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A new manifesto for smartcards as national information infrastructure

Pre-print edition of a peer-reviewed paper presented to the 5th Homeland Security Summit, Canberra, 2006.

See also handouts at


The smartcard debate in Australia is beset by misconceptions and tunnel vision. Smartcards are best known as the ideal solution to plastic card fraud, but they also offer unique remedies to the scourges of phishing, pharming, web fraud and spam. Governments’ electronic service delivery ambitions include electronic health records, electronic passports and driver licences, e-voting and online census collection. These programmes carry the most acute needs for privacy and security. If Australians using the Internet fear eavesdropping and identity takeover, then the nation should be introducing properly engineered smartcards as soon as possible and taking a uniform approach to all online identity.