thoughts and observations of a privacy, security and internet researcher, activist, and policy advisor

Friday, May 18, 2007

Identity and the Government - the missing link 2.0

Update: Phil Windley notified me that I misunderstood him (corrected below). I still wonder where the links between governments' activities around online identification and the internet identity developments from the geek and corporate communities are being discussed and thought through. Any hints?

The identity 2.0 folks don't think about government-issued identity cards and the developments going on in Washington and other capitals. At the end of the Internet Identity Workshop that just took place in Mountain View (California), its organizers Kalyia Hamlin and Phil Windley gave an interview to the video podcaster Eddie Codel from LunchMeet ("meeting geeks over lunch"). With one question, he hit the mark of what I as a political scientist am interested in:
How do the identity issues that are being adressed here and are being worked on related to the national level - government, passport control, national id card, that kind of stuff? Can what we do here influence that?
The answer from Phil:
Conceptually, there are certain relationships. And certainly, if you ask people here, they would [not: don't, RB] have opinions on that. What tends to be worked on here tends to be fairly specific to the user-centric identity.
If we agree there is a conceptual link, then people might want to start thinking about this a bit deeper. I mean, has anybody ever heard of code and law and all the rest? It seems that there still is too much of a distance between the West coast geeks and the East coast politicos, at least in the identity field. I am waiting to see what happens when the U.S. congress starts enacting laws that regulate online identity, like this one. Will Identity Commons open an office in Washington like the EFF did last year - finally?


Anonymous Phil Windley said...

I think you've made a critical typo in your transcription. I didn't say the "don't" have an opinion, I said "they'd have an opinion."

20/5/07 04:48


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