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NIST Requests Comments on Draft Federal ID Standard


New York, Nov 08, 2004

On Aug. 27, 2004, President Bush issued a directive calling for a mandatory, government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the federal government to its employees and contractors. The directive noted that adopting a uniform format for government ID badges will eliminate the wide variations in the quality and security of forms of identification used to gain access to federal facilities and non-national security systems. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a call for comments on a draft Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) for a smart-card based form of identification for use by all federal government agencies.

The draft standard specifies the framework, architecture and technical requirements for the personal identity verification (PIV) card, including cryptographic, biometric and card reader specifications. The requirements are graduated, from least secure to most secure, to ensure flexibility in selecting the appropriate level of security for each application. All PIV cards will include biometric information, including a photo and two fingerprints. The framework also incorporates other technical and operational standards necessary to achieve interoperability among identification cards, electronic card readers, communication systems and access control systems interfaces. The standard includes processes for issuing and managing cards, including application and approval and card maintenance and termination.

NIST has announced the first public drafts of Federal Information Processing Standard 201 (FIPS 201), Personal Identity Verification for Federal Employees and Contractors, and Special Publication 800-73 (SP 800-73), Integrated Circuit Card for Personal Identity Verification. The two documents are available to view/download from NIST's Computer Security Resource Center. Comments and questions may be sent to DRAFTFIPS201@nist.gov, or

Chief, Computer Security Division, Information Technology Laboratory
Attention: Comments on Draft FIPS 201
100 Bureau Drive - Stop 8930
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930

Comments must be received on or before December 23, 2004. NIST expects the standard to become effective February 25, 2005.

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