The EU have commissioned some work into an authentication backbone. Apparently:
Lia Borthwick, project director of the GUIDE consortium, said: “A multidisciplinary and multicultural structure such as ours is ideal to achieve the aim of developing a citizen centric, user driven and technology enabled open architecture that best suits the needs of administrations, businesses and citizens.”
They’re not actually going to build anything as far as I can make out, but figure out the standards, protocols, data formats and whatnot. Sounds like a big project – it got 10 countries bigger just a few days ago. I don’t yet quite understand the point of it although I did see a copy of the proposal a few months ago. I ought, I suppose, to dig it out otherwise I may well miss out on something that uses every e-gov buzz word available, securely.