Monday, September 08, 2008

YAUG - Yet Another Umbrella Group

This morning at DIDW I sat in on a session called "Identity Community Initiatives Working Together On A New Future" which was an organizational meeting for a new "umbrella" group called IDtbd (TBD - To Be Determined - cute, eh?). What I heard, though, led me to call this group SOLA: Son of Liberty Alliance. It's not just that the moving forces behind the group are from Liberty but also the proposed structure seems to derive from Liberty.

While the avowed messages of the group are, perhaps, laudable:

VISION: To promote harmonization, interoperability, and adoption of privacy-respecting, secure, identity-based access to digital services.

MISSION: To help member organizations leverage a common set of resources, operational frameworks, and best practices using open specifications to enable trustworthy environments for networked interactions.

the reality is one more layer of bureaucracy on top of already top-heavy structures. As just one example, someone wishing to create an OpenID project would, I'd think, join the OpenID Foundation. The OpenID Foundation is a constituent member of Identity Commons. IDTBD proposes that both Identity Commons and the OpenID Foundation become members of it. But the person creating the project could also become a member. Of course, that (to me) means the project never gets developed because the developer is spending too much time on hierarchical organization meetings as well as too much money seeking to be heard by those organizations.

The only positive thing I heard this morning, the only thing I can wholeheartedly support, was Bill Smith's statement that he wouldn't hesitate to call on the Liberty Alliance to dissolve in favor of this new organization. Well, I can agree with part of that. There are too many organizations and dissolving the Liberty Alliance (without creating a descendant) would be "...a consummation Devoutly to be wished."

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