Computer: Security: Authentication
Geographic Location Verification   (+2)  [vote for, against]
Verify the geographic location of a person for secure transactions

The Procedure:
1) The user sends his password and his address or GPS coordinates.
2) A satellite beams microwaves transmitting a new, random password to his claimed position.
3) The user, assuming he is where he claimed to be, sends the new password along with his regular one.

The usefulness of this method would depend on how accurately and narrowly a beam can be focused. Perhaps terahertz waves could be used?

In actual practice, the beam(s) would constantly scan across the earth, transmitting coordinate-specific passwords as it went.

The "geo" passwords would need to be changed frequently.

Hopefully, this could be made to use existing or modified GPS receivers to reduce the cost of adoption.

There is an obvious weakness to this method though: The user could have geo-passwords relayed to him from a person or a device at his claimed coordinates.
To remedy this, perhaps a system of very temporary, light encryption could be used. All data on the internet, would be encrypted just well enough that it couldn't be decrypted (by anyone without the key) in less than a half of a second or what ever time it takes for the verification process to be completed. The key would be transmitted immediately afterward. I can't guarantee that this extension of the method would be practical.
One important thing to note is that all of this would be done automatically by computers for maximum speed. There would be no human intervention required.

(edited Nov 12, 2011)
Deleted the mention of using two wide, narrow beams. Although it would be cheaper, since fewer passwords would need to be stored for the service, the reliability of the system would be much less: It could be thwarted by placing a pair of relays anywhere along each of the lines of lattitude and longitude of the claimed location.
-- Alvin, Nov 10 2011

//All data on the internet, would be encrypted just well enough// But how do you stop your man using a non-internet (e.g lasers bouncing off the clouds, narrow microwave beam, morse code machine-gun fire) method of transmitting the geopassword from his device at the correct location to him at an incorrect one?
edit: [+}
-- pocmloc, Nov 10 2011

21 Quest,
I'm not sure what messed up the layout. It looks fine for me except when using the Annotate feature.

Good point. This would at best be an added hurdle for the bad guys.

-- Alvin, Nov 10 2011

Hey Alvin could you explain the added security benefits of this technique for us?

What people or applications would this be appealing to?
-- bob, Nov 11 2011

//I'm not sure what messed up the layout. It looks fine for me except when using the Annotate feature//
The width of the idea text column depends on the size of the text addition boxes below it. When you are logged in, the text will fit OK. When you click "annotate" the text box below your idea changes and consequently the width of the idea text column is as you would see it if you logged out - which is how 21 Quest (and a'body else) sees your idea. You don't need to put breaks in your text to go onto a new line - the halfbakery justifies the text for you.

Also, hello Alvin!
-- calum, Nov 11 2011

This is expected to be useful for people who want to know if they're getting email from a friend, relative, legitimate business or a scammer. Most people will have at least a vague idea of where there friends, relatives and banks are.
So, if an email can be traced to a location where the supposed sender is unlikely to be, then it can be considered to be from a scammer.
-- Alvin, Nov 11 2011

21 Quest,
//Who pays for the satellites? I ask because I'm assuming this won't be a free service.//

I can only hope that this idea would appeal to someone wealthy enough to invest in it. The cost should eventually drop until it's as widely available as GPS. This should also be useful for businesses and governments and they would certainly support it (assuming that they liked the idea).
-- Alvin, Nov 11 2011

21 Quest,
The precision of the coordinates would probably only be within the typical error range of GPS anyway.
IP addresses can be spoofed, whereas by using this system, one could guarantee that there was at least a relay device present at the claimed location (or somewhere along the beam), if not the person who was claimed to be there.
-- Alvin, Nov 12 2011

Welcome to the Halfbakery, [Alvin]. We're glad to have you. A couple of things to keep in mind: you're allowed one completely crackpot idea for every three legit ones, and you should avoid saying the words 'cat', 'horse', or 'child' around [8th of 7]. If he hears any of those words, he puts a paper bag over his head and we all have to stand in the tea chest and sing 'Jerusalem'.
-- Alterother, Nov 13 2011

random, halfbakery