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Background for this Office Hours call:


CTAB Members on this call

  • David Bantz, University of Alaska, CTAB Chair
  • Rachana Ananthakrishnan, Globus, University of Chicago 
  • Pål Axelsson, SUNET
  • Tom Barton, U Chicago, Internet2
  • Brett Bieber, University of Nebraska
  • Richard Frovarp, North Dakota State University
  • Jon Miner, University of Wisconsin, Madison, CTAB
  • Chris Whalen, Research Data and Communication Technologies 
  • Jule Ziegler,  Leibniz Supercomputing Centre
  • Eric Goodman, UCOP - TAC Representative to CTAB 


  • Jeffrey Crawford, UCLA
  • Mark Boyce, UCOP
  • Jason Michelle 
  • Timothy Johnson, A.T. Still University   
  • Andrew Morgan, Oregon State University
  • Ahsen Baig, College Squares
  • Anne Marie Alexander, Emory
  • Michael Barrilleaux, LSU Health New Orleans
  • Alan Buxey, MyUniDays, Co-Chair of REFEDs Baseline Working Group
  • Jordan Dolese
  • Jon Sobel, Yale University
  • Judith Bush, OCLC, international Library Consortium, Co-Chair of Federation 2.0 Working Group
  • Tommy Doan, SMU
  • Alan Bowen, Franklin & Marshall College
  • Warren Leung, UC Irvine


  • Kevin Morooney
  • Albert Wu
  • Ann West
  • Nick Lewis
  • Jessica Fink
  • Emily Eisbruch


Welcome  and Introductions

Overview of Baseline Expectations (Albert)

  •  InCommon introduced and implemented Baseline Expectations V1 (BE V1) in 2019
  • currently 100% adherence
  • BE V1 focused on interoperability and contact info

  • Now starting consensus for next iteration, which is BE V2. 
  • BE V2 focuses on security of federation

Three additional statements are being proposed to BE V2:

See the be2-faq

In addition, two other elements were discussed, but not included in BE V2 due to implementation considerations:

  • require support for REFEDS MFA
  • require all InCommon IDPs to support R&S   


Andrew Morgan:

  • Interested if there will be a requirement to achieve a certain level of TLS for all participants
  • TLS V 1.2 for example

D Bantz and Brett:

  • CTAB talked about requiring a certain grade, doing testing using a tool such as Qualys 
  • Interested in feedback on this
  • what is required for a grade of A can change from time to time
  • so CTAB tried to describe things at a high level
  • we need to have reasonable expectations for the community, look at risks

Andrew Morgan: using a tool like Qualys makes sense

Mark Boyce:

  • Issue of what browsers are doing around TLS support
  • Can’t eliminate support for people because of their browsers, but can't leave gaping holes

Judith Bush:

  •  Several years ago, OCLC found some libraries were working with older browsers and this caused issues. 


Jeffrey Crawford:

  • question about scope for the BE
  • For example, running IDP Proxy for health system
  • Do we need to check what we are proxying?


  • Great question, we need to think about this in terms of raising level for our own infrastructure.
  • BE helps define relations with entities we are working with
  • Create standards for all integrations

Jon Miner:

Mark Boyce:

  • if proxying, you can make requirement on back end part of the price of admission.

Other comments

  • Wouldn’t the statement that “we are secure” apply to end to end transport? 
  •  InCommon will strive to provide guidance behind the baseline expectations


Alan Buxey:

  • Many installations terminate the TLS on the front end 
  • the Shibboleth instance is just on HTTP behind the front load balancers.
  • Would this affect such architecture?


  • Reason we ask for SP encryption of endpoints, in SAML assertions, user info is being posted to an SP doing sign in 
  • In theory SAML has mechanism for encrypting the message
  • Problem: a lot of SPs lack the support for the SAML message encryption
  • So we want to guard against the transit issue
  • Once the message lands at the endpoint we have less concern

Tom Barton:

  • We aim to improve trust and interoperability and user experience in the use  of federation
  • Less concerned about the internals of the IDP and SP
  • Concerned about the interfaces, Focus on the federated part of the process


Concerns about the SIRTFI self assertion requirement? 

Andrew Morgan

  • Oregon State asserted this, with IAM being the point of contact if there are issues
  • Found it to be a low barrier
  • Need to update process for a compromised account remediation
    • Do we need to consider what federation SPs they might have accessed.
    • Not too hard, since mandatory MFA is in place

Alan Buxey: suggestion to do tabletop exercises around SIRTFI

Brett B:

  • Table top exercise is helpful
  • Testing the capacity to do tracing, do we have end users IP
  • Might be helpful for CTAB to suggest tabletop exercise
  • Every institution will need to check the box for SIRTFI, does this mean they have done a table top exercise?
  • It’s a new world and interacting w federation around security incidents. Understanding the tentacles

Kevin Morooney: supports suggestion for SIRTFI tabletop exercise. Might do a table top exercise it in real time, with a moderator


Enhanced Error URL handling

  • First phase, having an error URL is a good starting point
  • User experience exercise can you give guidance
  • Should BEV2 require adherence to the suggestions from the REFEDs Best Practice around Error Handling Working Group?
  • There is baseline and then there is having a great user experience
  • CTAB likely can point to the REFEDs guidelines but won’t require that high level


  • if an IDP can implement what is being recommended by the Best Practice Around Error Handling working group, that is great
  • Follow guidance about when an SP should report back  to the IDP .
  • InCommon can recommended a process even if it's not required by Baseline Expectations


  • Andrew M: Regarding require all InCommon IDPs to support R&S, there is an R&S v2 coming.  
  • David B: yes this is one reason we are not including R&S in BE2


Timeline: for implementing BEv2  

Recap of adoption process (Albert) 

  • See Processes to Maintain Baseline Expectations by InCommon and its Members for details:

  • We are now in consensus process period
  • For review of rough draft:   be2-faq
  • Then CTAB firms up the statements and will create official proposal for BE v2
  • Move to consultation
  • Federation adopts BEv2
  • Start an adoption period
  • BE1 took a year to bring everyone into complete adherence
  • BEv2 may take less time, since we have good contact info, due to the efforts under BEV1

  • How long should BEv2 consensus process run?
  • After BE v2 is final, how long to bring community into adherence
  • How long for the implementation?
  • Figure out a reasonable timeframe, sample random federation members to ask them about the impact and timeframe

Thank you for joining, your input influences how we move forward.