scary...

Sateesh Narahari sati_home@yahoo.com
Thu, 18 Apr 2002 09:59:28 -0600


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We may soon be paying $19.99 towards the national ID in our Tax, which =
goes to Microsoft's Passport program. ( Good time to buy their stock, I =
guess ).

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/134438173_passpo=
rt18.html

Feds might use Microsoft product for online ID=20

By Brier Dudley
Seattle Times technology reporter

     =20
          =20
            Mark Forman=20
    =20
    =20
      E-mail this article=20
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                       Print this article=20
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                       Search web archive=20
                      =20

                        Related stories
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                        Remedies aid rivals, not consumers, witness says =

                      =20
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          =20
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Forget about a national ID card. Instead, the federal government might =
use Microsoft's Passport technology to verify the online identity of =
America's citizens, federal employees and businesses, according to the =
White House technology czar.=20

On Sept. 30, the government plans to begin testing Web sites where =
businesses can pay taxes and citizens can learn about benefits and =
social services. It's also exploring how to verify the identity of users =
so the sites can share private information.=20

Microsoft's Passport is being considered as a way to authenticate users =
of the Web sites, said Mark Forman, associate director of information =
technology at the White House.=20

"They are involved in that discussion,'' he said, adding that the =
government has not yet selected which technology it will use.=20

Forman, who is overseeing the government's purchases of $100 billion =
worth of technology this year and next, was a featured speaker at the =
Microsoft Government Leaders Conference in Seattle this week.=20

Forman is a former Senate staffer who worked for IBM and Unisys before =
he joined the Bush administration.=20

Describing himself as the government's chief information officer, he =
said his priorities are to impose businesslike approaches for technology =
deployments and to monitor improvements they bring.=20

After the Sept. 11 attacks, some politicians and business leaders have =
called for a national identification card, but Forman said that's not in =
the works. "We don't have any plans for a national ID card," he said.=20

The White House is instead pursuing an "e-identification" initiative, an =
effort to develop ways to authenticate people and businesses online who =
already have government identification numbers such as Social Security, =
business-registration and employer-identification numbers.=20

At the government-leaders conference, attended by representatives of 75 =
countries, Microsoft presented a blueprint for its "e-government" =
strategy that suggests they use Passport to verify the identity of =
visitors to their Web sites. It also suggested that its bCentral =
business Web site could be used to process business tax payments and =
that citizens could use its MSN Web site to handle address changes and =
voter registration.=20

Governments have long been some of Microsoft's biggest customers. Its =
desktop software for office workers and back-end software running =
networks are widely by used by state and federal agencies, and the =
company has developed Internet portals for the United Kingdom, Mexico =
and other nations.=20

But getting the United States to use Passport to authenticate its 285 =
million citizens online would be a coup for the Redmond software =
company. It would also be a large step toward fulfilling Microsoft =
Chairman Bill Gates' stated goal of getting everyone on the Internet to =
use Passport as their sign-on tool.=20

Yesterday, appearing at the conference, Gates reiterated the goal, =
saying he expects governments in many countries will find it difficult =
getting to "critical mass" with authentication systems they develop on =
their own. He said some governments may opt to use companies such as =
Microsoft or America Online as "the bank" that registers people for =
online usage.=20

Passport was introduced in 1999 and is the keystone of an array of =
online services the company introduced a year ago, when Gates revealed =
his ambitions for the service.=20

After privacy advocates attacked the plan and a coalition of major =
corporations formed an alliance to develop standards for authentication =
systems that would work together, Microsoft toned down its approach. It =
now acknowledges that Passport will co-exist with other tools.=20

Forman said his team has also been contacted by the coalition, called =
the Liberty Alliance, and will meet with them at some point.=20

The current version of Passport requires little personal information =
other than an e-mail address, but a new, more secure version expected by =
mid-2003 may be used to store sensitive data on Microsoft's network.=20

Microsoft says it has 200 million people registered to use Passport, =
most of whom signed up because Microsoft told them it was needed to use =
other Microsoft services, such as its free Hotmail e-mail service or =
Windows XP operating system. According to Gartner, a research company =
based in Stamford, Conn., only 2 percent signed up because of the =
service's stated purpose: to avoid having to use multiple =
identifications and passwords at different Web sites.=20

Avivah Litan, vice president and research director at Gartner, said =
expanding Passport benefits Microsoft by drawing more Web traffic, =
making its sites more appealing to advertisers and enabling the company =
to charge "click through" fees for online sales executed using the =
service.=20

But the company may ultimately decide it's not worthwhile to boost the =
service from a tool of convenience for consumers to a verification =
service relied upon by businesses and government.=20

"Once you start vouching for identity, that makes you liable for fraud, =
that makes you liable for identity theft," Litan said.=20

Also at the conference, Microsoft announced plans to bring Internet =
access to government services to Mexico through a network of kiosks =
developed with the company's technology.=20

