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U.S. Considers Microsoft Passport as National ID

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the baaaaad-ideas dept.

United States 764

An anonymous submitter writes: "Ladies and gents, the endtimes have begun. The Seattle Times is reporting that Mark Forman, associate director of information technology at the White House (or 'America's CIO', as he bills himself) has said the feds are considering the use of Microsoft's Passport technology to ID every citizen and every business seeking access to government services online. This is about as scary as it gets." To be fair, it looks very preliminary. Read the article. So many companies have tried to assist the government in providing services over the Net... but I guess if your lobbyists are good enough, you can be heard at the top.

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Check the date! (-1, Funny)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365418)

April 1st was over a fortnight ago. This is too implausible to be true. Are the government going to issue net-capable computers to every citizen?

Um (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365424)

Who cares? I never use online services by the federal govt. Only exception is filing income taxes (and electronic filing DIDN'T WORK this year).

Re:Um (2, Insightful)

Farmer Jimbo (515393) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365459)

Gotta agree. If the government has less access to my information, and finds it harder to interact with me becuase I refuse to get a Passport account, then what's the problem? I win both ways.

Re:Um (3, Insightful)

Darth Maul (19860) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365522)

Just wait until online voting happens and you can only vote if you register with their online services. And then taxes will only be paid online. Then passports will be requested online. Then you'll have to get your mandated federal ID online. Etc.

Sure, you're not worried now, but you always need to think about the next step.

Re:Um (3, Insightful)

sphealey (2855) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365529)

Who cares? I never use online services by the federal govt. Only exception is filing income taxes.
Because just as happened with drivers' licenses and Social Security numbers, once this "government experience enhancer" becomes available it will shortly thereafter become required. Starting a new job? Sure, just sign into your Microsoft Passport account to validate your right to work in the US. What's that? No Passport ID? Sorry, no job.

sPh

Re:Um (5, Informative)

Drizzten (459420) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365534)

Take a look around FirstGov [firstgov.com] and realize the wealth of information available on federal government websites. I visit several of them on a weekly basis for statistics and data that I can't get elsewhere. Putting some sort of chancy identity authentication scheme in the way of accessing these sites freely would most certainly affect my browsing there. I worry about this because:
...the government plans to begin testing Web sites where businesses can pay taxes and
citizens can learn about benefits and social services
My emphasis. It bothers me they want to restrict our free access to this information.

That's it! (2, Funny)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365431)

I'm moving to Canada. Who's with me?

Re:That's it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365456)

bullshit, you are.

Re:That's it! (3, Informative)

winse (39597) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365476)

not me. I'd rather fight the good fight here than freeze the rest of my life. Several loud people can arrange the future for the silent millions.

Re:That's it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365536)

Cool, thanks!

(goes back to his TV and nachos)

Re:That's it! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365501)

Too cold -- Mexico or bust!!

why should they let you in? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365568)

What makes you think the Canadians (or any other country) should let Americans move and work there in large numbers? Canadians have been paying higher taxes and fought hard to live in a nice country. Americans have been cheap, greedy, and apathetic. As a result, their social services have deteriorated and their government has become corrupt. Now, Americans have to pay the price.

Numbness (1)

The Whinger (255233) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365432)

That is the first story I've read on Slashdot that has made me feel numb. I'm scared.

Re:Numbness (1)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365526)

Are you? Why don't you put some effort in and explain what exactly this BIG SCARY THING is for all those normal people out there who don't shudder at the word 'microsoft'? Oh, and please mod me down two points, I didn't diss MS.

Re:Numbness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365555)

Like, hello, all the cool slashbots hate MS. Why? Like, duh, everyone else does. c'mon.

Re:Numbness (1)

brokenspoke (569526) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365558)

Well, if you follow the poster that is reckons he's going to move to canada your numbness may become a permanent condition.

OK guys, for real now... (5, Informative)

sphealey (2855) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365434)

If this bothers you (and to me it is VERY disturbing), please put pen to paper and write your Congresspersons expressing in firm, polite language why you oppose this idea. Please.

sPh

Re:OK guys, for real now... (4, Insightful)

blankmange (571591) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365528)

Or email them. Or fax them, but yes - do something!!!! Don't just sit around and post you gripes here and there --- contact your representatives!!!!

