Industry Leaders to Form Network Identity Alliance-Liberty Alliance Project

Representing Over a Billion Names, ActivCard, American Airlines, the

Apache Software Foundation, Bank of America, Bell Canada Enterprises,

Cingular Wireless, Cisco Systems, CollabNet, Dun and Bradstreet, eBay,

Entrust, Fidelity Investments, Gemplus, GM, Global Crossing, i2, Intuit,

Liberate Technologies, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, O'Reilly and Associates, Openwave,

RealNetworks, RSA Security, Sabre, Schlumberger, Sony Corporation, Sprint,

Sun Microsystems, Travelocity, United Airlines, Verisign, Vodafone and

More Create Multi-Industry Business Alliance Goes Live; All Interested Parties Invited to Drive

Specification and Development Process

Sep 27, 2001, 01:00 ET from Sun Microsystems, Inc.

    PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 26 /PRNewswire/ --,
 In an unprecedented collaboration between some of the world's largest
 businesses and industries, representing over a billion customers, employees
 and business partners, 33 major companies announced today the formation of an
 alliance, code named Liberty Alliance Project ( The
 alliance will develop and deploy an open solution for network identity.
     The charter members of the Liberty Alliance Project, representing a broad,
 global spectrum of industries, intend to create an open, federated solution
 for network identity -- enabling ubiquitous single sign-on, decentralized
 authentication and open authorization from any device connected to the
 internet, from traditional desktop computers and cellular phones through to
 TVs, automobiles, credit cards and point-of-sale terminals. The alliance
 represents some of the world's most recognized brand names and service
 providers, driving products, services and partnerships across a wide range of
 consumer and industrial products, financial services, travel, digital media,
 retailing, telecommunications and technology.
     Any organization interested in supporting the Liberty Alliance Project can
 visit for details. The Liberty Alliance Project plans
 to begin immediately in setting out a roadmap to address business practices,
 privacy, consumer adoption and technology evolution.
     "It's recently become clear that the software for managing user identity
 and authentication is one of the key building blocks of the emerging internet
 operating system," comments Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of technology
 publisher O'Reilly & Associates and an activist for open source software and
 internet standards. "It's so fundamental that a widespread consensus has
 emerged that this is a technology that shouldn't be owned or controlled by any
 one player. Instead, we need an open, distributed system with implementations
 available from multiple technology providers and identities issued by many
 parties operating in a web of trust. Project Liberty is an important step in
 that direction. I'm hopeful that it will provide a forum for interoperability
 between the proposed identity schemes available from individual software or
 service vendors."
     "Security and identity are facets of almost every big issue in the digital
 world today," said Esther Dyson, chairman of EDventure Holdings, and former
 chairman of ICANN, an organization that sets policy for the Internet's
 infrastructure, including the Domain Name System. "They touch it all:
 privacy, anonymity, integrity of data and safety of assets, freedom of speech,
 legitimacy, trust and trust worthiness, branding, visibility of marketers and
 visibility to marketers. Therefore, it's important for individuals to have a
 convenient way to identify themselves (and their counterparts)."
     The Liberty Alliance Project has three main objectives:
     -- 1. To allow individual consumers and businesses to maintain personal
           information securely.
           This enables a decentralized approach to garnering personal or
           proprietary information, and promote interoperability or service
           delivery across networks.
     -- 2. To provide a universal, open standard for "single sign-on," which
           users and service providers can rely upon, and leverage to
           Internet single sign-on will allow users to log in once, and be
           authenticated for a spectrum of network services supporting the
           Liberty standard, between and among web sites, as well as network
           services even if those services are provided by different
     -- 3. To provide an open standard for network identity spanning all
           internet-connected devices.
           This allows providers of network services, and the infrastructure
           that enables them, to adopt a neutral, open standard, available
           wherever the internet is available, to enable secure and reliable
           identity authentication across handsets, automobiles, credit
           cards -- literally any device attached to the internet.
     About the Liberty Alliance Project
     The Liberty Alliance Project ( is an organization
 being formed to create an open, federated, single sign-on identity solution
 for the digital economy via any device connected to the internet. Membership
 is open to all commercial and non-commercial organizations.
     NOTE:  Liberty is a code name for this formative initiative. The charter
