strikes me as something about which we could breathe a big sigh of relief, because it's not being handled as a security measure, but as a consumer protection measure.

      And, in general, our rights tend to be safer with the government when money is involved than they are when national security is involved.
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      • Profile picture of the author TedMarlett
        The "news" in this article is that it's being handled by the Commerce Department, rather than the NSA or DHS. That strikes me as something about which we could breathe a big sigh of relief, because it's not being handled as a security measure, but as a consumer protection measure.
        If you will look at what the government has done to several programs "in the best interest" of the American people, you would know that if it is possibly going to be handled by the Commerce Department it could lead to taxation within and of the internet. They have done several big things in the past as a "security measure" and look what is happening to our country.

        These digital IDs would be offered to consumers by online vendors for financial transactions.
        This is right out of the article. Nothing in it looks like there will be an "option" to take it or not take it.

        I apologize for misquoting the article. I did go back and re-read it and Paul is right.
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by TedMarlett View Post

          it could lead to taxation within and of the internet.
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          "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
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          • Profile picture of the author TedMarlett
            Originally Posted by yukon View Post

            That's a crazy idea,

            I would never use my ebay account/password for my bank accounts.

            One password does that.

            Then it trickles down to a mom & pop site with crappy security & your one ID is leaked to the rest of the world (bank account , etc...)
            Yeah, it does sound a bit crazy, but the idea of having to have an ID to use the internet is a crazier one. I just don't think it will work.
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    • Profile picture of the author candoit2
      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      Ummm... How many of you actually read the article?

      This sounds like the gizmo you get from Paypal, which rotates passwords. A root kit wouldn't give you control of anything at all this way. There's the question of what happens if someone else gets a hold of your gizmo, but physical access can be a problem with something like a password manager, too.

      If it works the way the article made it sound, and it's optional (which they stressed), I'm having a hard time seeing the problem.


      Paul
      Sure, it will start off as optional.....people would freak out. However once they got their foot in the door it is only a matter of time before those who opted out will run out of options if they want to keep using the interweb.
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    • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      If it works the way the article made it sound, and it's optional (which they stressed), I'm having a hard time seeing the problem.

      Paul
      Thank you, Paul. Now I feel better.

      The only thing is it needs to stay optional. You know how it is once
      there's an air leak.

      But, on a Saturday night... I won't worry 'bout it.


      Ken

      Edit: Now that I'm thinking about this... nothing good will come of it.
      The US needs to wake the hell up, but I'm not confident about that
      happening.
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
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      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      Ummm... How many of you actually read the article?

      This sounds like the gizmo you get from Paypal, which rotates passwords.

      Paul
      Then we don't need government doing it, do we?

      Threads discussing politics here invariably degenerate into mudslinging, name-calling and conspiracy theory. It creates animosity where none need exist.
      If the fate of the country isn't deserving of animosity at times, then nothing is.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Cat,
        Then we don't need government doing it, do we?
        I commented on the technology, not the appropriateness of the source.

        This is not the button you want to push. I promise you, it's not.
        If the fate of the country isn't deserving of animosity at times, then nothing is.
        I tend to think of it the other way: If the fate of the country doesn't warrant taking the time to think soberly and consider the various options sensibly, what does?

        Useful answers are not achieved by shouting, name-calling and venomous trolling.


        Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      If it works the way the article made it sound, and it's optional (which they stressed), I'm having a hard time seeing the problem.


      Paul
      The problem as I see it is government involvement. In trying to solve one problem, they often create more problems and/or bigger problems than the original problem was in the first place. I also have doubts that it would remain optional. Lastly, I wonder if it's a pretense as a "foot in the door" for something later that would be opposed by a majority of people if they just came out with what the end goal is now.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Dennis
        The problem as I see it is government involvement.
        Which could make for a fascinating discussion... somewhere else.


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          DennisWhich could make for a fascinating discussion... somewhere else.


          Paul
          lol... Paul, your patience is impressive. Wanna sell some?


          Ken
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        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Dennis Which could make for a fascinating discussion... somewhere else.