Re:OK guys, for real now... (1)

GdoL (460833) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365587)

Or send then an email using pgp technology. So they see another option.

That guy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365436)

in the photo looks like Hitler! Coincidence? I dunno...

is this bad? (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365437)

the top IT company in the world wants to help the US have secure online transactions. What is so bad about that?

Re:is this bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365542)

The problem always has been that no matter how secure transactions are online, Uncle Sam wants a damn key to open everything and snoop for "safety's sake." And what happens if they read something they misinterpret/don't like? You might get sent up for 20 years with no trial, for national security's sake... if that doesn't made you shudder, I dont know what will.

PRAYER (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365443)



JESUS HELP US

AMEN

It was bad enough when I couldn't get into MSDN (5, Funny)

Brento (26177) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365446)

Now I can't imagine being unable to reenter the country because the Passport servers were down again. Grrrreat.

Re:It was bad enough when I couldn't get into MSDN (5, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365521)

We have detected a virus on your card and you will be detained until we release a patch.

Mark Forman? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365448)

Was that not the name of the racist cop exposed at the OJ trial?

no, you fucking stupid retard. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365552)

Fuhrman.

Worst Idea Ever (4, Insightful)

Hamshrew (20248) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365453)

So they're going to trust the information of every single citizen to a corporation that has a known criminal track record? That's intelligent. What next, find a crack dealer to handle international trade?

Yes, I realize the offenses are different... but this is still stupid. It federally mandates giving Microsoft business. Well, not really... if an alternate ID is available, they should accept that.

Re:Worst Idea Ever (4, Funny)

nachoman (87476) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365531)

Does this mean when they sell our email addresses to spam companies the it becomes our constitutional right to receive spam?

Re:Worst Idea Ever (4, Insightful)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365569)

So they're going to trust the information of every single citizen to a corporation that has a known criminal track record

Er, the government has a known criminal track record...

Re:Worst Idea Ever (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365580)

"What next, find a crack dealer to handle international trade"

how about have a coke addicted alchoholic for president?

This is the usual way to get things passed (4, Insightful)

PW2 (410411) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365586)

...suggest something truely undesirable and then fall back to what was desired by some in government in the first place but wouldn't have normally been accepted by the public -- a national ID

It's the method, not the implementation stoopid (2)

doctor_oktagon (157579) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365454)

This should not be about using Passport to grant access to public services, it's about having a mechanism to access public services.

I'm a UK citizen, and we live under the shadow of the beast here with the UK government gateway being developed by/with Microsoft, so I have sympathy.

However we will need to access government services online, and we need to do it somehow.

I'm not suggesting we use Passport (christ no!), but we will need to use something!

Endtimes? Not yet (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365457)

The Mark of the Bil... eh, Beast shall be forced upon every human being on the planet.

So, when you start seeing proposals for getting a Universal Microsoft Passport system implemented, then it's time to get scared.

I knew the end-times were upon us... (-1, Offtopic)

fataugie (89032) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365458)

when Clinton was elected.....twice.

Go ahead, I have Karma to burn....damn liberals

Re:I knew the end-times were upon us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365543)

when Bush and Dick was elected...by a screwup.

Go ahead, I have Karma to burn...damn republican rednecks

Re:I knew the end-times were upon us... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365589)

Funny, I knew it back with Nixon

April fools... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365461)

...was two weeks ago.

I'm going to Canada. (1)

GuNgA-DiN (17556) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365462)

If this happens... I'm moving to Canada. I think if this starts to become serious that MILLIONS and MILLIONS of people will start to scream about it. I'm sorry, but, I don't buy into the "One World. One System" bullshit.

wonder where this is going... (4, Insightful)

dryueh (531302) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365466)

The White House is instead pursuing an "e-identification" initiative, an effort to develop ways to authenticate people and businesses online who already have government identification numbers such as Social Security, business-registration and employer-identification numbers.

Of course, the scariest part about all this is that anyone right now can get a MS passport. If something like this was adopted, referencing the above paragraph from the article, then you'd likely have to supply MS with *legitimate* information before being granted a passport. I dunno...something doesn't sit right in my mind when I think about giving my real SSN and/or other sensitive data to Microsoft (or anyone online, for that matter).

