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Posted on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

Ann Arbor academic consortium wins $1.87 million federal grant for internet privacy research

By Ben Freed

The Ann Arbor based non-profit Internet2 was awarded a $1.84 million grant Thursday by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to further research personal privacy on the Internet.


CEO Dave Lambert said Internet2 intends to build key elements of a robust privacy infrastructure.

Photo courtesy Internet2

The consortium will partner with academic institutions including Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Texas, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Utah on the project. The grant is one of five awarded Thursday by the NIST, totaling $9 million.

“Internet2 deserves this grant, and Internet users across the country will benefit from it,” Representative John Dingell, D-Dearborn, said in a statement commending the award.

“The work Internet2 will do with this money will improve people’s ability to guard their privacy online. With cybercrime and online fraud on the rise, being able to protect your identity online is more important than ever these days.”

Internet2 said in a statement that the privacy infrastructure planned will include anonymous credentials and the use of multi-factor authentication technologies.

“This builds on our 10-year history of Internet2’s leadership providing federated identity services for universities,” Internet2 CEO and president Dave Lambert said in an email.

“Privacy is a critical attribute of identity and a far-reaching concept, arising in many very different situations as users want to manage their privacy across several contexts - on campus and in business, as a citizen or consumer.”

Internet privacy and user authentication is a problem that has received a lot of attention in Ann Arbor, with companies like Duo Security developing multi-factor authentication technology and other companies looking at various aspects of the cyber-security issue.

“[This grant] is more proof that Michigan has the technical know-how and training to be a leader in cyber-issues moving forward,” Dingell said in his statement.

This project will unfold over the next two years as academics from various institutions work together to try to combat fraud and identity theft.

Ben Freed covers business for Reach him at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Jay Thomas

Sun, Sep 23, 2012 : 12:10 a.m.

Will the results be made public?


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

Mr. Lambert is a smart and very competent CEO. Good Luck!


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 5 p.m.

Ok, I verified that one of the trackers is keying off access to this story. Interesting. When I log out of this story, active tracking drops from three to two - which means itself is the focus of a couple of them.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

Oh...I've got internet privacy protection and can block tracking and at this moment instant there are 41 different groups attempting to track me. (I just took a quick look) I've blocked most of them, but others I can't block or my access is blocked, which means I can let them track away or turn off the internet. However, I don't surf much except to news and ebook sites, let them track. According to my anti-tracking icon (an eye), there are 3 trackers on my trail as I post.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:53 a.m.

" users want to manage their privacy across several contexts - on campus and in business, as a citizen or consumer." As a citizen and consumer this will never happen for us....suggest people read up on Internet2 and who it is will never let it happen.....internet tracking and the subsequent loss of privacy is BIG business in itself.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 10:39 p.m.

Internet privacy? Isn't that an oxymoron?