          Paul
          Which is why I only wrote in generalities and left out any details. I tried not to cross the "politics" line. There was nothing partisan in my comment, which is where I thought the line was drawn. If anything "government" related is the line, I wasn't aware of that. The government isn't necessarily politics, is it?
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Dennis,
            The government isn't necessarily politics, is it?
            For purposes of discussions in this forum, yes. It is. In the 12 or so years I've been a member here, I have yet to see a discussion of anything government related that did not turn into some sort of partisan bashing.

            Not once.

            Might have happened. I don't read the majority of threads. But it's not common, if it's ever occurred.


            Paul
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            • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              Dennis,For purposes of discussions in this forum, yes.
              Not always. Look at the tax laws discussion, FTC regulations, IRS reporting, net neutrality, etc. Those are government related and allowed as they directly relate to business.

              The "id" thing could be discussed as related to how it could affect our businesses.

              Examples: How something like this could cost us more. Might not allow us proper tracking. How it could increase sales because some people think it would be more secure.

              Of couse it didn't go that route at all.

              -g
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            • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              Dennis,For purposes of discussions in this forum, yes. It is. In the 12 or so years I've been a member here, I have yet to see a discussion of anything government related that did not turn into some sort of partisan bashing.

              Not once.

              Might have happened. I don't read the majority of threads. But it's not common, if it's ever occurred.


              Paul
              OK Paul, point taken. You had questioned if the people commenting had read the article, and mentioned you were having a hard time seeing the problem. Since I was one of those people, I was only trying to give you an indication that I had read the article, and give you a hint at a few of the potential problems I saw, while still trying to steer clear of politics.
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      • Profile picture of the author ahlexis
        Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

        The problem as I see is . . . In trying to solve one problem, they often create more problems and/or bigger problems than the original problem was in the first place . . . .
        The same thing could be said for other items in other industries.

        For instance, the Pharma companies. It seems like every time I turn on my TV there is some drug company commercial trying to pitch some pill to me. And then, when you get to the second half of the commercial - the warnings - it sounds like for every pill you take, you take on 3 additional health issues to worry about!

        It's not just government that's like this, is my point here.

        I might actually be willing to use it . . . as long as Frank Abagnale and Glenn Hastings cannot crack it or in some other way leave somebody hanging with it! But then again, I believe that any identity is crackable SOMEHOW, even a digital one, provided someone has enough time and money to actually go about it.

        All you need to know is that the US passport was supposed to be secure. Yet "Elvis Presley" crossed a US border long after his death. (Long live Elvis, ha!)
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
    If it's optional, I have no issue with it. I won't be signing up for it.

    Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    A couple thoughts Paul,

    It is one thing to theoretically say it will be optional.

    - Yeah right. Not only will be there be government pressure to have it, but from a liability / insurance perspective it will virtually be required. And then ultimately required. Sure, optional if you never buy anything online.

    Like PayPal?

    - Except for the government oversight and involvement. While not referenced in the CBS article I linked, I'm guessing Big Brother wants oversight so it can have mandated, easy backdoor keys for subpeonas, etc. Think WikiLeaks.

    - Seriously, you think the government would be involved in a private transaction system that ensures your privacy that could not be used to track who you are and your transactions?

    - Since the government will be approving and handing out "licenses" to those can provide an ID, it will be close to one-stop shopping for the govt to obtain a ton of online information about someone.

    Root Kits

    - I was wrong about the threat of a root kit on your computer. Think of the root kit on the computer of the company generating and creating IDs. Because government computers are so secure. And big companies never get hacked. Stuxnet anyone?

    (Privacy sidenote: did you know some states, like California, require that your name, personal identifying information, tax ID #, and bank account number are required to be transmitted to the government when you open a financial account? Of course that invasion of privacy is just optional. Don't have a bank account.)
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Privacy sidenote: did you know some states, like California, require that your name, personal identifying information, tax ID #, and bank account number are required to be transmitted to the government when you open a financial account? Of course that invasion of privacy is just optional. Don't have a bank account.)
    I think the "Patriot Act" requires that of all banks.