The article does say that it's thinking of using MS technology, not MS itself, in creating a passport such as this. But once the gov't requires such info for a legit e-passport, do you think that corporations would follow suit? Would the whole online identity issue become suddenly more legal and legitimate?

Not necessarily good for Microsoft (2)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365540)

[quote]
But the company may ultimately decide it's not worthwhile to boost the service from a tool of convenience for consumers to a verification service relied upon by businesses and government.

"Once you start vouching for identity, that makes you liable for fraud, that makes you liable for identity theft," Litan said.
[/quote]

A company with loads of cash, that's already a high-profile target for crackers, might not want the inevitable stream of lawsuits. If they did have liability exposure, you might see a spectacular concern for security.

Unless of course they demanded legislation preventing suits against them for doing government work. There's already a "government contractor defense".

Canada, here I come!! (2)

AmigaAvenger (210519) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365469)

Canada, here I come!! I'm only 50 miles or so from Canada already, might as well just migrate that direction and stay.

Welcome to the United State of Microsoft. (Or maybe President Bill prefers the Microsoft States of America).

Re:Canada, here I come!! (2)

Brento (26177) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365485)

Welcome to the United State of Microsoft. (Or maybe President Bill prefers the Microsoft States of America).

Ah, no, I think the official term will be the United Oracle of Microsoft.

if it's anything like windows XP... (3, Funny)

cheesyfru (99893) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365470)

You'll need to update Microsoft and have them reset your passport everytime you get a haircut..

Microsoft Passport used as National ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365475)

Big Brother is coming, and his name is Bill Gates. What's next, scanning our hard drivers for "thoughtcrime"?

No way this can go through (1)

pbranes (565105) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365479)

I refuse to believe that our government is so stupid as to pander to the monopoly that it is sueing. Reason must prevail. I know that if we have to, we can kill this idea the same way we killed the SSSCA.

So, uh.. (2)

dimer0 (461593) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365480)

Forman, who is overseeing the government's purchases of $100 billion worth of technology this year and next, was a featured speaker at the Microsoft Government Leaders Conference in Seattle this week.

So, how do we get this guy out of public office? This is sickening. The government pursues them for monopolistic practices, and then we still this this gross conflict of interest arising..

Re:So, uh.. (1)

tigris (192178) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365582)

It's an appointed position, not subject to Senate approval.

You now know whom not to vote for in 2004. :)

Tig

Oh lord... (1, Flamebait)

anotherone (132088) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365481)

Great, ANOTHER thing that isn't going to happen that everyone on the internet will complain about endlessly for months, if not years.


THANKS MICHAEL!

but..... but.... isn't the government still SUING? (3, Interesting)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365484)

Shouldn't the fact that the US government is still suing Microsoft weigh in, at least a little bit, on the choice of Microsoft for handling the national IDs?

Better Idea (1)

infernalC (51228) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365487)

Let's use public key authentication and associate keys with SSN's... all we'd need to do is find a way to abstract the whole thing for the end users.

clarification (1)

dryueh (531302) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365490)

Again, just to reitterate, realize that the gov't is thinking about using Microsoft Passport technology and not hiring MS to keep track of everyone.

Still scary, but an important difference.

So what about... (1)

Crypt0rchid (470538) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365493)

A normal stamp with a barcode on our foreheads? I think that would be better. We don't even need a passport, we can't loose it, the only way to loose the identity is to cut the head off ;)

*beep* - uh sorry sir, you have not paid your taxes. $800 please ;)

Oh, well... (2)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365497)

I guess that this will be the last year that I pay taxes online.

You know, I've known lots of people who have said, "If so-and-so gets elected, I've moving to another country." Well, so-and-so *did* get elected, and they are still here. But if the government adopts a privately-owned system as a national ID, I *will* be moving elsewhere.

One Spam-Happy Day! (2, Insightful)

sniepre (517796) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365498)

So how does this work now?

Does the passport == hotmail address? or msn email?

Does it become a legal address?

I can just see it now... one passport is assigned to each U.S. citizen, to provide a single email address through microsoft that not only will have possibly one's bills, and tax information, and any normal legal correspondance but also a single point of spam with very poor filtering options.

I'd love to see how they implement it... Hotmail?

"We're sorry your inbox is full (4,231 messages) Please upgrade to MS Premium E-Mail service"

... check check check ...

