I used to think that people were compensated for their deficiencies: if a person wasn’t too bright, he would have creativity and artistic talent to make up for it.
So a week ago, Obama announced his plan to create a government-issued “Internet ID” for citizens. After only reading the title of the article, people scroll right down to the comment box and cry “omg government can control our internets” and “omg obama is taking away our freedoms blah blah socialists blah, blah blah 1984!”. Privacy is one of those things that people don’t understand, at all.
The US Government is trying to tackle a problem that has existed for ages: identification. The password problem. What’s the password problem? Well, they exist. Now, I could write a whole lot about the ingenuity of memorizing arbitrary strings to prove your identity, but only Yahoo would cover that kind of crap. The problem is that the private sector has failed to provide a reliable way to identify yourself. We’ve tried password managers, stuff like OpenID, RFC1413 (lol what a joke). Because none of that works (and none of that will ever work), the government logically needs to step in a provide a solution, which is what they are doing.
However, you cannot mention the words “government” and “internet” in the same sentence or thousands of incompetent dolts will crap their pants. Even semi-reputable news organizations are all over the hype, calling it a “Internet licensing system” and “a new low for them”. Whether they truly believe such nonsense or are just trying to drive more web traffic remains unknown, but they are at fault nonetheless.
Let me reiterate: the government wants to save you from memorizing bank id numbers and long meaningless passwords. They aren’t tracking your (questionable) internet activity or limiting your freedom. And above all, it is completely optional.
Then there are people who say the government can’t be trusted with all our identification. Like what if they do something evil with it, right? Hey, guess what? 40% of Americans trust Facebook with their entire online identity. Now, why would you trust a private company that is known for its history of disregarding privacy over the fucking government? I fail to see how all of these skeptics could possibly be compensated for their deficiencies. But you never know. Maybe one day, we’ll wake up to find that a large subset of highschool-dropouts have a knack for quantum physics.