[cabfpub] Ballot 170 - Amend Section 5.1 of Baseline Requirements

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Wed Jun 15 15:41:13 UTC 2016

On 10/06/16 15:52, Ben Wilson wrote:
> Obviously it's not 2), as this Working Group has demonstrated with its prior 
> work, namely Ballot 160, in which we bypassed dozens of sections (4.2.3, 
> 4.3.2, 4.4.1, 4.4.2, 4.4.3, 4.5.2, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.6.3, 4.6.4, 4.6.5, 4.6.6, 
> 4.6.7., 4.7.1, 4.7.2, 4.7.3, 4.7.4, 4.7.5, 4.7.6, 4.7.7, 4.8.1, 4.8.2, 4.8.3, 
> 4.8.4, 4.8.5, 4.8.6, 4.8.7, 4.9.4, 4.9.6, 4.9.8, 4.9.14, 4.9.15, 4.9.16, 
> 4.10.3, 4.11, 4.12.1, and 4.12.2).

Well, just because you left them blank in one ballot doesn't mean the
ultimate plan is not to fill them in. But thank you for confirming this
is not the goal.

> Taking 1), and the sole purpose of this ballot, which is the physical security 
> of CAs, the premise is that  physical security is an important aspect of CA 
> trustworthiness.

Yes, it is. However, I think it's worth having a discussion about the
goal of the BRs because my statement 1):

"1) Make the BRs a comprehensive list of all the things a CA must do in
order to provide a secure and trustworthy service"

is, I think, _not_ the right goal for the BRs.

There are a million and one things a CA must do in order to provide a
secure and trustworthy service - hiring trustworthy people, physical
security, electronic security, backups and disaster recovery, etc. etc.
etc. I'm not sure it's either possible or wise to list them all. The
full title of the BRs is:

"Baseline Requirements Certificate Policy for the Issuance and
Management of Publicly-Trusted Certificates"

The further we get from stipulations about the issuance and management
of certificates, the further we get from the core areas of expertise of
the people who are involved in this forum, and the greater the
likelihood that we will stipulate things which are either wrong now, or
are wrong in two years and we don't notice.

So I'd say that just because a CA should do _something_ doesn't mean it
should be mandated that they do it in the BRs. Perhaps others in the
group disagree, so I would welcome a debate on this. It would be good to
have because otherwise the more maximalists among us are going to spend
time preparing ballots that the more minimalists among us might vote
against, which will lead to frustration all round. It would be good if
we could get on the same page here.


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