Monday, April 21, 2014

LIGO and CTSC Collaborate with InCommon to Advance International Identity Federations

(5/28/2014 Update: ISGTW has run an article on this collaboration.)

A significant collaboration effort between LIGO and CTSC bore fruit this week when InCommon signed the eduGain declaration, a significant step in connecting the main identity federation in the U.S. with peer identity federations worldwide. Such peering is key to enabling international research collaborations such as the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, which has members institutions in 22 nations on five continents.

The LIGO and CTSC collaboration helped launch InCommon’s current interfederation effort by bringing this key international research collaboration use case to InCommon. CTSC and LIGO personnel (Jim Basney and Warren Anderson) chaired InCommon’s Interfederation subcommittee from its inception until now. In this role they worked with InCommon staff, notably John Krienke, to determine the best policy and technical path forward for interfederation.

Federated identity allows science facilities to leverage existing user logins at campuses and research institutions, removing the password management burden from those facilities and eliminating the need for scientists to use separate passwords when accessing those facilities. Enabling federations to interoperate across national boundaries expands the utility of federated identity for international collaborations.

The products from the LIGO and CTSC engagement are: