Sunday, September 24, 2006

Richard Clarke's Views on Identity Theft

Richard Clarke - former National Security Advisor and Special Advisor to the President on Cyber Security - has opinions on the current identity theft crisis. And although (to some) his opinions are considered controversial - he is no doubt a person with a great deal of experience.

Four leaders of the "free world" have listened to his opinions.

After leaving government service -- he nows heads a private firm (Good Harbor Consulting LLC) -- which consults on security matters, to include identity theft issues.

Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covered Mr. Clarke's speech at Carnegie Mellon University in 2005 and quoted him as saying:

"Identity theft -- which is being conducted more and more by international criminal gangs based in countries where law enforcement is lax -- is primarily a crime problem, but is also a national security problem."

In this speech - - he also covered the fact that obtaining (high-quality) fake identification is easy and that despite all the security at airports -- there is no attempt to verify, whether or not an ID is legitimate.

Link to full article (speech), here.

Clarke also supports "immediate disclosure" when data-breaches occur and spoke of this in an article, where he was interviewed by Dan Briody (published in CIO Insight). In this article, he also aptly points out the problem of data-mining companies.

Link, here.

Not everyone is going to agree with Richard Clarke, but he does seem to have a lot of valid insights into what has become an international problem.

It would be interesting to see what his opinion is on President Bush's Identity Theft Task Force and the direction they are going.

Sometimes people are "controversial" to raise the "awareness" level on an issue. Come to think of it -- from a historical perspective -- there are a lot of famous people, who were considered "controversial," that were later proven correct.

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