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>Coalitions seek public comment extension for White House cyber security identity proposal

07/20/2010

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Less than 1,000 public comments logged for national online ID proposal NSTIC

[As released from Anti-National ID Coalition]

The timeframe for public input on an online national identity system expired Monday with less than 1,000 comments on the National Strategy for Trusted Identity in Cyberspace or NSTIC. The White House sought public input during a 3 week timeframe on a high concept strategy to increase cyber security. The public comment was hosted online and moderated under the seal of the Department of Homeland Security.

NSTIC would create a new national identity “ecosystem” for online users in America. Since that time, coalitions are forming and organizing around the dispensation of public interest in the program in an effort to ask the White House and Congress for more time to evaluate the impact of the program.

“There’s a lot to consider with this program. It’s scope, cost and effects on the public are largely unknowns. We need more time to gauge the impact of how the program will affect privacy and identity,” said Sheila Dean, an organizer for the anti-national ID coalition.

Privacy and identity coalitions, like the anti-national ID coalition, are working to increase dialogue. Each of their organizations will be a part of an open letter to the White House about the new proposal for an online identity system, requesting an additional 90 days to evaluate the program. Details about the technical structure and commercial contractors were difficult to pin down from a 36 page conceptual schematic issued under the DHS agency.

There was clear intent from the proposal to sell the adoption of the strategy to businesses and to encourage successive adoption by consumers. Little concrete or detailed information was available about costs, impacts to public safety, privacy and civil liberty and other ranges of concerns applied to public efficacy on the proposal’s application.

With so many unknowns, more and more questions are turning up among advocates and legal professionals who won’t be able to take a position on the national identity program without more information becoming available.

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