Liberty Alliance names first director, new members

Project wants to push its work into new corporate areas such as digital rights management.

The Liberty Alliance Project signalled that it expects to have longevity when it comes to developing and promoting federated identity standards by naming its first executive director on Monday.

Silicon Valley IT consultant Donal O'Shea was formally announced as the consortium's new head at a meeting in Tokyo, where the group also announced seven new members. O'Shea, who has held positions at IBM Corp. and the Open Software Foundation, is charged with communicating the group's mission, increasing end-user participation and broadening membership, Liberty said.

Perhaps more importantly, his appointment is aimed at having one person focused on developing the group's plans, whereas in the past work has been led by executives from some of the alliance's more than 150 member companies, who have separate responsibilities and goals.

Liberty Alliance was established in 2001 as a global consortium aimed at developing and promoting standards for managing user identities on networks. While much attention has been paid to the group's specifications for Web services, Liberty wants to push its work into new areas of corporate use, such as digital rights management.

As it seeks to widen its appeal it has been lining up industry support from companies such as Intel Corp. and Oracle Corp., who have recently become members.

In addition to naming O'Shea as director on Monday, the group named seven new members: Adobe Systems Inc., Telewest Broadband, security software company Senforce Technologies Inc., identity management companies OpenNetwork Technologies and M-Tech Information Technology Inc., French application security company Deny All and Danish research institute DAI-Labor.

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