Government Needs Internet Authentication

The Australian National Office for the
Information Economy (NOIE) has advised the Federal Government to establish
a National Authentication Authority (NAA) as a model for dealing with
Internet authentication.

In a Discussion Paper titled “Establishment of a National Authentication
Authority,” released on August 19 by NOIE, the office advises the
Government to facilitate rather than regulate Internet authentication and
identifies the establishment of NAA as a possible approach for promoting
consumer and business confidence in e-commerce.

According to the discussion paper, the NAA would aim to reassure consumers
and industry through:

  • * according a “quality label” to best practice organisations and systems;
  • * endorsing industry developed codes of practice;
  • * recognising relevant industry standards, and
  • * raising awareness of authentication technologies.

NOIE said the NAA would provide independent reassurance that
providers of authentication services meet international best practice
standards but in a way that will not constrain the market.

It has been proposed that the NAA be structured as an incorporated body
comprised of representatives from certified authorities, businesses,
Government representatives and consumer groups.

The announcement from NOIE is built on recommendations from the National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI) Working Group, Standards Australia and the Government Public Key Authority as well as other industry groups and comes almost two years after initial industry consultations with Standards Australia and the NPKI.

The Government will be calling for feedback from interested parties on the establishment, structure and role of the proposed NAA.

In related news, the Government is holding the first in a series of Australia-wide regional conferences for rural residents as part of its information economy strategy.

The conferences being held at Bunbury and Mandurah in Western Australia on August 26 and the second on August 28 in Penrith, NSW, will offer residents the chance to learn of the opportunities offered by the information economy as well as providing the government with feedback on its national strategy paper which outlines its approach to e-commerce and the information economy.

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