US Government Begins Rollout Of Its ‘Driver’s License For The Internet’

privacy-350x250-ssBy Tim Cushing

An idea the government has been kicking around since 2011 is finally making its debut. Calling this move ill-timed would be the most gracious way of putting it.

A few years back, the White House had a brilliant idea: Why not create a single, secure online ID that Americans could use to verify their identity across multiple websites, starting with local government services. The New York Times described it at the time as a “driver’s license for the internet.”

Sound convenient? It is. Sound scary? It is.

Next month, a pilot program of the “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace” will begin in government agencies in two US states, to test out whether the pros of a federally verified cyber ID outweigh the cons.

The NSTIC program has been in (slow) motion for nearly three years, but now, at a time when the public’s trust in government is at an all time low, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST — itself still reeling a bit from NSA-related blowback) is testing the program in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The first tests appear to be exclusively aimed at accessing public programs, like government assistance. The government believes this ID system will help reduce fraud and overhead, by eliminating duplicated ID efforts across multiple agencies.

But the program isn’t strictly limited to government use. The ultimate goal is a replacement of many logins and passwords people maintain to access content and participate in comment threads and forums. This “solution,” while somewhat practical, also raises considerable privacy concerns.

US Government Begins Rollout Of Its ‘Driver’s License For The Internet’ [continued]


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  • Dwightmannn

    With the corruption that we have in our government these days, I would tell them to stick it, and make them access me via pen and paper. That would create so much more work for these useless idiots

    • steve

      which of course you will pay for.

  • Stargazer

    As per usual….this is a stupid idea just like most of them that the gov. gets into their pea brains!

    • Mike TheVet

      Yeah but those “pea brains” are starting to scare me considering what is “law” today…

  • StoneAge

    Government intrusion into your life is the very reason the 2’nd amendment is there.

    • Mike TheVet

      A-men to that.

  • Adam

    Umm OpenID and OAuth already exists?

  • R.Young

    Marvelous idea let’s just have eerybody long in with their Social Security Numbers and give the hackers a fair chance!

  • jollyroger

    License? License?
    We don’t need no steenking license!

  • ImALibertarian

    Only US politicians are ignorant enough to believe that the US government can control the internet worldwide.

  • Erin Lale

    We already have an internet ID we use to log on to multiple sites and services. Facebook. In fact, right below this comment box is a little icon I can press that says “log in with Facebook.”

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