Washington, DC- The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) provides its enthusiastic support for the formation of the “Liberty Alliance Project,” a new business alliance to form an open, federated, interoperable system for online identity protection and verification. CCIA has a long history of supporting open platforms developed by communities and strives for open systems, open markets and free, fair and open competition.

The Liberty Alliance Project (www.projectliberty.org) is an example of companies working in tandem to create open standards rather than the alternative of closed, proprietary systems controlled by one company. Open, secure standards harness the power of the Internet by allowing all members of the global community to participate, whether they are computer manufacturers, credit card companies, banks or retailers.

“Clearly, in order to realize fully the promise of the Internet and electronic commerce, it is essential that the industry establish a means of verifying identity and important information about users in the networked environment,” said Ed Black, President and CEO of CCIA. “The Liberty Alliance ensures that control of this information rests solely — and directly — with the individual and with organizations with which they do business,” Black continued. “This undertaking has the added benefit of decentralizing the collection of this information while insuring that various authentication mechanisms will interoperate with each other. In contrast to a centralized, proprietary identity system, the Liberty approach will insure ease of use to the consumer as well as providing added security and privacy protection.”

“We are excited about the formation of this new alliance,” said Black, “and we will do whatever we can to ensure that such pro-competitive efforts succeed in providing a safe, secure environment for online commerce, business, medicine and education.”