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NIST Seeks Input on Steering Group for NSTIC

The National Institute for Standards in Technology (NIST) has issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on “Models for a Governance Structure for the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC)”.  The NOI seeks comments on the structure and processes for Identity Ecosystem governance.   Responses will be used to inform a report that the Department is expected to write by the end of the summer where it will summarize recommendations for establishing the NSTIC Steering Group.  The NOI is also the subject of a Governance Workshop being held this week in Washington, D.C.

The National Strategy describes the Identity Ecosystem as “an online environment where individuals and organizations will be able to trust each other because they follow agreed upon standards to obtain and authenticate their digital identities and the digital identities of devices.”  The NOI explains that the Identity Ecosystem Framework is “the overarching set of interoperability standards, risk models, privacy and liability policies, requirements, and accountability mechanisms that govern the Identity Ecosystem.”    

The Steering Group, expected to be in place by the end of 2011, is considered an essential component of achieving successful implementation of NSTIC, according to Jeremy Grant, Executive Advisor for Identity Management, National Institute of Standards and Technology and leader of the NSTIC initiative.  According to the NOI, “a persistent and sustainable private sector-led steering group will maintain the rules of participating in the Identity Ecosystem, develop and establish accountability measures to promote broad adherence to these rules, and foster the evolution of the Identity Ecosystem to match the evolution of cyberspace itself.”

The NOI seeks comments on a series of questions in four specific areas:

  • Structure of the Steering Group
  • Steering Group Initiation
  • Representation of Stakeholders in the Steering Group
  • International Engagement


EDUCAUSE, Internet2, and InCommon representatives were in attendance at the NSTIC Governance Workshop attended by 300 attendees from both the public and private sector.  The Workshop featured a keynote address by Howard Schmidt, Cybersecurity Coordinator in the Executive Office of the President, and two panel discussions designed to set the context for breakout sessions that explored possible approaches to each of the governance topics addressed in the NOI.

Comments to the NOI are due by July 22, 2011.