"1,242 messages filtered into 'Junk Mail' folder"

... click click ...

'Oh my, its still all spam!'

... click click click click ... click click ...

...

you get my point....

wow. (1)

CrackerJackz (152930) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365504)

well it could be worse... just imagane the headline : government chooses Brilliant Digital Entertainment as its sole distributor .... :)

my god could you imagane having to use Passport in order to e-file you taxes....

Very funny guys... (1)

swimboy (30943) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365505)

Come on guys! April Fool's Day was almost 3 weeks ago, this joke is *really* late.

Dumbass CIO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365506)

Mark Forman, associate director of information technology at the White House (or 'America's CIO', as he bills himself)...

Oh god, another clueless CIO who understands nothing...

I'm Bill Gates (1)

jgerry (14280) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365509)

As long as I can hack MS Passport to say that I'm Bill Gates, I think that this is a GREAT idea!

Nuts! (1)

jmoo (67040) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365518)

Game over man, this is crazy

Does this mean every American will have a hotmail account? Think of the spam...

OK, take a deep breath... (4, Insightful)

YouAreFatMan (470882) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365519)

Let's get beyond the FUD here. Passport is being considered as a means to authenticate users of US government services online. Nothing more. This is a far cry from a "national ID," which implies that citizens are required to have it. When was the last time you used US government services online? If the government wants to select Microsoft as a vendor for a particular service, I may think it's a bad business decision, but I don't think I can claim my rights are being violated.

Fine, let them... (0)

I.T.R.A.R.K. (533627) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365523)

...As far as Microsoft and the government is concerned, my real name is Harry Feltersnatch.
Seriously. How can this possibly work? How many of you are using your *real* name in your passport account?

It seems only fair. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365525)

I mean, if Larry "boy, I look like a little twat" Ellison and his pet company wants to store all our personal data, it's only right that their biggest competitor should have a shot too.

Can't wait 'till I'm a barcode.

Solid (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365527)

Sounds like a very solid idea to me.

Let's consider the alternatives. Is there a sourceforge project that could even attempt to do something like this?

Are you going to trust a dirty GNU hippie, who can't seem to move out of his parent's basement?

I think not.

Hey (2)

Spackler (223562) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365530)

I vote that the government should mandate the use of our Slash IDs as our government mark of the beast!

The president could have the ID: CmndrTaco

Vice president ID: Hemos

Homeless people: Anonymous Coward

Blackout losers: -2 (can't be seen)

Karma Whores: Spackler

This will be great!

Text of the Article (1)

SLot (82781) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365532)

Feds might use Microsoft product for online ID

By Brier Dudley
Seattle Times technology reporter
Mark Forman
E-mail E-mail this article
Print Print this article
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0

Forget about a national ID card. Instead, the federal government might use Microsoft's Passport technology to verify the online identity of America's citizens, federal employees and businesses, according to the White House technology czar.

On Sept. 30, the government plans to begin testing Web sites where businesses can pay taxes and citizens can learn about benefits and social services. It's also exploring how to verify the identity of users so the sites can share private information.

Microsoft's Passport is being considered as a way to authenticate users of the Web sites, said Mark Forman, associate director of information technology at the White House.

"They are involved in that discussion,'' he said, adding that the government has not yet selected which technology it will use.

Forman, who is overseeing the government's purchases of $100 billion worth of technology this year and next, was a featured speaker at the Microsoft Government Leaders Conference in Seattle this week.

Forman is a former Senate staffer who worked for IBM and Unisys before he joined the Bush administration.

Describing himself as the government's chief information officer, he said his priorities are to impose businesslike approaches for technology deployments and to monitor improvements they bring.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, some politicians and business leaders have called for a national identification card, but Forman said that's not in the works. "We don't have any plans for a national ID card," he said.

The White House is instead pursuing an "e-identification" initiative, an effort to develop ways to authenticate people and businesses online who already have government identification numbers such as Social Security, business-registration and employer-identification numbers.

At the government-leaders conference, attended by representatives of 75 countries, Microsoft presented a blueprint for its "e-government" strategy that suggests they use Passport to verify the identity of visitors to their Web sites. It also suggested that its bCentral business Web site could be used to process business tax payments and that citizens could use its MSN Web site to handle address changes and voter registration.

