RA21: A new effort to ease the user experience for off-campus access to licensed content

Earlier this year the STM Association — a trade association for academic and professional publishers — started a project called RA21: Resource Access in the 21st Century. The project is a renewed approach to moving past network address recognition and proxy agents as a way of authenticating access to licensed content. I describe the RA21 effort in general on the Index Data blog and listed some of the potential impacts on the FOLIO project.

Note to Future Self: Use `ssh -D` to bypass annoying interception proxies

Dear future self,

If you are reading this, you are remembering a time when you ran into a really nasty interception proxy1 and you are looking for a way around it. Do you remember when you were sitting in the Denver International Airport using their free wireless service? And remember how it inserted advertising banners in HTML frames at the top of random web pages as you surfed?

Authentication and Access in a Metasearch Environment

Mike Teets of OCLC and I teamed up to write an article on Metasearch Authentication and Access Management for this month’s D-Lib Magazine. The first part of the article is a bit of a primer on access management techniques followed by a survey and analysis of access management schemes in use last year. The key part, I think, is the “Recommendations” (access restrictions by IP address plus authenticated proxy servers is the best one can hope for right now) and “Next Steps” (Shibboleth is superior to other access control mechanisms beyond IP/proxy that one might consider, but there is lots of work to be done).