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Global infrastructure, global ID

At the Cisco Public Services Summit in Stockholm, I’ve heard lots of great presentations about governments’ commitment to providing Internet connectedness across their populations, even — and especially — in the poorer regions. Some amazing projects are underway.

And yet, at the same time, there seems to be a near universal assumption that providing hard ID’s to the population is requisite and desirable. There are obvious reasons why governments want strong digital ID programs, but I’m hearing no discussion of any possible negative consequences of eliminating anonymity as the default on the Web. It seems to be a done deal, at least in the presentations I’ve heard. Not surprising, but to me distressing.

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