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Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Welcome To Your ID

Phil Becker is giving some opening remarks, Doc is to my left, and we've met our first challenge of the conference -- power! Frank Paynter's in the house, and will be blogging the conference here. Phil is talking about boom-bust cycles in technology: mainframes to pcs. People started to see the computer could become theirs in a certain way. Not to be feared, but your own personal leverage. By '84, Hollywood was making movies like War Games: premise, child with a computer and a modem could go one on one with U.S. defense infrastructure. '92, Sneakers: it's not about who has the most bullets, it's about who controls the information. Move away from computers as hardware to what computers are doing. '95, Hackers: continued the trend. Identity issues began to take shape as computers transitioned from huge, expensive, cumbersome mainframes to having near universal access to connect and use a computer. Demographic differences between those operating computers and the general public are being eliminated. "Any information that touches this network is relentlessly driven into the public domain." Identity is central thread which will enable security, control, manageability and accountability in a distributed network...but these things do not come without costs to rights like privacy. Security: firewalls and VPNs are the last stand, the effort to create physical security in cyberspace. Identity infrastructures and security are closely intertwined. Privacy: enforcing a negative, is about what those gathering data agree not to do with it. Privacy through architecture will inherently be more trustworthy than privacy through policy. [DMH aside: assumes the data will necessarily be gathered; just a question of how it's used or not...are we willing to concede this?] Authentication: "federation" is a big buzz word, refers to integration, how separately managed identity stores work together. Web services: about trying to take integration up a level in the "stack." Cites the WiFi flowing freely in the room here. How can I buy my next software package and plug it into all the data in the packages I've already got? Security and standards all exist to make the round plugs and square plugs fit together. Types of identity: enormous subject, as varied as the Internet itself. This conference is about the identity conversation: understanding it, and moving it forward. AKMA and Dr. Weinberger just arrived (Dr. W's blogging the conference here). (Can I just say what a kick it is to be sitting here blogging shoulder to shoulder with Doc?)

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