 members expect to finalize an alliance agreement regarding organization and
 joint development of intellectual property within the next 60 days.
     Company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective
     Liberty Charter Member Quote Sheet
     Apache Software Foundation
     "Freedom of information on the World Wide Web depends on the freedom of
 individuals to choose the means and mechanisms through which they supply or
 access that information," said Roy T. Fielding, chairman of the
 Apache Software Foundation and co-author of the Internet standards for URI and
 HTTP. "The Apache Software Foundation's goal is to ensure that the critical
 infrastructure of the World Wide Web remains open and available to any
 software developer. We are pleased to help form the Liberty Alliance, since
 open access to the methods and protocols for user authentication will be
 essential for future large-scale e-commerce and subscription-based Internet
 services," said Roy T. Fielding, Chairman, The Apache Software Foundation.
     PR Contact:  Roy Fielding at 949-609-4747 or
     Bell Canada Enterprises
     "Our goal is to ensure that customers have absolute confidence in the
 security and privacy of their personal information which flows across
 communications networks," said Michael Sabia, president of Bell Canada
 Enterprises Inc (BCE). "As a member of the alliance, BCE will participate in
 an international effort to establish a global standard for accessing
 communications systems through a single sign-on solution. We see it as a key
 enabler of BCE's convergence strategy that will allow customers to easily
 access any type of information, in any format, from any device."
     PR Contact:  Don Doucette at 514-786-3924 or
     "For distributed authentication to work, a truly distributed architecture
 is needed, and that's not possible without community-developed standards and
 software," said Brian Behlendorf, CTO and co-founder of CollabNet, and
 president of the Apache Software Foundation. "We're very happy to see this
 particular group of companies and organizations recognize the need for a
 genuinely open solution, and look forward to participating in the
 Liberty Alliance Project."
     PR Contact:  Jacki DeCoster at 650-228-2537 or 800-408-5915 or
     Dun & Bradstreet
     "Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) is participating in the Liberty Alliance Project
 because we believe information standards such as the D&B D-U-N-S Number will
 enable the growth of eCommerce and feed the adoption of Web services. In order
 to make eCommerce work, there is a need to adopt common practices and open
 standards for network identity. D&B is a key enabler of eCommerce, and we look
 forward to contributing and helping to build the universal information
 standards and protocols which will facilitate safe and trusted eCommerce,"
 says Larry Kutscher, president, D&B B2B eCommerce.
     PR Contact:  Tara Lynch at 908-665-5639 or
     Entrust, Inc.
     "Our participation in the Liberty Alliance is important to help strengthen
 enhanced Internet security for government, commerce and industry as more and
 more high-valued transactions are being conducted over the Internet," said
 Mark Davis, chief marketing officer, Entrust, Inc., a leading global provider
 of enhanced Internet security services and solutions. "Maintaining privacy and
 security over these transactions is critical for our customers, which include
 government agencies, financial institutions, healthcare organizations and
 many, many others."
     PR Contact:  Carrie Bendzsa at 613-270-3455 or
     "Gemplus is delighted to be affiliated with the world class organizations
 that constitute the Liberty Alliance," stated Dr. Mel Slater, senior vice
 president of Gemplus. "With years of experience in delivering smart card-based
 authentication and identity solutions to the global marketplace and production
 capacity of over half a billion smart cards per year, Gemplus is poised to
 deliver a unique perspective to the Liberty Alliance. Smart cards, already in
 use by millions of people around the world, enable users to securely identify
 and authenticate themselves on the Internet through many devices, including
 home PCs, cell phones and point-of-sale terminals. The interactive environment
 that is being addressed by the Liberty Alliance represents a momentous step
 for the industry, empowering smart card users to enjoy greater liberties than
 ever before."
     PR Contact:  Kerry Butler at 215-390-2840 or
     Global Crossing
     "Joining this historic alliance gives us the opportunity to participate in
 the redefinition of how online identities will be established, managed and
 optimized in the future," said David Walsh, President, Global Crossing.
 "Particularly as Global Crossing continues to build out not just network
 services but enable entire communities of interest, the development of common
 protocols for managing the people and information within those communities is
 extremely powerful. Beyond industry extranets, we also see tremendous
 opportunities to inter-connect industries, which is only possible when common
 standards like IP and now network identity solutions like this are made
     PR Contact:  Karen Hilyard at 212-620-7100
     General Motors
