• United States

Liberty Alliance adds 15 new members

Feb 13, 20062 mins

* Liberty bumps up its membership number to 150

Editor’s Note: Dave Kearns is traveling this week. In place of his usual newsletter, we bring you breaking identity management news from

The Liberty Alliance, a consortium of users and vendors developing identity standards, Wednesday added 15 new members to drive the group deeper into global telecom and government.

Liberty, which was launched in 2001 with 30 members, has been developing federation protocols to help consumers and corporate users share identity data for authentication and authorization. The group, which now has 150 members, is heavily committed to the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0, but also develops the Identity Federation Framework (ID-FF) 1.1 and 1.2, a collection of protocols, schema and profiles, and the Identity Web Service Framework (ID-WSF).

In addition, last year Liberty formed groups to explore development of specifications for strong authentication and identity theft prevention.

The addition of those two groups helped ignite the 15 new memberships, according to Liberty spokesman Russ Duveau.

The new members are: CallingID, ChoicePoint, Diamelle Technologies, Falkin Systems, Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT), LogicaCMG, Livo Technologies, MedCommons, National Board of Taxes Finland, OmniBranch, Phase2 Technology, Purdue University, SSC New Zealand Government, Telecom Italia SpA and the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association.

Identity federation among companies is expected to get a work out this year, according to experts.

“Federation right now has done the easy part real well, which is single sign-on across trusted sites,” says Mike Neuenschwander, an analyst with the Burton Group. “As hard as it has been, arguably it has been the easiest part of what the industry could have taken on. So how far we get with federation this year is an interesting question.”

Also likely to heat up this year are the simmering questions around consolidation between the SAML 2.0 standard and the WS-Federation protocol from Microsoft and IBM. Microsoft just released Active Directory Federation Services, its first software that supports the WS-Federation protocol. IBM already supports the protocol in its Tivoli Federated Identity Manager.

John Fontana is a senior editor at Network World. He can be contacted at