A Letter from the Liberty Alliance

Liberty Alliance president Michael Barrett speaks out on convergence and the open-standards process.

Liberty Alliance president Michael Barrett responds below to comments made by IBMs vice president of security for Tivoli and IBM Security Products, Arvind Krishna, on working with the Liberty Alliance.

Since its inception in October 2001, the Liberty Alliance has been an open forum establishing interoperable standards for federated identity. We also make our specifications and guidelines available as drafts for public contribution before publishing them as final documents.

With this in mind, Liberty has always worked to interoperate with and encompass other open standards to drive convergence. We are already actively driving convergence between Libertys identity federation framework and SAML, a security standard being developed within OASIS. IBM and numerous Liberty members within OASIS are pushing for this convergence to happen this year.

Convergence is important as it eases implementation costs and advances the investments businesses have already made in standards. However, its critical that convergence happens without violating the integrity of the open standards process. This means that the standards setting groups, and not just the individual members of those groups, work together on this process. If this happens, we can stop talking about convergence and start making it happen.

Michael Barrett, President of the Liberty Alliance and Vice President of Privacy and Security Strategy, American Express