The Man in Charge of Making the Web Safer: Q&A with Howard Schmidt

MSNBC's Herb "Consumer Man" Weisbaum recently sat down with the White House's Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt for a Q&A session regarding the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NS-TIC).  Schmidt's answers help to fill in the details of the NS-TIC, as well as give some insight into future plans for the Strategy.  Thus, a few of the questions and answers are provided below.   


When asked "[w]ho [between the private sector and the Commerce Department] does the heavy lifting," Schmidt responded:

"The private sector will lead the building of multiple ways that people can identify themselves depending on their interactions online, and to also make sure these trusted identities are indeed privacy-enhancing as well as helping businesses to be more successful."

"Consumer Man" asked if Schmidt had any initial ideas as to how the plan will operate. Schmidt responded:

"We do have some thoughts. Say for example, if I regularly do business with a particular bank. The bank can then give me some sort of device. Let's say . . . it's an application I can put on my mobile device. Instead of using a credit card number every time I do a transaction or a password every time I do something, I have a one-time password or PIN number . . . that's generated locally on my mobile device. So I'm not putting all this personally identifying information on the Internet. A third-party verifier – not the government by the way – can effectively complete the transaction with the business to make sure that they get the ability to sell what they want to sell me, but I also get the benefit of insuring that the business is valid. That's one easy example of a way to do trusted identities. . . . This is not an attempt to create any sort of national identity card. It’s quite the opposite. It’s a matter of letting the private sector, through the normal course of doing business, give people choices, including multiple choices. If I want an identity to deal with my bank, that is something that requires a higher level of validation. But if I want nothing at all, so I can blog about things on the Internet, I also have the ability to do that."

When asked if he expects positive feedback from businesses, and if he has already, what the tone of such feedback was, Schmidt answered:

"We’ve had tremendous response and it’s very, very positive. We’ve had privacy and civil liberties organizations that have taken a look at this. And while we’ve not released the final strategy yet, we’ve been engaging with all of these key groups to make sure they understand the principles we’re operating by. We’ve had tremendous support for that. We’re also working with key lawmakers to make sure Congress has full visibility of the way we’re doing this. And the bottom line is: The more we get positive feedback, the easier it is to have the private sector lead the way on this."



All of this enlightening Q&A with White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt, can be found at the link provided above, or here.





Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Untitled Document
Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography