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Government Surveillance

What’s to Actually Like About “Obama’s Online ID”? CDT’s Aaron Brauer-Rieke Explains…

You might have read the headlines. "Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans," read Declan McCullagh's piece on the administration's plan. In certain quarters, things are more heated, with an idea taking root that the White House is laying the groundwork of some sort of "biometric national online ID card" with what's formally known as the  National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace [pdf]. Tech policy debates tend to either get completely ignored or framed in the most terrifying possible terms, (see, the "Internet kill switch"), but online identity is an instance where it makes sense for a lot of different folks to really think through the details. What we know at this point about the administration's draft plan to spur the creation of some sort of trusted identity framework raises both hopes — for our purposes, especially about its potential for more engaged democracy — and fears, especially given the state of Internet privacy laws in the U.S.