Feeds

Gov.UK plans cheap digital IDs for egovernment

Driving down the cost of PKI

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The Government is planning to offer citizens low-cost digital certificates to give them more convenient and secure access to online government services.

Under the plans, digital certificates allowing individuals to prove their identity online - which today cost around £25 - could be made available for as little as £5.

The move follows a growing realisation by the Government that the challenge of authenticating citizens online is now one of the biggest obstacles facing its eGovernment delivery programme.

Digital certificates and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) were for some time the Government's favoured system of trust for online transactions. However. digital certificates failed to take off in the UK in the way imagined.

Now with the launch of its Government Connect initiative, the Government is in discussions to obtain cheaper digital certificates by pointing out that its plans for online authentication could open up a potentially huge new market.

Chris Haynes, Programme Sponsor for Government Connect in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, confirmed that the project is investigating the use of digital certificates and looking to "drive down the cost of PKI".

"We are definitely looking at providing some sort of digital certificate with a PIN code", he said. "Our real issue is to find out whether we can have an affordable PKI.

"We are in negotiations with people saying that 'Given the local authority marketplace, given every citizen in the country necessarily, what sort of PKI arrangement can we come to?'.

"And we're looking at a figure of perhaps five pounds, which we think will easily be recoverable by people using eGovernment services."

He added: "We know why registration, verification and enrolment is important.

"Without these we can't really roll back the boundaries of e-Government. We have to ensure that access channels are reliable, secure environments and cover most of the local authority's services."

Mr Haynes foresees that in the long run, the Government Connect project will place local authorities as citizen's first point of contact for government services.

"That's not to say they won't be able to get to the Inland Revenue by its website, and there will be obviously things like Directgov as well", he said. "But the first point of registration will be with us [local authorities]. So that places the onus on us to get it right."

Related articles

eGov monitor: Councils wanted for e-risks project
Digital certificate regime wins UK gov plaudits
< Cryptographers to Hollywood: prepare to fail on DRM

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.