White House Aims to Replace Website Passwords With Federal Authentication Scheme

The White House has announced today that a long-standing plan to roll out a federal “Internet ID” authentication scheme that would be used to log in to all websites across the Internet will move forward, and the service will launch in six to twelve months.

“We simply have to kill off the password,” insisted White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel. The initiative began in 2011, with an eye toward public-private plans, but seems now to be centering on wearable authentication bracelets that Americans would apparently get instead of passwords.

Private multiple site authentication systems like OpenID have been around for years, and logging in to websites with a Facebook or Twitter account is also becoming popular. The downside to this, from the administration’s perspective, seems to be that they don’t have direct control over the backbone of such a system.

Given the huge privacy implications of such a federally-run scheme, it’s hard to imagine eager adoption. Distrust in the wake of the NSA surveillance leaks, along with the federal government’s other fiascos in the webspace, like the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website, make this a recipe for monumental failure.

Details are scant, and in the past the administration insisted the program would be “purely voluntary,” though if the goal is really to “kill off the password” nationwide, it clearly will not remain voluntary for long, and full-scale government control over your ability to log in to websites seems to be the ultimate goal.

34 thoughts on “White House Aims to Replace Website Passwords With Federal Authentication Scheme”

  1. The dispensational premillinialists are gonna flip out when they hear about this. I'm not one myself, but this sounds way too close to the "mark of the beast" for Obama to succeed without starting a revolution to unseat the antichrist. This ought to be entertaining…

  2. This is the New World Order. Everyone will be issued a Government ID.
    It will be (required) in order to pay your bills and use the Internet.

    Oboomer says this is (needed) to (fight) the terrorist (bogeymen) his
    corporate media hacks (claim) are lurking around every street corner.

    If the results from a recent poll are true, the USG should have no
    problem implementing its NWO. 37% of those surveyed believed their
    data is stored in a real (cloud) – not a USG server somewhere in Utah.

  3. I'm curious if this announcement right before the election was strategic to allow claims of voter ratification in the Court challenges that would be sure to follow a required internet ID. Otherwise why would they make it known now when other things that would embarrass them aren't coming out til after the election. It also brings anti-Gamergate's attack on free speech into focus since the main people involved all seem to be hedge funders kids whose parents are about to crash the market again, and also there are ties to Israeli ambassadors kids. It's a strange affair and seems designed to offer a reason to issue these IDs because of the "misogynist trolls" making death threats. It's all very contrived.

  4. Maybe there will eventually be an attempt to shutdown websites that don't use officious government authentication as well.

  5. Pure FUD

    "it clearly will not remain voluntary for long,"

    That is not very clear. Passwords are very unsecure. The government already exists and has your information, at least let them make it easier for them to interact with you securely. The internet has been able to stay free so far, why do you think that will change?

  6. ID federations (single-sign-on services and password managers) create a single point of failure, not unlike putting all the eggs in a basket. It remembers all my passwords when un-hacked and loses all my passwords to criminals when hacked. It should be operated in a decentralized formation or should be considered mainly for low-security accounts, not for high-security business which should desirably be protected by all different strong passwords unique to each account. ?Needless to say, the strength of the master-password is crucially important.

    At the root of the password headache is the cognitive phenomena called “interference of memory”, by which we cannot firmly remember more than 5 text passwords on average. What worries us is not the password, but the textual password. The textual memory is only a small part of what we remember. We could think of making use of the larger part of our memory that is less subject to interference of memory. More attention could be paid to the efforts of expanding the password system to include images, particularly KNOWN images, as well as conventional texts.

  7. No mention of the legal and/or constitutional permissions they've invoked to bring about this potentially massive invasion of privacy. IOW, how is it being justified. The Oval Office just up and makes a "declaration" one day that this is the way things are going to be? No, I don't think this is going to play well in the suburbs folks.

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  9. I can't wait to get my Federal Identification Bracelet (FIB); I wonder if we're going to have choice of sizes and colors, or if we'll be allowed to customize them in any way. This is going to be so cool, I'll bet all the kids in the neighborhood will be all 'ooh' and 'ahh' knowing that their every move on the internet is going to be traced, and that- you didn't think they'd leave out a GPS locator, did you?- their physical location can be tracked 24/7.

    Then again, if this is the wave of the future, I'll pass and stick to my fountain pen when I need to get in touch with someone. I suspect a resurgence of letter-writing is in our future.

    I have a feeling my FIB will be seeing the inside of a desk drawer- not my wrist- for a very long time.

  10. Yes, after the government success with the Obamacare website, everyone will be eager to have these same folks remove passwords and magically install some new system of internet privacy protection.
    I'm sure the NSA has been working on this scheme for years…

  11. Given the huge privacy implications of such a federally-run scheme, it’s hard to imagine eager adoption. Distrust in the wake of the NSA surveillance leaks, along with the federal government’s other fiascos in the webspace, like the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website, make this a recipe for monumental failure.

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