White House Plans to Launch Internet ID System
←NOTE! digital 'pocket litter'." In other words, the vast data repository will serve as "spy central" for our digital minders.
"Just how much information will be stored in these windowless cybertemples?" Bamford wondered. According to a report prepared for the Pentagon by the ultra-spooky MITRE Corporation, "as the sensors associated with the various surveillance missions improve, the data volumes are increasing with a projection that sensor data volume could potentially increase to the level of Yottabytes (10 to the 24 Bytes) by 2015."
This is "roughly equal to about a septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text, numbers beyond Yottabytes haven't yet been named," Bamford avers.
Leaving aside disinformational pyrotechnics by media cheerleaders that the NSA's data equivalent of a Wal-Mart supercenter will primarily exist for "cybersecurity," "foreign intelligence" and protecting "Defense Department networks," Bamford counters that "once vacuumed up and and stored in these near-infinite 'libraries,' the data are then analyzed by powerful infoweapons, supercomputers running complex algorithmic programs, to determine who among us may be--or may one day become--a terrorist."
"In the NSA's world of automated surveillance on steroids" Bamford avers, "every bit has a history and every keystroke tells a story."
Or as Cryptohippie puts it far less delicately, every keystroke or cellphone ping is "criminal evidence, ready for use in a trial."
Just what are they up to? Even Congress, always willing to give the Executive Branch a free pass when it comes to blanket surveillance, doesn't know. Last week the Associated Press reported that "the Pentagon failed to disclose clandestine cyber activities in a classified report on secret military actions that goes to Congress."
Citing "gaps" in reporting requirements on clandestine operations, "emerging high-tech operations are not specifically listed in the law," AP averred. After all, "cyber oversight is still a murky work in progress for the Obama administration."
Perhaps AP and other media outlets should look more closely at what's hidden inside that "murky work" and where its authority comes from. "Oversight" is certainly not part of the equation.
Cybersecurity's Brave New World
As Antifascist Calling previously reported, the operational nuts-and-bolts of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) is a closely-held state secret that derives authority from classified annexes of the National Security Presidential Directive 54, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 (NSPD 54/HSPD 23) issued by our former "decider."
Those 2008 orders are so contentious that both the Bush and Obama administrations have refused to release details to Congress, prompting a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) demanding the full text of the underlying legal authority governing "cybersecurity" be made public.
Details on the "trusted identity" scheme are scarce, but back in July Antifascist Calling reported that the secret state had deployed New York Times reporter John Markoff as a conduit for administration scaremongering.
Schmidt told the "Gray Lady" that administration plans involved "a 'voluntary trusted identity' system that would be the high-tech equivalent of a physical key, a fingerprint and a photo ID card, all rolled into one."
According to the Times, "the system might use a smart identity card, or a digital credential linked to a specific computer, and would authenticate users at a range of online services."
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was quick to downplay the more sinister implications of the hustle saying, "We are not talking about a national ID card."
CNET reported Locke's claim that "we are not talking about a government-controlled system. What we are talking about is enhancing online security and privacy, and reducing and perhaps even eliminating the need to memorize a dozen passwords, through creation and use of more trusted digital identities."
Why bother with privacy when surrendering your rights is so convenient!
Touted as a warm and fuzzy "identity ecosystem," Government Computer News reported that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has even launched a dedicated website hawking the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC).
According to NIST, "NSTIC envisions a cyber world--the Identity Ecosystem--that improves upon the passwords currently used to login online."
We're informed that the "Identity Ecosystem will provide people with a variety of more secure and privacy-enhancing ways to access online services. The Identity Ecosystem enables people to validate their identities securely when they're doing sensitive transactions (like banking) and lets them stay anonymous when they're not (like blogging). The Identity Ecosystem will enhance individuals' privacy by minimizing the information they must disclose to authenticate themselves."
Government Computer News tells us that the "identity ecosystem" isn't envisaged as a "national Internet ID to track online activities." The devil's in the details and what little we do know should set alarm bells ringing.
The program office will "support and coordinate interagency collaboration" and "promote pilot projects and other implementations." Which agencies are we talking about here? What pilot projects and "other implementations" are being alluding to? We don't know.
We do know however, that the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have forged a Memorandum of Agreement which will increase Pentagon control over America's telecommunications and electronic infrastructure.
In fact, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation disclosed in October, DHS has been tracking people online and that the agency even established a "Social Networking Monitoring Center" to explicitly do so.
Documents obtained by the civil liberties watchdog group revealed that the agency has been vacuuming-up "items of interest," systematically monitoring "citizenship petitioners" and analyzing "online public communication."
Wouldn't an "identity ecosystem" greatly facilitate online spying, despite administration claims to the contrary?
While the system is "voluntary" and individuals will not be compelled to sign up, the secret state is lusting after a sure fire means to identify the billions of computers, smart phones and other digital devices that plague us.
And even if you choose not to "opt in," well, plans are already afoot by advertising pimps and their partners in the national security state "to collect the digital equivalent of fingerprints from every computer, cellphone and TV set-top box in the world," The Wall Street Journal recently disclosed.
As with all other aspects of the "War on Terror" threatscape, the closer one looks at the Obama regime's "identity ecosystem" the less warm and fuzzy it becomes.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
White House Plans to Launch Internet ID System / via @mathaba