Governments have long been some of Microsoft's biggest customers. Its desktop software for office workers and back-end software running networks are widely by used by state and federal agencies, and the company has developed Internet portals for the United Kingdom, Mexico and other nations.

But getting the United States to use Passport to authenticate its 285 million citizens online would be a coup for the Redmond software company. It would also be a large step toward fulfilling Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' stated goal of getting everyone on the Internet to use Passport as their sign-on tool.

Yesterday, appearing at the conference, Gates reiterated the goal, saying he expects governments in many countries will find it difficult getting to "critical mass" with authentication systems they develop on their own. He said some governments may opt to use companies such as Microsoft or America Online as "the bank" that registers people for online usage.

Passport was introduced in 1999 and is the keystone of an array of online services the company introduced a year ago, when Gates revealed his ambitions for the service.

After privacy advocates attacked the plan and a coalition of major corporations formed an alliance to develop standards for authentication systems that would work together, Microsoft toned down its approach. It now acknowledges that Passport will co-exist with other tools.

Forman said his team has also been contacted by the coalition, called the Liberty Alliance, and will meet with them at some point.

The current version of Passport requires little personal information other than an e-mail address, but a new, more secure version expected by mid-2003 may be used to store sensitive data on Microsoft's network.

Microsoft says it has 200 million people registered to use Passport, most of whom signed up because Microsoft told them it was needed to use other Microsoft services, such as its free Hotmail e-mail service or Windows XP operating system. According to Gartner, a research company based in Stamford, Conn., only 2 percent signed up because of the service's stated purpose: to avoid having to use multiple identifications and passwords at different Web sites.

Avivah Litan, vice president and research director at Gartner, said expanding Passport benefits Microsoft by drawing more Web traffic, making its sites more appealing to advertisers and enabling the company to charge "click through" fees for online sales executed using the service.

But the company may ultimately decide it's not worthwhile to boost the service from a tool of convenience for consumers to a verification service relied upon by businesses and government.

"Once you start vouching for identity, that makes you liable for fraud, that makes you liable for identity theft," Litan said.

Also at the conference, Microsoft announced plans to bring Internet access to government services to Mexico through a network of kiosks developed with the company's technology.

Read. The. Article (4, Informative)

Karen_Frito (91720) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365533)

I swear to -god- my five year old has better reading comprension than some of you people.

The article mentions that is is for online services three times.

Quotes, with revelant words bolded for those of you who haven't finished 5th grade English yet.

"Microsoft's Passport is being considered as a way to authenticate users of the Web sites, said Mark Forman, associate director of information technology at the White House."

"The White House is instead pursuing an "e-identification" initiative, an effort to develop ways to authenticate people and businesses online who already have government identification numbers such as Social Security, business-registration and employer-identification numbers. "

"At the government-leaders conference, attended by representatives of 75 countries, Microsoft presented a blueprint for its "e-government" strategy that suggests they use Passport to verify the identity of visitors to their Web sites. It also suggested that its bCentral business Web site could be used to process business tax payments and that citizens could use its MSN Web site to handle address changes and voter registration"

---

Yes, its an amazingly laughable idea -- but its not the Big Brother in cahoots with Evil Bill Gates to steal all our privacy that the orignal poster makes it out to be.

Which is worse here - Microsoft or Goverment ? (4, Insightful)

wnknisely (51017) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365537)

So I can't read the article - the Seattle site seems to be already slashdotted...

But what exactly is going on here? I already see people worrying and having heart palpitations. The story submission says "Microsoft Passport technology" not Microsoft Passport.

In priniciple this just means that Goverment is going to start tracking people as they access goverment online services... kinda like they already do using our Social Security numbers in meat-space - and/or cookies set by goverment servers in cyber-space. (I think it would be foolishly naive to imagine that people aren't already being tracked.)

This is just a logical extension of what is already going on.

Good questions to ask: "Can a user opt out?" "What about users from other countries and locales?" "What is going to be done with the info?".

Who was it who said "Privacy is dead already - all we have anymore is obscurity." (Or something like that.) Obviously this is the direction we've been heading for quite sometime. Now we see clearly - before we saw through a glass darkly...

OMG (1)

victwenty (451152) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365539)

I had to double check my calendar to make sure I didn't time warp back to April 1.

