Sun demonstrates interoperability with Belgian eID card system

Source: Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced it has successfully demonstrated to the Belgian Federal Government ICT (FEDICT) the integration/interoperability of the Belgian Electronic Identity (eID) cards with multiple Sun products.

Based on Java Card technology, the eID cards provide Belgian citizens with identification, strong authentication and signature capabilities.

Belgium's eID initiative is helping to improve government efficiency, reduce paperwork and make interactions with Belgian citizens quicker and more secure. Currently, more than 1 million Belgians have eID cards and additional cards are being issued at a rate of 150,000 cards per month. The Belgian government estimates that by the end of 2009, 8,2 million citizens age 12 years and older will have eID cards, based on Java Card technology, allowing them to access enhanced government and enterprise services.

Belgian citizens can already use the new eID card for identification, authentication and authorization for many public facing services, including: secure online tax form declaration, official document requests (marital status, birth certificate, etc.), electronic submission of court case conclusions, as well as access to the public library, swimming pool and other community services.

The eID card infrastructure can also be used by enterprises to secure their electronic applications and services. Technology vendors are teaming with Belgian companies to develop applications using the eID infrastructure to provide additional services like more secure online ticket purchases, online opening of e-commerce accounts and as a qualified signature for contract signing.

Sun has demonstrated the integration/interoperability of the Belgian eID card with the Solaris 10 Operating System, Sun Ray ultra-thin client and the Sun identity management platform. The integration with the Sun Ray ultra-thin client provides desktop mobility using the eID card and complements the Sun Secure Network Access Platform solution.

Peter Van Van Velthoven, Secretary of State for Information of the State in Belgium welcomes Sun Microsystems' initiative to provide eID Card integration through Sun identity management technologies. P. Van Velthoven explains, "By demonstrating the eID integration with the Sun identity management platform, Sun is contributing to secure web applications and services used by the citizens."

The integration with Sun Java System Access Manager, a key component of the Sun identity management platform, will provide a solution to help companies secure their web applications by offering strong access controls for eID card users. Sun Java System Access Manager provides certificate based strong authentication with the eID card for accessing web applications and real-time validation of the citizen certificate within the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) of the Belgian government.

"Belgium is considered the most advanced deployment of eID cards, based on Java Card technology, by a single government entity in Europe. Sun sees the Belgian eID project as key enabler for the deployment of identity management solutions for the government and for enterprises. Several European countries are closely monitoring what is happening with the Belgian card (UK, Spain, France, Portugal). We are sure that the deployment of the eID card and the implementation of the PKI by the Belgian government will gain additional recognition for Belgium as a country that is pioneering secure access to critical information for its citizens," said Luc Opdebeeck, Managing Director, Sun Microsystems Belux.

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