Dear MIT Kerberos & Internet Trust (KIT) Consortium Members,

We are writing today to provide an update on the status of the MIT KIT Consortium and to announce plans and paths forward for future activities.

Since its founding in 2007, the consortium has enjoyed great success, establishing Kerberos as one of the Internet's standard security protocols and enhancing the MIT Kerberos reference implementation with thousands of improvements. With the ensuing scope expansion and associated rebranding as the MIT Kerberos and Internet Trust Consortium (KIT), the consortium has likewise seen success researching and championing new digital identity standards.

As these dual-streams of work have progressed, it has become clear that there is a need for changing how we organize our work around these two activities to provide greater focus on both the long-term maintenance of the widely used MIT Kerberos implementation and the exploration of up-and-coming research activities in the area of digital identity. To that end, we are pleased to announce the following updates:

  • Going forward, MIT will operate MIT Kerberos development and maintenance as an Institute-funded open source project and will no longer seek external funding for these activities.  MIT will continue to publish releases of the MIT Kerberos distribution on a yearly basis, with discussion and contributions welcome via the and mailing lists.

  • Research related to Internet Trust protocols and development will occur under the auspices of MIT's recently established Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS).  IDSS will continue to seek sponsors looking to partner with MIT on developing frameworks and systems that address current challenges in Internet privacy and security, working closely with MIT faculty and students performing cutting-edge research in these areas.

Correspondingly, the MIT KIT name will be retired.  Kerberos development activity will occur via the project, and the work of developing new frameworks and systems that address current challenges in Internet privacy and security will be coordinated via the soon-to-be-launched MIT Internet Trust Consortium (, in IDSS.

It is our hope that these changes will allow MIT's and the world's investment in Kerberos to continue to flourish in the future, while simultaneously paving the way for MIT and its industry partners to continue to lead the way in tackling new challenges in the areas of Internet privacy and security.

John Charles
Vice President, MIT Information Systems & Technology

Alex P. Pentland
Toshiba Professor, MIT