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Paths Forward Are Now Paths in Progress: Update on Trust and Identity Planning

Nov 04, 2016, by Meredith Lovelace
Tags: InCommon, InCommon Federation, TIER, Trust & Identity, Trust and Identity in Education and Research

Klara Jelinkova From the TIER Community Investor Council

By Klara Jelinkova, VP & CIO of Rice University and Chair of the TIER Community Investor Council

In the August and September TIER Newsletters, I described the planning process that the Trust and Identity team under the leadership of Vice President Kevin Morooney is taking to engage the community around sustainability for TIER and InCommon. A lot has happened since we first discussed this process in May!

I’m very happy to say that we are now taking steps toward ensuring sustainability of key services within the Trust and Identity portfolio. Representatives of the community have prioritized these steps during the planning sessions.

Taking these priorities into account, and the need for immediate action on some items, the InCommon Steering Committee unanimously recommended these steps:

  1. Close operational gaps with the InCommon Federation relating to reliability and security
  2. Bolster support for Shibboleth Federating Software development, a critical component for US and global trust and identity. Shibboleth is used by more than 90 percent of the identity providers in InCommon and must evolve with the federation when new services and architectures are defined and implemented. InCommon will support and enhance the parts of the software critical to enabling the federation and meet the evolving community needs.

These improvements will be funded through an InCommon dues increase, implemented for the 2017 calendar year. No organization will see an increase of more than $1,800, and most will see a lower increase. All participants were notified of the increase the week of October 17.

The Trust and Identity portfolio is supporting the global and research ambitions of our institutions and organizations. The portfolio functions and collaborates on a global scale. One example of such collaboration is the Shibboleth Consortium, which guides the development of the Shibboleth software. As a member of the consortium, we and a number of other federations share the responsibility for the support and funding of the software. The Shibboleth Consortium is currently discussing next steps for sustainability and fair participation as it relates to the development and use of the software.

Stay tuned as we look at next steps for Trust and Identity planning and how you can get involved!