Current National Identity Management Federations
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Just as National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) have interconnected their respective network infrastructure together to create a global R&E network, NRENs are now beginning to look at interconnecting their national trust federations. National trust federations or identity management or identity access federations are the 'next layer' of common infrastructure developed and operated by the research and education community on its own behalf. Federations are critical infrastructure for a country, making inter-institutional collaboration among individuals and institutions easier, more secure and more private. Access to computational resources, data, scientific instruments, and individuals across the world is becoming a necessity.
Several countries now have operational national federations, including the United States through the Internet2 community's InCommon Federation. Although in their infancy, agreements to inter-federate among national R&E federations are beginning to be discussed, drafted, and in some cases, implemented. Much like the global fabric of national and multinational R&E networks, in the next couple of years we expect a global fabric of inter-federated national and multinational federations to emerge to support science, research, teaching and learning on a worldwide scale.