Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #244 2/16/2012

#244 - Single Logon (Watt Thoughts)

An article at CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/15/tech/web/government-online-id/index.html?hpt=hp_t3) today reported that the USA federal government is trying to develop a single logon for the Internet. The idea is that individuals will no longer have to remember lots of logons and passwords. The thinking is also that this will make the Internet more secure.

This proposal by the Obama administration that is being developed has a number of problems. This is not the first time that a proposal has been proposed like this. Private industry has tried it before. There are concerns on our security information kept in one place and by the USA government.

Does any body remember this was already tried by Microsoft and it flopped. Windows Live is the remnants of that. The program was called Microsoft Passport. You were going to be able to set up an account at Microsoft and log in anywhere. The approach remains with Windows Live for Microsoft websites, but most other companies and individuals did not want Microsoft having this information. Few companies trusted Microsoft and the people did not trust Microsoft. Yes the government has my address, name Social Security number, and drivers license but drivers license is at the state and Social Security number is at the federal government. Why would I trust my security to the USA government? I could just let the police have keys to my house and I will call them when I want in. Would I feel secure? No. Interesting enough the federal government passed a law several years ago that no longer allows agencies, state governments, etc to use a single identifying number everywhere, your Social Security number.

How likely is it that the rest of the world is going to agree with doing a centralized logon that is developed and maintained by the US government? Can you see the Chinese lining up to join in, or how likely would the US join in a Chinese developed single logon? For it to be single logon the Internet it would have to have all countries participating. The Internet is not just in the USA contrary to what politicians think and it is used by all the world and the USA citizens access sites outside the USA all the time.

What happens when someone hacks the federal database (and it will happen) and everything you have done that is on the Internet becomes available to the hackers. Not just accounts at one bank but all banks, all credit cards, payroll records, etc. This is truly big government that will then ruin everyone. The economy will tank and make the Depression look like nothing .

This is not something the government should be doing and it is a waste of our tax dollars. This should be dropped by the government.



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