I really wish that was the explination...

Solution? (2, Insightful)

rmcgehee (142010) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365544)

While Microsoft is not the answer, the open-source community should seriously think of another solution to a national e-ID problem. It's easy to bitch about Microsoft if you don't have a better idea.

The community would be well served to either design and endorse an open-source passport system, or alternatively design another means of identification in our hyper-paranoid electronic universe. Once we have done that, then we can seriously fight to keep our internet passport free!

"Welcome to the United Gates of Microsoftia... (1)

Ann O'Nymous-Coward (460094) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365547)

Check your brain at the terminal. Linux is the Evil Empire. Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Bill."

...Hmm, give them a couple of years to get it off the ground and past the BleedingHeartLiberalCommiePinkoAntiAmericanUnPatri oticCivilLibertarianTypesWhoShouldAllBeDeportedOrB etterYetSHOT(TM). That'll make it, oh, 2004. So Orwell was a coupla decades out, so what.

Baby Bills? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365549)

Mark Forman, associate director of information technology at the White House (or 'America's CIO', as he bills himself)(Emphasis mine)

Or maybe he's looking to Bill himself... or maybe we'll all wind up billed or Billed, or, I think I need to take a walk...

We can only hope what the article states is true.. (2)

soap.xml (469053) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365550)

But the company [Microsoft] may ultimately decide it's not worthwhile to boost the service from a tool of convenience for consumers to a verification service relied upon by businesses and government. Company name added for clarity.

Please God, we can only hope that they do not use this service. One would hope that micorosoft knows when they are out of there leauge. Having passport be the primary source of government identification online would be horrible.

If anything were to be done on this scale, it would need to be a new system, (it could be based on an existing standards compilant one) it would need to be regulated, and tightly controlled. Passport is none of these. How many hotmail accounts can you think of that are fake, fake name, fake address. This would be a mess.

And yes, I am purposely staying out of the microsoft will steal your info and use it against you business :)

Nothing (0)

theblacksun (523754) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365553)

makes me want to say "Oh Canada" like being forced to use a closed, propiatary system for online authentication. Considering MS's security history, I can see all sorts of ID stealing with this. I know congress is brain damaged when it comes to anything on the internet, but even in these irrational times are they really stupid enough to hand an ID system over to MS?

April's fools (1)

mxpengin (516866) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365557)

I think this would have been a good entry on april 1st.
... In other news all the nuclear weapons will be upgraded to Windows CE ....

you are waaaaay late with this story (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3365559)

today is Apr 18 ... you are 17 days late you putz

MS technology is not the same as MS (1)

GdoL (460833) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365560)

They think of using MS "technology", not selling to MS the ID checking business. It's a very different thing.

What Human Rights Orgs. should do is to convinge the gov. that this "technology" is not really a good, reliable source.

Nothing to do with the UK government protal? (2, Informative)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365562)

So microsoft has flogged the hated UK passport/gateway system to the USA, well
The Register has a far better
Write up [theregister.co.uk] then I could ever do.

Is this the same government... (2, Interesting)

Krusher55 (414674) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365565)

Is this the same government that is suing them for being manipulative, controlling and illegially imposing restrictions on their customers? The irony never ends.

How come nobody told me (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365566)

that Bill Gates declared himself president of the US? I mean seriously. The government is the biggest corporation in the world, it only makes sense that it should merge with the second biggest one.

Not happening (1)

timothy_m_smith (222047) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365572)

This will never happen. Once the press really gets ahold of this idea, it will be over. You gotta figure that news like this is going to really drive a lot of malicious attacks on the passport service. On the flip side though, expect Scott McNealy to have something dumb to say about this in the near future.

What is going on???? (1)

foondog (87662) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365588)

I can't believe this. At the same time the government is trying to stop Microsoft monopoly, they are considering to help support it. How ironic that they would basically give Microsoft a monopoly over this.

FoonDog

just shoot me... (1)

Datasage (214357) | more than 11 years ago | (#3365592)

A natoinal ID program isnt that bad in my option, thats if they keep monitoring to a minimum. Now if a commercial company like microsoft is doing it, expect everything to be tracked. It wouldnt suprise me if we saw personalied MS adds where ever we went.

Microsoft: No, we are not a monopoly
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