    The NSA/HLS will gladly pass this off to commerce because people would be more willing to use it. It doesn't mean they wont over see, work with, etc. Not to mention they can't secure their own servers... want to trust them to secure everything?

    Multiple passwords will always be the securest way to be safe.

    -g
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

    He certainly laid out some things he made up very well. Things that have not happened, but which he predicts are going to happen.

    I therefore submit that Brian cannot reliably predict the future.

    He is more than welcome to offer a rebuttal.
    He layed out possibilities of what could happen. He never said it would.

    Thankfully, people try and stop things based on what could happen.

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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    From what I've read, they seem to be taking great pains to stress that this new system will be entirely optional for people to use, and that even with the proposed changes anonymity will still be maintained.

    Details are really sparse at the moment, and it'd be hard to make an informed decision one way or the other based just on what's being presented here.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Brian,

      Root kits wouldn't matter if it's a rotating key system like the one Paypal uses. You need both parts of that to do anything.

      As far as the rest, maybe. Maybe not. I was talking about the technical end of things. The governmental end isn't really an appropriate issue for this forum. That would get very quickly into the kind of political vitriol that is the reason such discussions aren't allowed here.

      Having just read further down, I see it's already started.

      For anyone who is torqued about their posts being deleted from this thread, a reminder: Political discussions are not allowed here. And spare me the "thought police" stuff. We didn't allow it under Clinton or Bush, and we're not allowing it now. The issue isn't who agrees with what. It's a matter of how those beliefs are expressed. Which is to say, all too often in irrational and nasty terms, by people on all sides of the political spectrum.

      Note that ALL political discussions get deleted when we see them, regardless of which side of what issue they promote.

      Threads discussing politics here invariably degenerate into mudslinging, name-calling and conspiracy theory. It creates animosity where none need exist.

      Yes, that sucks. I probably hate it at least as much as anyone here. But it's reality. Anyone who's seen the things that used to go on in offtopic can tell you just how bad it gets.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Vanessa Reece
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Brian,

        Root kits wouldn't matter if it's a rotating key system like the one Paypal uses. You need both parts of that to do anything.

        As far as the rest, maybe. Maybe not. I was talking about the technical end of things. The governmental end isn't really an appropriate issue for this forum. That would get very quickly into the kind of political vitriol that is the reason such discussions aren't allowed here.

        Having just read further down, I see it's already started.

        For anyone who is torqued about their posts being deleted from this thread, a reminder: Political discussions are not allowed here. And spare me the "thought police" stuff. We didn't allow it under Clinton or Bush, and we're not allowing it now. The issue isn't who agrees with what. It's a matter of how those beliefs are expressed. Which is to say, all too often in irrational and nasty terms, by people on all sides of the political spectrum.

        Note that ALL political discussions get deleted when we see them, regardless of which side of what issue they promote.

        Threads discussing politics here invariably degenerate into mudslinging, name-calling and conspiracy theory. It creates animosity where none need exist.

        Yes, that sucks. I probably hate it at least as much as anyone here. But it's reality. Anyone who's seen the things that used to go on in offtopic can tell you just how bad it gets.


        Paul
        Hey Paul, I'm totally cool with posts being deleted if they fall out of line with rules here that goes for mine too. No harm no foul on my part.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Note that ALL political discussions get deleted when we see them, regardless of which side of what issue they promote.

        Threads discussing politics here invariably degenerate into mudslinging, name-calling and conspiracy theory. It creates animosity where none need exist.

        Yes, that sucks.

        That is quite fine with me.

        There are two topics that when discussed, people are willing to kill people for a disagreement: God and government.

        And to be honest, the only way you would ever change people's minds on those two subjects, is to plant them, taking away their ability to think.



        Anyhow, despite the logic people try to bring into political discussions, the final vote is never the result of the issues, but a popularity contest.

        I saw a thing a while back where the psychologists put a bunch of pics on the computer screens, and without any additional information, the students were asked to pick the person they like more...

        The two faces were candidates in recent elections. And 85% of student clicks went to the person who actually won the race.

