Companies like Siemens developed credit card-sized gadgets years ago that enable fingerprints to be used to approve online transactions and the technology is already well established. A series of workshops are planned for June to September during which the government will nail down specifics with companies who are on board with the project and pilot projects will be launched next year.
The program bears more than a passing resemblance to a 2007 proposal by China that threatened to force bloggers to register their real identities and personal details via a single centralized ID system as a means for the Communist government to control information and punish dissenters.
That idea was scrapped for being too draconian, but the Obama administration is pushing ahead with its own Internet ID system in pursuit of a wider cybersecurity agenda that Senator Joe Lieberman has publicly stated is aimed at mimicking Chinese-style censorship of the world wide web, casting doubt on assertions in the government PR video for the program embedded above that claim, “there is no central database tracking your actions”.
The irony of the fact that the program will be managed by a government that has routinely stolen and lost personal information (including that related to personal health data) through both malevolence and incompetence is not addressed in the propaganda video. Remember cash for clunkers? This is the same government that openly admitted it had seized control of data on Americans’ computers who used the cars.gov website.
Although the program will initially be voluntary, its widespread adoption by numerous internet hub giants will eventually make its use necessary for conducting any kind of transaction, creating profiles or engaging in any interactive process on the web.
Moreover, should there be a major cyber attack that cripples the web and leaves sensitive information vulnerable, the Obama administration would have all the political capital it needs to turn the “voluntary” program into a compulsory requirement for anyone who wishes to use the Internet.
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