     "The objectives of the Liberty Alliance Project are in line with
 General Motors' pursuit to leverage the most effective technology solutions
 offered for the digital economy," states Ralph Szygenda, GM Group Vice
 President, Chief Information Officer. "Secure information management and
 interoperability across the Internet landscape are vital issues to GM as we
 use digital technologies to expand our strategic options and reinvent
 relationships with our customers, employees, and business partners. It's a
 progressive, innovative alliance that makes sense for GM."
     PR Contact:  Eric Apodaca at 313-667-4861 or
     Liberate Technologies
     "As Internet enabled transactions and commerce are a core component of
 Liberate's software for interactive television, security and simplicity for
 consumers are of paramount importance to Liberate," said David Limp,
 Chief Strategy Officer, Liberate Technologies. "We are happy to be a charter
 member of the Liberty Alliance Project, and applaud this broad organization's
 leadership in driving a safe, standardized and streamlined means for consumers
 and businesses to make their own choices concerning network identity."
     PR Contact:  Tom Neumayr at 650-701-4065 or
     "The way in which people communicate with each other is rapidly changing.
 The various elements of our lives are coming together through mobile
 communications.  Personalization, location specific services and time
 sensitivity are becoming increasingly important as individuals are building
 their own mobile worlds.  In this world the mobile phone has evolved into a
 centerpiece of personal life management, enabling complete personal
 connectivity between people, services, devices, applications, organizations
 and locations.  Therefore, it is crucial to deliver open industry
 specifications for all relevant technologies, including management of online
 identities," says Pekka Ala-Pietila, President, Nokia.  "We can enable a new
 generation of secure and flexible mobile Internet services through initiatives
 such as the 'Liberty Alliance.'"
     PR Contact:  Jyrki Rosenberg at +358-9-5116-2865 or
     NTT DoCoMo
     "The number I-mode subscribers has already passed 27 million.  We are now
 becoming one of the biggest ISPs in the world," says Takeshi Natsuno, Managing
 Director of NTT DoCoMo.  "I think that we can generate new value to our
 customers by combining the strategies in the Liberty alliance and our
     O'Reilly & Associates
     "It's recently become clear that the software for managing user identity
 and authentication is one of the key building blocks of the emerging internet
 operating system. It's so fundamental that a widespread consensus has emerged
 that this is a technology that shouldn't be owned or controlled by any one
 player. Instead, we need an open, distributed system with implementations
 available from multiple technology providers and identities issued by many
 parties operating in a web of trust. Project Liberty is an important step in
 that direction. I'm hopeful that it will provide a forum for interoperability
 between the proposed identity schemes available from individual software or
 service vendors."
     PR Contact:  Lisa Mann at 707-829-0515, ext. 230 or
     RSA Security
     "We are committed to the ideals of the Liberty Alliance, and looking
 forward to working with our new partners to create the standards, processes
 and products required for an open, federated solution for online identity,"
 said Art Coviello, CEO and president of RSA Security. "As a leader in
 e-security, we believe we can offer the Liberty Alliance valuable expertise
 in the areas of user authentication, access rights management, data privacy
 and transaction integrity."
     PR Contact:  Timothy Powers at 781-301-5344 or
     "Sabre has played a leading role in making e-commerce an integral part of
 the travel industry, through Sabre businesses such as GetThere, Travelocity
 and Sabre Virtually There.  Participating in the Liberty Alliance Project is
 one way Sabre is working to transform the business of travel and maintain the
 level of trust our customers have placed in us," said Craig Murphy,
 Chief Technology Officer of Sabre.
     PR Contact:  Kathryn Hayden at 817-963-8086 or
     Sun Microsystems, Inc.
     "Interoperability requires cooperation and collaboration, something Sun
 understands and endorses in the evolution of its systems and software
 platform," said Scott McNealy, Chairman and CEO, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
 "Identity is a common thread throughout all network services -- the
 Liberty Alliance Project will leverage and cooperate with existing open, and
 interoperable standards that will unleash an internet that roams with you and
 your customers, wherever they and your business partners take you. We stand
 proudly alongside such formidable industry partners in the pursuit of that
     PR Contact:  May H. Goh at 408-517-5520 or
     "Vodafone is a supporter of open standards because they drive customer
 choice and competition.  We look forward to working with the Liberty Alliance
 members to develop an open approach to network identity," said Alan Harper,
 Vodafone Group Strategy Director.
     PR Contact:  Jon Earl at +44-1635-673310 or
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SOURCE Sun Microsystems, Inc.