US government agencies join Liberty Alliance

The US General Services Administration (GSA) and the US Department of Defense have become two of the latest members to join the...

The US General Services Administration (GSA) and the US Department of Defense have become two of the latest members to join the Liberty Alliance Project for implementing open standards for identity management on the web.

The government agencies' support brings the alliance's total members to more than 160 companies and organisations seeking to deploy open standards for federated network identity.

But although Liberty Alliance continues to garner support, the project, which was begun by Sun Microsystems in 2001, has yet to see widespread implementation, partly because of the weighty competition it faces from Microsoft's Passport authentication system.

However, a poll released by the Liberty Alliance earlier this year indicated that more than half of the members polled plan to implement IT projects this year using standards set forth by the group.

The US government departments hoped that by joining the project they would be able to meet one of the government's 24 e-government initiatives of "eAuthentication," which will verify the identities of both citizens and businesses doing business with the government over the internet.

Meeting this goal is especially important for the GSA, which is responsible for developing and implementing an infrastructure for common authentication services across the federal government.

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