Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans

Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans

Posted by Declan McCullagh

(Credit: istockphoto.com)

STANFORD, Calif. – 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.

It’s “the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government” to centralize efforts toward creating an “identity ecosystem” for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.

That news, first reported by CNET, effectively pushes the department to the forefront of the issue, beating out other potential candidates including the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The move also is likely to please privacy and civil liberties groups that have raised concerns in the past over the dual roles of police and intelligence agencies.

The announcement came at an event today at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, where U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Schmidt spoke.

The Obama administration is currently drafting what it’s calling the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, which Locke said will be released by the president in the next few months. (An early version was publicly released last summer.)

“We are not talking about a national ID card,” Locke said at the Stanford event. “We are not talking about a government-controlled system. 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.”

The Commerce Department will be setting up a national program office to work on this project, Locke said.

Details about the “trusted identity” project are unusually scarce. Last year’s announcement referenced a possible forthcoming smart card or digital certificate that would prove that online users are who they say they are. These digital IDs would be offered to consumers by online vendors for financial transactions.

Schmidt stressed today that anonymity and pseudonymity will remain possible on the Internet. “I don’t have to get a credential if I don’t want to,” he said. There’s no chance that “a centralized database will emerge,” and “we need the private sector to lead the implementation of this,” he said.

Inter-agency rivalries to claim authority over cybersecurity have exited ever since many responsibilities were centralized in the Department of Homeland Security as part of its creation nine years ago. Three years ago, proposals were were circulating in Washington to transfer authority to the secretive NSA, which is part of the U.S. Defense Department.

In March 2009, Rod Beckstrom, director of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity Center, resigned through a letter that gave a rare public glimpse into the competition for budgetary dollars and cybersecurity authority. Beckstrom said at the time that the NSA “effectively controls DHS cyber efforts through detailees, technology insertions,” and has proposed moving some functions to the agency’s Fort Meade, Md., headquarters.

Death Panels are Not ObamaCare’s Only Killer Provisions

Death Panels are Not ObamaCare’s Only Killer Provisions

January 7th, 2011

Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com

Never mind the controversy over the so-called death panels in the controversial ObamaCare health care law. One pro-life group says the measure should be repealed because it contains rationing elsewhere.

Although the death panels — the voluntary advanced care planning that pro-life advocates have been concerned about because it could have doctors financially motivated to promote less medical care and lifesaving treatment — have occupied most of the debate, the National Right to Life Committee says other provisions cause concern.

In a new letter to House members that LifeNews.com obtained, NRLC urges a yes vote on the repeal measure the House of representatives is slated to consider next week.

The abortion funding ObamaCare doesn’t satisfactorily prohibit is a central tenet of the pro-repeal letter.

“As enacted, the PPACA contains multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion, and additional provisions on which future abortion-expanding regulatory mandates may be based,” the pro-life group tells lawmakers.

But the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” also contains “multiple provisions that will, if fully implemented, result in government-imposed rationing of lifesaving medical care,’ NRLC says:

The department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be empowered to impose so-called “quality and efficiency” measures on health care providers, based on recommendations by the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is directed to force private health care spending below the rate of medical inflation. In many cases treatment that a doctor and patient deem needed or advisable to save that patient’s life or preserve or improve the patient’s health but which runs afoul of the imposed standards will be denied, even if the patient wants to pay for it.

The law empowers HHS to prevent older Americans from making up with their own funds for the $555 billion the law cuts from Medicare by refusing to permit senior citizens the choice of private-fee-for-service plans….

Read more.

