The news service by and for the Research and Education Networking Community in Europe
The SAML 2.0 protocol celebrates its 10th anniversary on 15th March 2015. This XML (Extensible Markup Language)-based open-standard data format enables the exchange of authentication and authorisation data between identity providers and service providers, and is at the heart of eduGAIN and of research and education identity federations worldwide.
SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) is a product of the Security Services Technical Committee of OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards). The community voted to approve the SAML 2.0 standard on 1 March 2005, and it achieved its final version two weeks later. Some 30 individuals from almost 30 companies and organisations were involved in the creation of SAML 2.0 and it has seen significant uptake across the globe.
‘Omstreden Vrijheid’ (Controversial Freedom) was published by the Wiardi Beckman Foundation on 18 February. The book brings together contributions by various authors on the theme of the dilemmas of freedom in contemporary society. One of the contributors is Erik Huizer of SURFnet, who was asked to write about the freedom paradoxes of the Internet.
During TNC15 in Porto in June, Huizer will be giving a presentation on Internet freedom and why all research and network organisations should be fighting for it.
Dr Bob Day, Executive Director Janet, and currently Chief Executive Officer of GÉANT, was awarded an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) as part of the British Queen’s New Year honours list 2015, for services to information technology.
Nordic e-infrastructure collaborators will meet 5-8 May, 2015 in Espoo, Finland.
Welcome to the NEIC 2015 conference – but please hurry to register, early bird registration finishes soon. Take advantage of the affordable early bird registration prices by registering before March 6th, 2015.
Please register here: https://ilmo.contio.fi/ffconference/main.aspx?id=151
A prototype version of the network service indexing open source projects was recently made available under the MARKOS project, together with PSNC Open Source Competence Centre. We invite you to test this service!
Please find this interesting contribution by Geoff Huston on RIPE Labs: It has been observed that the most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it, and are notable only by their absence.
Research at VU University Amsterdam and the University of Groningen into the accuracy of new virtual connections to atomic clocks has revealed that ground temperature affects fibre-optic cables, and therefore also the accuracy of signals travelling through them. A new mathematical model describes this effect. In this study, scientists used SURFnet's fibre-optic network to transmit signals from highly stable atomic clocks in Amsterdam to Groningen.
SURFsara director Anwar Osseyran signed the GÉANT environmental policy on behalf of SURF on 10 February 2015, committing SURF and the SURF operating companies to international sustainability guidelines.
GÉANT has launched a campaign aimed at getting these organisations to sign and publish an environmental policy. SURF's Green ICT and Sustainability steering group (GIDS) has joined this initiative and has fleshed out the policy document for SURF and the SURF operating companies.
The GÉANT Association’s Open Education Resource (OER) service development pilot has reached an important milestone. The pilot resulted in a working prototype metadata-aggregation hub and web portal that can provide aggregated multimedia e-learning content to the higher education and academic research communities. The pilot has been completed and the preliminary project results and deliverables are available online. OER activities will continue in the GN4 (GÉANT) Project from April.
The research and education community is set to benefit from an upgrade to a free open source software system that will help them better deliver access and identity management services.
The Shibboleth Consortium — a collaborative group of international research and education organisations — has released version three of the Shibboleth identity provider, its free open source software that enables secure web single sign-on. Institutions are able to use the software to enable learners and researchers to safely access library resources, databases and collaboration tools using only one log-in, doing away with the need to set up new accounts as they move between locations.
Developed following extensive consultation with the community, the new release offers significant functional and security enhancements, including user consent and on-demand metadata lookup. It also supports the Central Authentication Service (CAS), the internationally-recognised single sign-on protocol used by many universities and research organisations.