The Heritage Foundation: “National Internet ID: Calls for Caution”

Jena Baker McNeill and James Carafano, Ph.D., both of The Heritage Foundation, have recently published a short paper, called a "WebMemo," in which they essentially have laid out the pros and cons of the Administration's proposed National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. They caution that "[b]efore the federal government progresses too far on its project, it is worthwhile to draw some clear boundaries on what makes sense and what does not."  

In a nutshell, The Heritage Foundation holds that while the Obama Administration may have set its sights on a target worthy of concern and analysis, the proposed "government-run or government-directed Internet ID system presents a risk to liberty that simply outweighs the potential security benefits." 

The "cons," according to The Heritage Foundation, which are conveniently labeled "Red Flags," are that the proposed "government-directed national ID system could destroy online anonymity"; "become the equivalent of a national ID";  and could "crowd out private-sector efforts to improve online credentialing."  

Not surprisingly, The Heritage Foundation's recommendations are aimed at addressing the above concerns by "[f]ocus[ing] on improving the efficiency, effectiveness, and integration of federal trusted identity programs"; "develop[ing] more effective public-private partnerships to address cyber concerns"; and "exploit[ing[ the advantages of the free market."  


The Heritage Foundation's entire "WebMemo," dated January 27, 2011, can be found at  the link provided above, or here.  



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Professor William Snyder

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