Identity interoperability @ Net2

In the panel on Social Networking here at Net2.

Identity and profile sharing between sites is critical to using these tools in civil society. Planetwork where I am Network Director has been a long time advocate for open standards in this sector – the Augmented Social Network paper outlined the vision. We are excited about Open Standards from OASIS – XRI (I-names) and XDI to support identity and data sharing. They are cooperating with the with OpenID on Yadis too.

Planetwork is working on a project to build out open source, open standards based infrastructure to make it all work.

I am also working on i-tags to support identity in tagging.

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I-Tags at Net2

I am at the Net2 session on Tagging.Here is how I described the value itags to Beth Kanter.

I have been working with Mary Hodder, Drummond Reed and Andy Dale on itags. It is an open adhoc standard we are proposing for alowing people to use their identity while they tag. This could be a URL they ‘own’ (OpenID) an i-name (XRI) they have or another UUID.

Creators of content could use this to assert CC licenses and provide a long term persistent way to have attribution. People can assert tags across silos – multiple blogs that one posts on and multiple media tagging sites that one tags on.

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viva data liberation @ Net Squared today

I am connecting up to the social change and technology part of my persona today at Net Squared. Tomorrow I am going to be leading a session on identity in the ‘making it happen’ part of the conference.

The opening session mentioned the emergence of the Social Web – I was like wow – we have been using that to describe what happens when identity becomes part of the web.

At the conference
Seven sectors are participating:

  • Philanthropists
  • International NGO
  • American Nonprofits
  • Infratech – the big companies
  • Web Services companies
  • Digerati
  • Nonprofit Technology Assitance Providers the “Helper community”
  • The opening speaker is Angela Glover CEO of Policy Link – Black Woman for the opening keynote. Well it is certainly out of the norm of regular tech conferences – Hopefully the rest will be out of the box too.She began by talking about the regional context. The economy setting the stage for opportunity – not just income support and raising minimum wage but how to build wealth and assets. Technology is how we achieve what we want to achieve – in light of need for democratic participation.

    She did call it two point zero…maybe that is not under Tim’s Trademark.

    (almost) Direct quote from Angela Glover – We need to liberate Data – structured DATA SHARING.

  • I was so excited when I heard this – I wrote and ad hoc banner for the table
  • Viva – data liberation.
    Free the Data Use Open Standards
    XDI (XRI Data Interchange)
  • Beth Kanter has a picture of it.
  • She closed by saying that we want people to be agents for change on their own behalf.

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Publish all SSN eliminate the ‘secret’

A radical identity solution – publish all SSN eliminate the ‘secret’:

It’s time to eliminate the SSN façade. The solution to the problem of identity theft is a “cold turkey” one: publish all SSNs to ensure that no organization has the opportunity to suggest that their secrecy can be maintained. The Social Security Administration should pick a date 2-3 years in the future and announce that on that day it will publish the SSNs to the world.

The most obvious objection here is also the point: What about all the companies, and perhaps most importantly the Social Security Administration, that rely on the SSN as a secret? Won’t that really change the way they do business today? I sincerely hope not (because they should have stronger controls today), but I suspect so (because they don’t). There is a big difference (in controls) between the initial use of the SSN as validation of identity for a financial transaction (say, to get a credit card or purchase a car) and the ongoing relationship between an individual and an organization that retains the SSN.

The organizations currently using SSNs have other information available to them from their existing customer base – mutually-agreed upon “secrets” and transaction histories among others – and methods of “out-of-band” verification like sending verifying mail to the address-of-record. These techniques are more useful with the history of a relationship; often, setting up an account relies on information being provided by the consumer (or prospective fraudster).

A government mandate is the only way to build out a much stronger program for identity protection – one built on mathematics rather than on 150 thousand people keeping a secret. Otherwise, the laws for protecting the SSN will continue to grow in volume and complexity, organizations will continue to build in more controls, and we will continue to have our identities compromised.

Perilocity is also writing about this:

What’s your social?” How many times have you heard that question, from credit card companies, doctors’ offices, and just about every other type of organization? Perhaps you were confident that all these organizations are keeping your “social” completely confidential.

