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Monday, June 25, 2007

Report on the W3C Workshop on E-Government and the Web

I was fortunate to make a presentation at the W3C Workshop on E-Government and the Web (June 18-19, 2007) to an audience that included Sir Tim Berners-Lee, technical representatives from Library of Congress, Other US Governmental Agencies, some UK Policy Makers (and technical representatives).

You can get hold of my paper as well as the slides there.

Three key points I stressed were:
a) Make E-Government Services secure for the Average Joe to use. It should be a collective effort from technologies, policies, processes and the people.
b) Let all the E-Government services be reachable from single point of contact (Portals) that may be favorite to various cross-sections of people. If I live in Chicago, the IL State Portal can be the window of entry to all E-Government services.
c) Use of Federated Identity standards that are being developed including OpenID (in the blogosphere), SAML and WS-Federation. This will enable identity to be transmitted across the various e-gov services.

José Manuel Alonso, W3C eGovernment Lead was telling me that at the previous eGovernment Workshop that was held in Spain, many of the government representatives had shared a concern that many of the European nations had issued National ID cards and brought out a lot of eServices, that were used sparingly. Hence he liked my paper which stressed on the need for a single point of entry via a portal. This will actually build some trust context.

The report for the Spain Workshop is available at:

Here is somebody talking about my presentation:

Initially prior to the Workshop, it was my desire to shake Sir.Tim's hands. But I got to sit beside him for 2-3 hours during the workshop (I hope some of the brilliance got transmitted to me - I can feel it). At the end of the first day of the workshop, I did discuss with Tim (he insisted on not calling him SIR. Tim), as to whether the current world of Phishing, online scams etc were not something he had envisioned when he invented WWW. I also asked him if security issues keep him awake at night. He said security is necessary (PGP, SSL etc) but he does not have sleepless nights. :)

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