So I just read on several tech-news sites that the US government is implementing a unique internet ID for every resident. Gary Locke, the US Commerce Secretary said that the system would
not be akin to a national ID card, or a government controlled system, but that it would enhance security and reduce the need for people to memorize dozens of passwords online.
While it is obvious that this may have been sparked by Assange's leaks, the US government really has no freakin clue about the internet culture and the concept of anonymity, or it simply does not care. At the very least, the constitutional rights of free speech are at stake here. Worse come to worse, your personal security and privacy are also in grave danger considering the government can pretty much KNOW what you've been browsing, downloading, writing, etc...
At techi.com, this article says:
There’s a reason that companies such as Google and Paypal support this. It’s an opportunity to centralize and collect the most important asset on the Internet: data. There will be assurances that this piece of data or that piece of data will not be shared, but “sharing” is an ambiguous term. Necessity will kick in.
That's right on the spot. The government wouldn't have come up with initiatives like these if it weren't for some kind of lobbying from large companies. Add to it the recent concerns about its own privacy and leaks, and the government has an easter egg on its hand.
Lets not be too hard on Obama though. After all, we all know that he was a Law professor and is quite smart- smart enough to not want to know things that could hurt his re-election for presidency in a couple years. But does that national-security card really give him that much leverage this time around? Bush played it really well and overused it. Obama willy likely not succeed.
And even if this proposal is honest, it simply makes businesses and consumers' life hell. If you don't have a strong password and a different one for your many sensitive online accounts, you really shouldn't be on the internet; and many users in the western hemisphere know this. This new system will simply allow hackers a much bigger gain. While I'm assuming decrypting the system might be difficult, once decrypted- even once out of a million trials, the results for any single consumer could be devastating.
As a Canadian, this seriously bothers me because what my brothers and sisters down in the states go through politically, the conservative government we have here likes to follow suit.