Security experts held a contest this month to show just how quick and effective Google hacking can be. During a technology security-industry meeting in Seattle, contestants using only Google for less than an hour turned up sensitive information — potentially useful for financial fraud — on about 25 million people. They dug up various combinations of people’s names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and credit-card information, including some card numbers apparently left exposed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The big problem is that so many organizations collect too much such information and then don’t bother to secure it.

I think it would be most useful if some organization were to organize a reputation system that made it its business to discover which entities had the most such information visible via the Internet and findable via google or Yahoo! Such an organization could report first to the affected entities, with a time limit before it would make the information public. I don’t know how potential liability would be handled in such a case, but once over that little hurdle, such an organization would be doing a great public service and could probably make a bundle advising organizations on what not to publish.

And of course the biggest identity leaks don’t come through web search engines, anyway. They come through companies mailing unencrypted tapes or keeping back data on disks that are then stolen.

Where is ‘the line’ – the freedom to socialize

Ohan Pinto picked up on my post about the proposed law by the suburban caucus to ban access to social networking sites in Public Libraries and Schools. (oh and my name is spelled Kaliya – not Kalia) She said this:

I am not against social networking, but I have kids, and I am concerned… especially when I’m aware that kids today do things without thinking of the consequences. I do not see this move as a bad move by the feds. It may very well turn out to be good. This post by Michael Miller on Warning children about online dangers gives a nice insight on the real dangers of social networking sites and how “minors” can get exploited.

One needs to draw the line somewhere….

That “somewhere” is not by inhibiting the freedom to organize and gather in online space – by people using . Adults who don’t have access to computers at home go to libraries to surf the web, get email an social network. Increasingly online networking tools will be used to organize to make change – they are places where people gather and the 1st amendment applies

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Dana Boyd has done a lot of ethnographic research with young adults to understandwhat they are doing in online space. She has this to say about the legislation. If you are concerned about your children’s behavior get involved in their life enough that they share what they are up to and you have open communication channels to share with them what is and is not acceptable. One of the critical parts is an ‘autonomous’ space – they are connecting and communicating with one another as peers – see her Bill O’Reilly Interview.

Reputation Gang mentioned at OCC

For all the folks at the Online Community Camp here is the information about the Reputaiton gang (sorry some how I can’t get onto the closed wiki to share there).

Meng Wong is the lead instigator….

  • We’re forming a Reputation Working Group under the Identity Commons umbrella.
  • A wiki and mailing list for the working group have been established; you are invited to get involved.
  • We are aiming to build in reputation capabilities in time for a September “release”.
  • There will be a BoF / WG meeting at Berkman sometime June 19-21.

The next phone meeting will be on June 6, probably at 11am PDT as usual unless anyone would prefer a different time.

Drummond has created the page
…which is listed on the page
…which is linked from theIdentity Commons wiki home page at…

The mailing list for the Working Group is called “identity-reputation”, and is being hosted at; if you ever run into Ken Simpson, say hi and thanks.

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Online Community Camp was Great

I had a good day at the Online Community Camp at Fort Mason. I have posted some thoughts about the day’s process on my unconference blog on process.

I got to speak to a small group during lunch about the user-centric identity space and again to a larger session focused on emerging technologies – Web2.0 you know. It was well received and many of the folks here were thankful to learn about the emerging trends.

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Canadian Identity Crisis

There is nothing like ego searching to get you back into blogging (I have take over a week off). I just found this post that points to my page on Canadian Identity Crisis because of the Bruce Mau Essay that I have up on a page at Identity Woman. It also points to the Molson – “I AM CANADIAN” television advertisement (I had never seen it until today). and makes an allusion that it is similar to another Canadian identity presentation we are all familiar with.

The saddest part is that Molson is no longer a canadian owned company.

Congress Targets Social Network sites – to be blocked from Schools and Libraries

WOW this is really intense.
The freedom to meet and organize is FUNDAMENTAL to what it means to be a citizen in this country.

This was in slashdot headlines and is quite shocking.

MySpace and other social-networking sites like and Facebook are the potential targets for a proposed federal law that would effectively require most schools and libraries to render those Web sites inaccessible to minors, an age group that includes some of the category’s most ardent users.