        The lesson is that politics is not about issues, for which people choose logical arguments, but it is a fancy, high-dollar popularity contest, where the more "likeable-looking" person will often win the day.


        p.s. It is a good thing that I did not take up politics as a career choice... Just look at my avatar, and you will understand why...
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Bill,

    We don't allow discussion of religion here, either. That ends the same way. Sincere people end up being abused for having different beliefs than someone with a severe lack of decent manners.


    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author paulie888
      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      Bill,

      We don't allow discussion of religion here, either. That ends the same way. Sincere people end up being abused for having different beliefs than someone with a severe lack of decent manners.


      Paul
      Paul, it's great to see you keeping order here. It's easy to see how this could degenerate into a dirty mud-slinging contest over a pretty vague article piece that isn't really giving us much detail at all about the proposed changes. I could sense a dangerous undercurrent to some of these posts, and left unchecked, this could have blown up in our faces.

      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Paul,

    I'm not the only one watching it. Not by a long shot.

    As far as the nasty, it had already gotten past the point at which I'd simply stop associating with someone offline.

    There are things I think warrant nastiness. Sometimes extreme nastiness. Political issues very rarely fall into those, though. And it didn't even stay close to 'on point.' Just a lot of partisan crap, wrapped up in righteous sounding rhetoric.

    Not all the posts, mind you. But enough.


    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author paulie888
      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      Paul,

      I'm not the only one watching it. Not by a long shot.

      As far as the nasty, it had already gotten past the point at which I'd simply stop associating with someone offline.

      There are things I think warrant nastiness. Sometimes extreme nastiness. Political issues very rarely fall into those, though. And it didn't even stay close to 'on point.' Just a lot of partisan crap, wrapped up in righteous sounding rhetoric.

      Not all the posts, mind you. But enough.


      Paul
      Paul, you're absolutely right. And all the partisan crap that you're referring to pretty much seems to be falling on one side of the fence; it was pretty clear that a vociferous pack was gathering up momentum here. It's funny that the fuel and catalyst for this was a rather innocuous article that wasn't saying much of anything at all, but these days it seems like the source of any proposed political changes is all it takes to set off a murderous debate.

      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Paul,

    Yep. I think I mentioned this somewhere here recently, but it relates, and bears repeating.

    I got into a conversation with someone who asked me what I thought of a fairly contentious issue. I hadn't paid much attention, so I replied with something very close to, "I don't know enough about it to have an opinion yet." He went all kinds of unpleasant. Not because I had disagreed (I hadn't), but because I hadn't instantly agreed with his position.

    That's where we are these days. Sadly.


    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author paulie888
      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      Paul,

      Yep. I think I mentioned this somewhere here recently, but it relates, and bears repeating.

      I got into a conversation with someone who asked me what I thought of a fairly contentious issue. I hadn't paid much attention, so I replied with something very close to, "I don't know enough about it to have an opinion yet." He went all kinds of unpleasant. Not because I had disagreed (I hadn't), but because I hadn't instantly agreed with his position.

      That's where we are these days. Sadly.


      Paul
      Paul, thanks for repeating this. I had actually read your original post about your experience. It's sad these days how people expect you to instantly and enthusiastically agree with them, otherwise they automatically think (in a knee-jerk sort of reaction) that you're opposed to their opinion.

      I'd wager that the particular discussion you were involved in centered around politics, and it's amazing and shocking how much we've devolved in recent years in that regard.

      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author affenpinscher
        It's sad that people are so partisan that a privacy issue is viewed favorably or unfavorably depending on whether the party in power (Presidency) is the one you support.

        Several years ago, I attended a major librarians conference where ex-President Bill Clinton was the speaker. Many people were upset with the new security laws that the Bush administration had enacted especially the fact the Government could monitor the loan of library books.

        It would have been the easiest thing in the world for Clinton to badmouth the Bush administration and pump up how much better a Democratic administration would have done things.

        He didn't. He noted that a law allowing 'terrorists' to be detained without time limit had been enacted during his administration. He went on to say that it's difficult to find the right balance between civil liberties and public safety, and we're going to get some things right and some things wrong. (He didn't say one negative thing about Bush even though he talked almost 90 minutes!)

