Monday, January 10, 2011

Obama vs. Bonzi Buddy.

"President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official said here today."
This sounds like a national ID card!
"We are not talking about a national ID card,"
What. Government-controlled system then?

"We are not talking about a government-controlled system."

Oh come on. Give me something to get pissed about!

"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."

So the President and an entire government department are involving themselves in what is assured to be an intricate process involving the save us from spyware and the inconvenience of passwords?

Me furiously typing in a password.

I'm pretty sure that's a banal excuse for such a grandiose project. This involves personally linking every American user on the Internet to a unique ID. That's 310,282,863 individuals. And we're supposed to assume that you're marginalizing anonymity because of Bonzi Buddy and how annoying it is to type out a phrase?

"I don't have to get a credential if I don't want to."

Because we're supposed to assume you'll undergo this massive project solely to provide an option?

I wonder who asked for this. Not which forgettable political lackey, but which citizen. Who were the regular ass people that asked for this? Which private user of the Internet really felt it necessary to have these security measures, after nearly two decades of a system for privacy that's clearly been satisfactory? Honestly, since when does anyone ever feel their information is vulnerable? And how often does anyone ever have their information stolen in proportion to the millions who don't?

"Schmidt stressed today that anonymity and pseudonymity will remain possible on the Internet."

If you ask all 310.2 million of us to use a universal alias, this would mean that every single website that requires personal information could have said information attached to the unique ID. How is that anonymity? It's like how the Japanese use the narrow-line tool from MS Paint on monstrous penises and call it "censoring".

Find your own picture.

Compound this with the increasing number of companies who encourage Internet bill pay by charging a fee for any other method of payment, and voila, the government knows precisely who you are and what your favorite 8thStreetLatina scene is on Youporn.

Critical information.

I don't even like bitching about politics. It's why I very seldom post about it. Everything about it seems so inexorably absurd, from its characters to the actual governing, that I feel I'd be more productive trying to get NME to shut the fuck up about the Foo Fighters.

Godlike genius, pictured here.

But this particular piece of information, one that has swept quietly through the news, seems a lot more incendiary than the media's whispering suggests. I just thought someone might as well stand on a soapbox and get mad as hell about it.

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