High Impact
What’s new:

A proposed federal law would effectively require schools and libraries to render social networking sites inaccessible to minors.
Bottom line:

Law would likely affect more than just social networking sites., AOL and Yahoo’s instant messaging features might be included in proposal’s definition.
“When children leave the home and go to school or the public library and have access to social-networking sites, we have reason to be concerned,” Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican, told CNET in an interview.

Fitzpatrick and fellow Republicans, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, on Wednesday endorsed new legislation that would cordon off access to commercial Web sites that let users create public “Web pages or profiles” and also offer a discussion board, chat room, or e-mail service.

That’s a broad category that covers far more than social-networking sites such as Friendster and Google’s It would also sweep in a wide range of interactive Web sites and services, including, AOL and Yahoo’s instant-messaging features, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which permits in-game chat.

Fitzpatrick’s bill, called the Deleting Online Predators Act, or DOPA, is part of a new, poll-driven effort by Republicans to address topics that they view as important to suburban voters. Republican pollster John McLaughlin polled 22 suburban districts and presented his research at a retreat earlier this year. Rep. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican, is co-sponsoring the measure.

The group, which is calling itself the “Suburban Caucus,” convened a press conference on Wednesday to announce new legislation it hopes will rally conservative supporters–and prevent the Democrats from retaking the House of Representatives during the November mid-term election.

Novell launches Bandit

Dale Olds impressed a lot of folks at IIW leading the session to map out all the different open source identity related code that currently exists and that would be good to have.

DIDW reported today that Novelle launched Bandit.

Bandit is a system of loosely-coupled components to provide consistent identity services.

It implements open standard protocols and specifications such that identity services can be constructed, accessed, and integrated from multiple identity sources. The Bandit system supports many authentication methods and provides user-centric credential management. On this base of a common identity model, Bandit is building additional services needed for Role Based Access Control (RBAC) and for the emission of records to verify compliance with higher level policies.

The Bandit community does not intend to do this in isolation. We are doing our part to build foundational components of the emerging identity fabric. All components of Bandit are Open Source and we will work with industry standards and other open source projects to provide open, interoperable, decentralized, identity services.

Scott Always Where Name Tag

I thought this would be a light entertaining identity interlude. enjoy.
I am working on my BayCHI talk this morning and…the things people get famous for. Apparently Scott Ginsberg ‘who always wheres a nametag’ got on CNN. He even has a ‘professional speaking video’ on YouTube. Why are you wearing a name tag – its you friendlier and more approachable. He does it to make an ‘unforgetable first impression.’ His blog is “HELLO, my name is BLOG” it looks like it is slammed right now.

BayCHI talk coming together

I am talking tomorrow at BayCHI along with giving the folks a taste of unconference process.

First I will do picture filled “tour” of unconfernce processes and patterns for about 1/2 an hour and then answering some questions.

The irony of being asked to speak about designing unconferences is not lost on me because conferences have experts or distinguished speakers share their knowledge broadcast style to an audience. I decided that it would only be appropriate to do what happens at unconferences tap into the knowledge is in the room because the BayCHI community has been to many 100’s of events, conferences, workshops, meetings. They know more collectively then I do.

We will use the discovery process of Appreciative Inquiry to share the knowledge in the room about effective and inspiring process at conferences.

The audience will divide up into dyads and answer these questions:
Think of a time in your entire conference going experience, when have you felt most alive, most inspired and most proud. What was it that made it a high point? Please tell that story. Follow up question What seemed particularly effective or innovative?

Then we will gather in small groups of 6-10:
First tell each others story to the others in the group.
2. Merge lists of key qualities and circumstances of peak (un)conference going experiences.
3. Pick from this list the top two elements.

Then with the whole audience will hear from each group the key elements they found in their group.

BJ a Dialogue Mapper will capture the whole audience participation. I will collect the papers that have the merged list of each of the groups and will post them likely on the dCamp wiki.

It isn’t just Euro’s wondering about Passports

Last week I picked up on what Tara was saying on behalf of Europeans she had spoken with about the issues surrounding biometrics embedded into passports.

Canadians are also impacted by this policy laundering and have not been consulted. It seems like a global human rights issue. Can we refuse to have our biometrics embedded in these documents? Clearly wider public discussion is needed globally.

