CBS News: Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans

Department National Locke Commerce

STANFORD, Calif.--President Obama is preparing to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity energy to develop an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official explained below today.

It really is "the complete perfect spot in the U.S. federal government" to centralize attempts toward developing an "identity ecosystem" for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.

That information, first reported by CNET, successfully pushes the department to the forefront of the situation, beating out other prospective candidates, such as the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The move also is most likely to please privacy and civil-liberties teams that have raised worries in the previous over the dual roles of police and intelligence companies.

The announcement came at an event today at the Stanford Institute for Financial Policy Research, in which U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Schmidt spoke.

The Obama administration is at the moment drafting what it's calling the National Method for Dependable Identities in Cyberspace, which Locke explained will be released by the president in the next couple of months. (An early version was publicly released last summer time.)

"We are not speaking about a national ID card," Locke said at the Stanford function. "We are not speaking about a federal government-managed system. What we are speaking about is boosting online security and privacy, and decreasing and perhaps even reducing the require to memorize a dozen passwords, through creation and use of much more dependable digital identities."

The Commerce Department will be environment up a national program office to work on this project, Locke said.

Specifics about the "dependable identity" project are remarkably scarce. Last year's announcement referenced a attainable forthcoming sensible card or electronic certificate that would confirm that online users are who they say they are ( via ).