Brier Dudley can be reached at 206-515-5687 or bdudley@seattletimes.com. =



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<P><FONT face=3D"arial, helvetica, sans-serif" =
color=3D#808080></FONT><FONT=20
face=3D"times new roman, times, serif">We may soon be paying $19.99 =
towards the=20
national ID in our Tax, which goes to Microsoft's Passport program. ( =
Good time=20
to buy their stock, I guess ).</FONT>
<P><FONT face=3D"times new roman, times, serif"><B><A=20
href=3D"http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/13443817=
3_passport18.html">http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnolo=
gy/134438173_passport18.html</A></B></FONT>
<P><FONT face=3D"times new roman, times, serif" size=3D5><B>Feds might =
use Microsoft=20
product for online ID</B></FONT>=20
<P><FONT face=3D"times new roman, times, serif" size=3D2><B>By <A=20
href=3D"mailto:bdudley@seattletimes.com">Brier =
Dudley</A></B><BR><I>Seattle Times=20
technology reporter</I></FONT></P>
<TABLE cellSpacing=3D0 cellPadding=3D0 width=3D190 align=3Dright =
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          <TD><FONT face=3D"verdana, arial, sans-serif" size=3D1>Mark=20
          Forman</FONT></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR>
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                        =
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1_microsoft18.html"><B>Remedies=20
                        aid rivals, not consumers, witness=20
                    says</B></A></FONT></TD></TR>
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</TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!-- IMAGE ID=3D"0" =
NAME=3D"CUTLINE" VALUE=3D"Mark Forman"--><!--STCFIRST-->
<P>Forget about a national ID card. Instead, the federal government =
might use=20
Microsoft's Passport technology to verify the online identity of =
America's=20
citizens, federal employees and businesses, according to the White House =

technology czar.=20
<P>On Sept. 30, the government plans to begin testing Web sites where =
businesses=20
can pay taxes and citizens can learn about benefits and social services. =
It's=20
also exploring how to verify the identity of users so the sites can =
share=20
private information.=20
<P>Microsoft's Passport is being considered as a way to authenticate =
users of=20
the Web sites, said Mark Forman, associate director of information =
technology at=20
the White House.=20
<P>"They are involved in that discussion,'' he said, adding that the =
government=20
has not yet selected which technology it will use.=20
<P>Forman, who is overseeing the government's purchases of $100 billion =
worth of=20
technology this year and next, was a featured speaker at the Microsoft=20
Government Leaders Conference in Seattle this week.=20
<P>Forman is a former Senate staffer who worked for IBM and Unisys =
before he=20
joined the Bush administration.=20
<P>Describing himself as the government's chief information officer, he =
said his=20
priorities are to impose businesslike approaches for technology =
deployments and=20
to monitor improvements they bring.=20
<P>After the Sept. 11 attacks, some politicians and business leaders =
have called=20
for a national identification card, but Forman said that's not in the =
works. "We=20
don't have any plans for a national ID card," he said.=20
<P>The White House is instead pursuing an "e-identification" initiative, =
an=20
effort to develop ways to authenticate people and businesses online who =
already=20
have government identification numbers such as Social Security,=20
business-registration and employer-identification numbers.=20
<P>At the government-leaders conference, attended by representatives of =
75=20
countries, Microsoft presented a blueprint for its "e-government" =
strategy that=20
suggests they use Passport to verify the identity of visitors to their =
Web=20
sites. It also suggested that its bCentral business Web site could be =
used to=20
process business tax payments and that citizens could use its MSN Web =
site to=20
handle address changes and voter registration.=20
<P>Governments have long been some of Microsoft's biggest customers. Its =
desktop=20
software for office workers and back-end software running networks are =
widely by=20
used by state and federal agencies, and the company has developed =
Internet=20
portals for the United Kingdom, Mexico and other nations.=20
<P>But getting the United States to use Passport to authenticate its 285 =
million=20
citizens online would be a coup for the Redmond software company. It =
would also=20
be a large step toward fulfilling Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' stated =
goal of=20
getting everyone on the Internet to use Passport as their sign-on tool.=20
<P>Yesterday, appearing at the conference, Gates reiterated the goal, =
saying he=20
expects governments in many countries will find it difficult getting to=20
"critical mass" with authentication systems they develop on their own. =
He said=20
some governments may opt to use companies such as Microsoft or America =
Online as=20
"the bank" that registers people for online usage.=20
<P>Passport was introduced in 1999 and is the keystone of an array of =
online=20
services the company introduced a year ago, when Gates revealed his =
ambitions=20
for the service.=20
<P>After privacy advocates attacked the plan and a coalition of major=20
corporations formed an alliance to develop standards for authentication =
systems=20
that would work together, Microsoft toned down its approach. It now =
acknowledges=20
that Passport will co-exist with other tools.=20
<P>Forman said his team has also been contacted by the coalition, called =
the=20
Liberty Alliance, and will meet with them at some point.=20
<P>The current version of Passport requires little personal information =
other=20
than an e-mail address, but a new, more secure version expected by =
mid-2003 may=20
be used to store sensitive data on Microsoft's network.=20
<P>Microsoft says it has 200 million people registered to use Passport, =
most of=20
whom signed up because Microsoft told them it was needed to use other =
Microsoft=20
services, such as its free Hotmail e-mail service or Windows XP =
operating=20
system. According to Gartner, a research company based in Stamford, =
Conn., only=20
2 percent signed up because of the service's stated purpose: to avoid =
having to=20
use multiple identifications and passwords at different Web sites.=20
<P>Avivah Litan, vice president and research director at Gartner, said =
expanding=20
Passport benefits Microsoft by drawing more Web traffic, making its =
sites more=20
appealing to advertisers and enabling the company to charge "click =
through" fees=20
for online sales executed using the service.=20
<P>But the company may ultimately decide it's not worthwhile to boost =
the=20
service from a tool of convenience for consumers to a verification =
service=20
relied upon by businesses and government.=20
<P>"Once you start vouching for identity, that makes you liable for =
fraud, that=20
makes you liable for identity theft," Litan said.=20
<P>Also at the conference, Microsoft announced plans to bring Internet =
access to=20
government services to Mexico through a network of kiosks developed with =
the=20
company's technology.=20
<P><I>Brier Dudley can be reached at 206-515-5687 or <A=20
href=3D"mailto:bdudley@seattletimes.com">bdudley@seattletimes.com</A>.=20
</I></P></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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