This paper “Developing Canada’s Biometric Passport: Where are Citizens in this Picture?” is submitted for the Technology and Citizenship Symposium by Andrew Clement, and Krista Boa

The passport is the most widely used document to formally identify citizenship. Canadians, however, are being given no role in redefining this vital document, which currently is being redesigned to incorporate biometric features in accordance with recent International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and to meet new United States border crossing requirements. There is no public debate and little to no information is publicly available.

When the government does speak about this initiative it is hedged in the context of complying with international standards and increasing national security. By calling on the ICAO standard as a reason for implementing a biometric passport, Canada is seen to engage in what Ian Hosein calls “policy laundering” – nations committing to treaties and agreements in the arena of international governance that might not stand up to the scrutiny of public debate or achieve public support at home – a process that subverts democratic principles. Furthermore, evidence does not support Canada’s argument that the technological sophistication of biometrics will eliminate confusion about the identity of individuals and reduce the threat of terrorism, including when used in combination with watch lists. This paper examines constructions of identity and citizenship that biometric passport systems induce and the implications for civil liberties, particularly the right to travel. It evaluates the discourses and rhetorical strategies used to garner public support, such as positioning privacy concerns as something that must be traded off for increased security in the “war on terror.” It critically examines the decision-making process, specifically the absence of public debate, policy laundering, and the role of the biometric passport in Canada-U.S. border policy. Lastly, it suggests ways in which Canadian citizens can play a more appropriate role in the design, implementation, regulation, and governance of the most prominent document of Canadian citizenship – the passport.

Identity Map Developing

I mentioned this earlier in my reflections about the conference. I had seeded a map that outlined the history of our community, gatherings, protocols, blogs, papers, podcasts, wikis, mailinglists. One of the participants took a very high resolution picture of the finished map. Phil has a picture of the initial map. On my original Omnigraffle version I have Kim’s Laws of Identity but on this one I didn’t get them up and Kim just pinged me to let me know it needed to be added. If there are things you think need to be added feel free to let me know.

I hope to bring the big map or another version to the conference at Berkman and DIDW for others to add more information to it.

Elusive Universal IM maybe closer to discovery..

Scott Schecter is on the hunt:

It’s a bit of a hack in its current format, and what a surprise MSN doesn’t play nice, but instructions can be found here on how to use Google Talk as a universal IM client*. It basically exposes Jabber transports for the other protocols for functionality. Cool, but I think I’ll keep hunting

*The universal IM is an elusive little critter that is believed to live in Canada somewhere. It talks to all IM networks, but does not communicate effectively with any, you have been warned.

Reflections on IIW

Facilitating the Internet Identity Workshop was a wonderful experience. I got to bring help the order emerge out of the chaos by leading Open Space. Many felt that it was

About two weeks ago I started making a map of the history of the community. This was in part because I knew a lot of new people were coming to the workshop and I wanted to be sure they had some context of who we were and where we had come from. I translated this into an interactive wall map that allowed people to ad their own elements to the history.

On the timeline:

• Yellow diamonds are protocols
• Pink Trapazoids events that have happened on a timeline
• Purple papers are Publications white papers
• Purple 1/2 circles are podcasts.

Clusters (ot on the timeline):

  • Green Parallelograms are mailing lists
  • Blue pages are blogs

There are some good photos of this but I will be taking the results and putting them into Omnigraffle and then PDF too.

Tuesday Morning we got to put together the agenda. It involves everyone who wants to present putting what they want to have a session about on a piece of paper. They speak their session title to the whole room and then post it on the wall.

It wasn’t until about mid day on Tuesday that I actually landed and was able to engage in the conference. The Planetwork folks talked a lot talking about the emerging 1society project.

Dinner both evenings was great. Monday was Italian and Tuesday was Thai.

The Identity Commons crowd moved things forward we have a follow up call next week.

At the very end watching and listening to Paul and Drummond go over the relationship between Higgins two projects and XRI / XDI was a great treat.

We concluded our day listening to Eugene Rant about Wikis at Wiki Wednesday. After dinner Meng told us he had founded the Reputation Gang and we invited him to be a part of the Identity Commons.

