Category Archives: Government

Military ID Verification Service, Troop ID, Raises $2.1 Million

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Iraq War veteran and Troop ID founder Blake Hall has scored a cool $2.1 million from notable investors, such as David Tisch and Mark McLaughlin. The former elite soldier has raised a total of $5.7 million for his identity service that verifies military credentials and partners them with brands.

“The concept of the business is simple. We noticed that brands were relying on offline channels — and largely neglecting their digital channels — to offer active military and veterans commercial discounts, employment opportunities, skill training vouchers, etc,” writes Hall to TechCrunch in an email. “When we talked to the marketing and corporate citizenry teams, we discovered that marketers were afraid of fraud and abuse if they offered an exclusive discount via their web and mobile apps — read a military discount URL getting shared on RetailMeNot or Fat Wallet — so we developed a Single Sign On that accesses authoritative data stores on the back end so that merchants can offer exclusive discounts, employment opportunties [sic], skill training, etc to service members, veterans, and their immediate family members via their digital channels. “

Hall’s success with brands, such as Under Armor, has even gotten a rare nod from the White House. “Companies like Troop ID answered First Lady Michelle Obama’s appeal to ‘Do what you do best’ in connecting service members, veterans and military spouses with the resources they deserve. Joining Forces applauds Troop ID, the companies with whom it partners to offer military deals, and all companies that find ways to honor the service of our military and their family members,” wrote White House Fellow at Joint Forces, U.S. Army Captain Archie Bates, on an official White House blog.

Beyond Troop ID’s consumer aims, “trusted identities” are an important part of the Administration’s approach to online verification. The United States has eschewed the creation of a single national online identification, instead attempting a decentralized approach through multiple, compatible private companies, the so-called “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace” (NSTIC). Troop ID, or a company similar to Troop ID, could potentially serve as a model for the ecosystem of verification companies.

“People want to help and to take some of the burden off the less than 1 percent of Americans who wear the uniform, and we’ve created a channel that lets them do that through Troop ID,” concludes Hall.

US Federal judge finds National Security Letters’ gag provision unconstitutional

US Federal judge finds National Security Letters unconstitutional

Woo, boy. You know those National Security Letters that the FBI has been issuing at its own discretion — the ones Google has been doing its best to track? Judge Susan Illston of Federal District Court in San Francisco just found ’em unconstitutional. As the story goes, NSLs arrive from the factory with a gag order on the recipient, and as Illston sees it, forbidding the recipient from “disclosing that they had received such an order.” So, she’s suggesting that the whole thing should be banned under the First Amendment.

Moreover, she’s ordering the US government to stop enforcing the gag provision in any lingering cases, though she reportedly “stayed her order for 90 days to give the government a chance to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.” Needless to say, the move comes as a blow to the existing administration’s surveillance practices, but something tells us this isn’t the last word we’ll be hearing on the matter. Hit up the links below for a look at the decision.

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Via: The New York Times

Source: Wired