[liberty-dev] Identity Federation

To <liberty-dev@dual.org>
From <dgc03052@adei.net>
Date Tue, 20 Jul 2004 15:38:02 -0400
Reply-to liberty-dev@dual.org
Sender liberty-dev-owner@dual.org

From: Martin Kellermann [martin@netlab.uvic.ca] 
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2004 9:10 PM

Hi folks, 

Currently I am dealing with the Liberty ID-FF version 1.2 and met a problem I 
could not resolve yet. I went through the Liberty specification again and 
again but so far I could not resolve my problem. 

According to “Liberty ID-FF Bindings and Profiles Specifications” (p. 18 –  
3.2 Single Sign-On and Federation Profiles)  a Liberty IdP may initiate the 
Single Sign-On and Federation Profile by unilaterally creating a 
<lib:AuthnResponse> or artifact. In this case the identity provider generates 
an authentication response that must be generated as if the identity provider 
has received an authentication request with certain minimal content. [See 
Liberty ID-FF Protocols and Schema Specification p.20 – Processing 

Included in this minimal content is “any”  as value for the attribute 

In Liberty ID-FF Protocols and Schema Specification (p. 20 – 
Processing Rules) is defined how to proceed in this case. 

If <NameIDPolicy> is any, then the rules above for the values of federated 
and onetime MUST be followed, in that order. Thus, a new federation may be 
created, an existing federation used, or a temporary identifier generated. 

The rule for federated: 

If <NameIDPolicy>is federated, and if the Principal consents, then the 
identity provider MAY federate the Principal’s identity with the requestinf 
provider (or the affiliation group of <AffiliationID> is present). If the 
identity provider already has a previous federation on record for the 
Principal’s identity at the requesting provider or affiliation group (such as 
when a provider previously issued a <FederationTerminationNotification> which 
was not received by the identity provider), then the identity provider SHOULD 
treat the request as if <NameIDPolicy> were none.

Now imagine the following case. 

A principal is visiting his identity provider’s website. After authentication 
the user is provided with a choice of links which point to the other members 
of the same Liberty circle of trust. The user chooses to click on a link that 
is pointing to a service provider where the user has another local identity. 
Both identities are not federated. 

Every time a user clicks on one of these links the identity provider 
initiates a Single Sign-On and Federation profile with the requested service 
provider. It asks the user to allow identity federation and in our case the 
user might give his/her consent. 

The created Liberty authentication response is created following the rules 
mentioned above. 

Because there is no previous federation the identity provider federates the 
user’s local identity with the service provider. The response is constructed 
as described in Liberty ID-FF Protocols and Schema (p. 14 – 3.2.2 Response). 

… the Format attribute MUST be urn:liberty:iff:nameid:federated.

Together with this authentication response the user is directed to the 
service provider. The usually the service provider would authenticate the 
user and ask him/her for the consent to federate identities. 

My question is what happens if the service provider cannot federate 
identities on its side. Either because the user does not have a valid 
identity at the service provider or the user denies consents. 

The identity provider assumes an identity federation and the service provider 
not. Does the service provider merely ignore the identity federation on the 
identity provider’s side or is there a way to inform the identity provider of 
the failed identity federation attempt. 

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Partial thread listing:

[liberty-dev] Identity Federation
Possible follow-ups
 dgc03052 (07/20/2004)
 dgc03052 (07/20/2004)
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