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Big Brother Loves You: Obama administration unveils online ID system

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace will be voluntary, but some computer experts believe it is inevitable that most computer users will had a single ID for transactions in the future. Officials say the ID will also help protect consumers from spammers and companies that collect data on their websurfing activity, letting them surf anonymously online. It would not create a centralized database of information, the agency said, because consumers will be able to choose from a variety of programmes within the cyber-identity system. Although the system is not yet up and running, the Commerce Secretary said a number of leading computer companies, including Microsoft, IBM, the Secure ID Coalition, and Wave Systems Corp, are developing ways to make the system most efficient and effective. Scott Charney, corporate vice president of Microsoft, told Fox News: 'This ecosystem will provide citizens with a variety of choices for authenticating their identity online while helping to protect their security and privacy.' Jim Dempsey, a vice president for the Center of Democracy and Technology, added: 'I think there's a model here perhaps for the broader question of cybersecurity ... the Administration, to my view, has conducted a very open process here.'

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