First it was the infamous COICA legislation, now U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has decided that what the internet needs is mandatory ID cards. Apparently, Locke is hard at work developing a program titled "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace." These cyber-IDs would be used for all transactions with the U.S. Government and (I'm assuming U.S.) businesses who opt into the program. What is most troubling about all this is the precedent it sets. If every U.S. citizen is issued an internet ID, how simple and enticing would it be for the government, at the behest of private interests, to require the use of such an ID for all internet-related transactions and communications? This would have a devastating effect on the concept of internet privacy. While Locke's program would only have purview over U.S. citizens, it's not hard to imagine other governments following suit. Let's face it, the internet as we know and love it is under siege by private (usually corporate) interests in the guise of publicly-elected government officials. Those of us who value our privacy on the internet need to voice our resistance. Below are links to further analysis of the proposed program and a DemandProgress petition to Gary Locke :
Electronic Frontier Foundation Analysis
Petition Gary Locke
Bash the Fash
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke: "Go ahead, laugh at my tie you fuckers- my next projects are a P2P surveillance system and a porn-eradication machine!"