Killing the Czars: House Republicans Fight Obama’s Executive Power Grab

Killing the Czars: House Republicans Fight Obama’s Executive Power Grab

January 7th, 2011

Ben Johnson, FloydReports.com

Congressional Republicans have wasted no time fighting back against Barack Obama’s plan to rule by executive fiat. Only days into their new majority in the 112th Congress, conservatives have introduced measures to end the most egregious offenses: abolishing the unelected system of czars, repealing Net Neutrality regulations, and preventing the EPA from imposing job-killing carbon dioxide standards on power plants. The imperative steps will prevent an imperial overreach and minimize the damage Obama can do the American people. However, if they hope to succeed, Republicans need to move beyond these necessary defense mechanisms and present a coherent and comprehensive program of limited, constitutional government.

Nothing so perfectly encapsulates this president’s push to federalize every aspect of American life better than his team of czars. These multiple dozens of ideologues — unelected and unconfirmed, because they are unelectable and unconfirmable — exercise power in every aspect of our lives from the environment, to domestic violence, to the automobile company we collectively purchased for the UAW. On Wednesday, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-LA, introduced a bill co-sponsored by 28 others to abolish all federal czars. His proposal, which is supported by 28 other Congressmen, would eliminate anyone who….

Read more.

‘Religion of peace’ launching ‘ferocious’ attacks

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Friday, January 07, 2011

WorldNetDaily Exclusive

‘Religion of peace’ launching ‘ferocious’ attacks
Worshippers targeted in Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Russia

Posted: January 07, 2011
10:00 pm Eastern



Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

It was only six days after the 9/11 attacks that President Bush described Islam as a religion of peace, specifically saying, “Islam is peace,” but the Religion of Peace website reports that for 2010, there were 1987 jihad attacks in 46 nations resulting in 9,175 deaths and 17,436 injured, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

So analysts are expressing alarm that individual attacks on Christian churches are being replicated rapidly and appear to be reflecting a new wave of Islamists’ war against any stability in the Middle East.

Recent al-Qaida attacks on Christians stretching from North Africa to the Middle East and Central Asia reveal a new terrorist initiative that not only attempts to eliminate remnants of existing non-Islamist religions but hits hard at “soft target” opportunities, such as praying Christians in Egypt, leaving security experts off-guard.

(Story continues below)

Analysts say the orchestrated attacks against Christians – from Egypt, Iraq and Nigeria to Russia’s mostly Muslim North Caucasus of the Ingushetia region bordering Chechnya – initially were thought to be random.

However, the killing spree now is being viewed as a coordinated pattern of attacks representing a new and higher level of violence.

The Vatican had been expressing alarm for some time, with Pope Benedict XVI describing as “ferocious” the terrorist acts that were launched in October when some 58 Iraqis were killed and 78 wounded in an attack on the Syrian Catholic Cathedral of Baghdad.

The October attacks were an act of “unheard-of ferocity against defenseless people joined in prayer,” said senior Vatican official Archbishop Carlo Marina Vigano at a recent general assembly meeting of Interpol in Doha, Qatar. Interpol, or the International Criminal Police Organization, helps facilitate police cooperation internationally.

The attack on the cathedral was followed by further attacks by al-Qaida-affiliated groups that struck in a coordinated effort on three Christian homes in the Iraqi capital, followed by mortar attacks on another two largely Christian communities.

The latest violence against Christians occurred last week in Alexandria, Egypt, on the Coptic Christian church where a suicide bomber killed 21 people and wounded another 80. Some 1,000 Christians were attending New Year’s Mass.

According to observers, blood splattered the front of the church, as well as a mosque directly across the street. Many of the bodies were left in the church overnight to be collected by ambulances for burial the next day. Some Christians brought white sheets with the sign of the cross emblazoned on them in what appeared to be victims’ blood.

“There were only three soldiers and an officer in front of the church,” said Archbishop Raweis, the top Coptic cleric in Alexandria. “Why did they have so little security at such a sensitive time when there’s so many threats coming from al-Qaida?”

Outraged Christians immediately blamed the predominantly Muslim government of Egypt which has seen growing tensions for some time between its Muslim majority and Christian minority.

Keep in touch with the most important breaking news stories about critical developments around the globe with Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium, online intelligence news source edited and published by the founder of WND.

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