        I wish we had more politicians taking the high road and citizens who didn't view everything through the prism of whether a Democrat or Republican suggested it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
    Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

    Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans - Tech Talk - CBS News

    "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."

    - at least until someone with a root kit on your computer gets your trusted digital ID.
    (Puts on black hat hackers hat, and assumes the personna of 'fatrat')

    Newsflash: In order to use the internet, you already have such a unique ID. In fact, it's necessary for such an ID in order for the internet to work.

    It's called a MAC address, and it's embedded into your network card.

    If I ever got my hands on it, I could trace you around the internet like a bloodhound.

    I highly doubt this is going anywhere, but even if it did, it's redundant at best.

    (removes back hat)
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

      It's called a MAC address, and it's embedded into your network card.
      And software-configurable. I can change my MAC address to whatever I want.

      An ID that I can edit at will is a pretty crappy ID.
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  • Profile picture of the author JanG
    The new German ID card that is issued since November has a built-in functionality that could be compared to this concept of an internet ID. Together with a card reader it can be used for identification purposes at trusted online vendors that have been verified by a governmental institution or for example when filing your tax report via the internet.

    There have been a lot of debates during the last year, but the German government says those ID cards are safe. The idea behind it is good, but there is also a lot of potential for mischievous activities. I'm not sure if I'll have that functionality enabled on my card when it's time to get a new one after my current card has expired, as it is optional to have it activated. But I think I'll probably go with it. What's the worst that can happen?
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Garrie,

    Yes, they're all government related. And yes, in every such thread I've had to delete partisan or conspiracy theory comments.

    There are a lot of people here who could, and would like to, discuss these issues in an intelligent and civil way. They're drowned out by the Crazy Chorus, so they don't bother.

    That sucks. But not as much as what happens if we allow the discussions. If you let the sane people talk, even assuming they'd bother to put up with the attacks from the less-than-civil, you are faced with a choice: Delete the crazy stuff or let everyone post whatever they want. In the first instance, the accusations of some sort of partisan-based censorship would start, and they'd spread. Wouldn't matter if you deleted it from both sides, like happened with this thread.

    Everyone is sure their opinions are valid and their comments within acceptable bounds.

    If you choose the second route, you have the crazies shouting down anyone who disagrees with them, and chaos ensues. Along the sidelines of that chaos, a lot of sensible people decide not to bother with this forum at all.

    Neither option is useful for the purposes of this forum's membership, so neither is allowed.

    Occasionally, one of the mods will take it upon themselves to police the comments in a thread like this. It invariably becomes a time sink.


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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      There are a lot of people here who could, and would like to, discuss these issues in an intelligent and civil way. They're drowned out by the Crazy Chorus, so they don't bother.
      Quoted for truth.
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  • Profile picture of the author rickfrazier1
    Weeeeellllll, I think there's already one in existence. Just ask anyone in the military or working for the US government. It's called a CAC (Common Access Card).

    It's currently used for access to military computer networks (as login ID) and a host of other applications bit is far from universal yet. The CAC is a "smart card" that contains several certificates that identify who you are. The CAC, plus your PIN (Personal Identification Number (which you choose)) allow you access to various functions.

    I look at the military network as a sort of testing ground for eventual release into the rest of the world. Based on what I've seen so far, though the concept seems OK, the execution leaves something to be desired.

    Of course, I don't even want to get into the implications for tracking and such, particularly if it were to be used for financial transactions and such...

    I think eventually, there may be some "universal ID" or similar function, but would expect that it will take quite some years to implement, unless it suddenly becomes mandatory for some reason. There are just too many privacy issues surrounding such a mechanism.

    Lets see, what does history show us? Well, there's the "put a chip in your kids to keep them safe in case they are kidnapped". Though some people did this, it still hasn't seen much success. It is pretty much mandatory in many states for pets, though.

    There are any number of attempts at capturing the movement of money (so it can be taxed). The new rule requiring a 1099 for any purchase/sale of over $600 seems to be one of these. We'll see how successful that is (I know it's gonna cost some effort and money to meet the requirements).

    [sigh] Waiting for the headline: "Get your universal ID and you can fly without a (virtual) strip search".
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