The White House Wants to Issue You an Online ID

A few years back, the White House had a brilliant idea: Why not create a single, secure online ID that Americans could use to verify their identity across multiple websites, starting with local government services. The New York Times described it at the time as a “driver’s license for the internet.”

Sound convenient? It is. Sound scary? It is.

Next month, a pilot program of the “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace” will begin in government agencies in two US states, to test out whether the pros of a federally verified cyber ID outweigh the cons.

The goal is to put to bed once and for all our current ineffective and tedious system of using passwords for online authentication, which itself was a cure for the even more ineffective and tedious process of walking into a brick-and-mortar building and presenting a human being with two forms of paper identification. Continue reading

Satellite Wars: China unveils ‘cheaper’ answer to GPS

While the US satellite systems become outdated, Russia, China and Europe are all getting a leg-up in technology advances. Given the decades-long Chinese history of spying and electronic espionage, one can also surely bet that all information contained or transferred by the civilian population will be passed on to the regime. There really is no difference between civilian or military technology (… or you name it, big business-wise) in China. The only difference is state-run Capitalism in the hands of those already belonging in the ruling party.

From the Soviet, state-run (FSB) Russia Today:

China’s rapidly-expanding rival to GPS, called BeiDou, has become available to customers across Asia-Pacific for the first time. It aims to claim a fifth of the satellite services market in the region in just three years.

Previously, the satellite constellation was only used by the country’s military and government services. Now, it is being commercialized.

“The services now available include positioning, navigation, timing and short messages for China and surrounding areas. We hope BeiDou conquers 15 to 20 percent of the satellite services market in the Asia Pacific by 2015,”BeiDou spokesman Ran Chengqi announced at a press conference in Beijing, reported by Xinhua news agency. Continue reading