* Colin Farrow <[log in to unmask]> [2010-08-31 13:03]:
> It seems to me that such SPs need to wake up to the 21 century and
> the fact that we now live in a global village. Many institutions
> have overseas students who may return home during vacations to see
> family, where federated access allows them to seemlessly continue
> with any coursework. There are also overseas campuses where students
> engage in courses run from the UK but may never set foot here. As
> registered students they should surely be allowed access regardless
> of whether they are in Dundee or Dar es Salam.
I certainly agree with all of that. But let me add one case, where
overseas access would not seem to pose a problem, but off-campus
access within the same city (or jurisdiction) might.
Two SPs we are talking to (offering access to jurisprudence, legal
papers, laws & comments, etc.) allow access to students only from the
campus network, explicitly excluding access via VPN and proxies in
their licenses (ignoring the cases where they can't even detect this
technically, for at least semi clued-in users). Faculty/staff can
access the site from anywhere.
IdPs will in this case supply (scoped) affiliations and they will
still perform IP-based autorisation, depending on affiliation.
[As an aside: I played with the idea of transferring the list of
"allowed" IP-ranges as another SAML attribute, together with the
affiliation, thereby removing the need to communicate updated ranges
to the SP out-of-band, waiting for the SP to implement them, etc.
Though I somehow doubt they'd accept such a dynamic setup.]
Anyway, the argument presented was that some/several/many (?) law
firms would routinely (and rather cheaply) employ students for the
sole purpose of gaining access to those e-resources, instead of
properly purchaseing commercial licenses for their law firm.
That is not an entirely absurd business case, IMHO.
But discussion quickly turned that way, when they continued to argue
about the percentage of law firms' offices being located within
walking distance of university libraries -- obviously (at least for
the person representing one of the SPs) this, again, was for the sole
purpose of getting free access to the universities resources (or
rather cheaply; I guess they would still have to pay students to run
back and forth, carrying all those heavy legal books).
Never mind those resources being open to the general public (walk-in
patrons) in almost all cases...