The highlight to get the essence of what happened is the closing session recorded. Here Tuesday and Wednesday.

Some high complements were given to the conference.

From Kim Cameron:

With Doc Searls and Phil Windely navigating at the macro-level, the amazing Identity Woman Kaliya orchestrated an ”unconference” that was one of the most effective events I’ve ever attended. It’s clear that creating synergy out of chaos is an art that these three have mastered, and participants floated in and out of sessions that self-organized around an ongoing three-day hallway conversation – the hallway actually being the main conference room and event! So we got to engage in all kinds of one-on-one (and few) conversations, meet new people, work out concerns and above all work on convergence. Many people told me they felt history was being made, and I did too.

Opinity’s Tom Madox reflected on the conference today.

Now, before someone reprimands me for implying that there were corporate or technical bigshots in attendance, let me clarify that one. There were, in fact, luminaries of various sorts participating: A-list bloggers, well-known corporate folks, technical experts working at the forefront of innovation in the field of identity mangement … people like that. However, and this is the point: they were not on stage, performing. They were at the tables and in the rooms, talking, listening, asking and answering questions. In terms of social interaction, the conference hierarchy was flat.

Phil Becker wrote in the DIDW newsletter:

This week I saw a significant “state change” occur in this year and a half “Identity Gang” evolution, and it tells me things are going to start to happen. Some of those involved will be happy this is so, others most likely won’t be. But for those not directly involved (i.e. most of the population) it was, in my opinion, a tremendously significant moment in the evolution of the identity conversation, and one that will have many significant ramifications going forward – though these will likely take another year to become clear to those not paying close attention.

They are working on the issues of what form identity must take
to become ubiquitously deployable, become something that will be adopted
comfortably by users, and how we can ever get there from here.

The first sign that the required significant shifts are occurring is
visible in the titles of the sessions this un-conference produced on
its first day. These titles have all subtly shifted in ways that
indicate there is no longer any question that there is a single,
over-arching story behind the identity conversation, and that the
mission now is to figure out how to converge the many efforts that
are underway. These efforts were each begun with a very different
mission and with a very different use/case and problem set driving
them, and this has previously created division and competition. This
time, however, it was clear that everyone was looking for where they
should get on board, and how to avoid having their goals left out.

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Passport Biometrics. Why?

From Tara over at Horse Pig Cow she highlights this issue she learned about while in Europe by a fellow blogger.

Here in Europe we’re currently forced to get passports with biometrical data because the US wants us to do so. There are a lot of discussions about this and not everyone is happy with it. There is still no explanation from my government on what this is for. But there might be at least some control and protection of my data by my own government against other interests.

The reason this is happening around the world is a phenomena called ‘policy laundering.’ This what happens when governments want a policy.

Policy – “biometrics embedded in passports” and even more specifically being able to read these biometrics without touching the pass port. Basically mandating RFID chips with your biometrics in your passport.

So would this pass in the US? Not likely. So they took the ‘policy’ to the international standards body that determines international standards for passports. It is this body that decides that the policy.

The blogger continues and touches on issues that we are tackling in the identity world.

And now there’s this huge database of the same data building up without any control.

And that’s a big part of my problem: I don’t have control over my own data. At least none that I know of. Everyone can upload pictures of me and tag them with my name and e-mail address and I don’t even know it. In Germany it’s a human right to know what others know about someone and I see some possible violations of that in your (and other’s, for sure) service.

Owning your own data or at least having a copy of it is what we have been talking about in the identity community for a while.

The spiritual nature of web 2.0

I was reviewing the blogosphere for peoples thoughts on the workshop. Anne 2.0 read through some of’s post on the workshop. But this followed and made me smile...

Web 2.0is itself Buddhist in its approach to categorizing information and knowledge. Tags are the ultimate in tentative, nonfrozen categories. If categories are fundamentalist, tags are Buddhist.

Where is the video???? Colbert is vanished from webosphere

So one of the funniest and serious things to appear on the web this week was the AP Dinner where they ‘roast’ the president. This year Colbert was the roaster. The mainstream press basically ignored the roast but…it took off in the blogosphere. Now the video has been disappeared from youtube. I never did see the third part.