[cabfpub] Peter's ballot process proposal

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Sat Nov 19 03:56:24 UTC 2016

On Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 9:33 AM, Kirk Hall <Kirk.Hall at entrustdatacard.com>

> I don't recall anyone saying the process we are following for Ballots
> 180-182 is improper or violates our IPR Policy and/or Bylaws -- only that
> there are other possible interpretations and processes that some would
> prefer to follow for ballots in the future.  And I know there are a number
> of members who strongly believe the process we are following for Ballots
> 180-182 is the only process allowed under our IPR Process and Bylaws.

I know a number of members have expressed concern, Kirk, regarding how
Ballots 180 - 182 are being conducted, in a way that violates how every
past Ballot the Forum has conducted. Now, I'm well aware that you and
Virginia feel otherwise, but I don't believe we've seen heard much from
other members to express support for that.

In either event, it seems we are very much in agreement that members view
about what the Bylaws require, for a properly conducted Ballot, and the
relationship and trigger of the IPR policy, differ.  Despite this, there's
been no expression of disagreement that the publication of an FG/FMG
requires the combination of Ballot and IPR review. In that, we've heard
universal agreement.

You have heard, repeatedly, objections to your (as both Ballot sponsor and
as Chair of the Forum) unilateral change of process followed by the Forum
in the 4 years since we adopted the IPR policy, given the ample
disagreement that exists.

You heard requests from several members that, prior to unilaterally
changing the workmode of a Forum to one that introduces significant risk to
members, you poll the Forum for consensus on the appropriateness of
continuing forward, and the manner in which to proceed. In the F2F, you
indicated you were open to conducting a strawpoll towards that - and yet,
despite that committment, you failed to do so, and continued forward with
your interpretation about the relationship between the two necessary
actions for a FG.

This is of significant concern to some members - that the Forum's
activities are not guided by a common understanding of a shared set of
principles and agreements as reflected in our Bylaws, but instead
unilaterally by the Chair's shifting interpretations and justifications of
what they believe the Bylaws to require.

I appreciate your desire to help the Forum move forward, and despite this
very strong criticism of your specific role in this issue, I too share that
goal to enable the Forum to move forward. However, the risk is that
well-accepted and expected norms can be easily disregarded is quite
troubling. Further, it is troubling that, in the past, when such
disagreements have arisen, Chairs such as Ben and Dean sought to bring
understanding and consensus through Forum-wide Ballots, but that you have
failed to, you have rejected taking responsibility as Chair to do so, and
that you even failed to conduct the strawpoll as you stated you would.

I want to call this out explicitly, because it seems you may not have fully
captured the criticism with this current process, raised during the F2F and
on subsequent calls whose minutes have yet to be approved.

> If we pause or restart Ballots 180-182, we push out the date when we have
> what can be said to be (with some confidence) properly-adopted Final
> Guidelines.  Until we have properly-adopted Final Guidelines, it will be
> hard if not impossible to proceed with new ballots for Maintenance
> Guidelines that amend the Final Guidelines.

Indeed. Yet at the same time, this entire mess arose precisely because of
misunderstandings regarding our Bylaws and IPR policy, and the Chair's
failure to follow established process. I don't mean this to disparage Dean
in any way, other than to highlight the remarkable similarity between the
path you are intentionally taking here and the one he unintentionally
engaged in.

> I suppose if a member feels strongly that Ballots 180-182 violate our IPR
> Policy and Bylaws, the best course is to vote no in January.  I don't think
> anyone is trying to prevent further discussion of this issue, but I'm not
> sure we will benefit much from repeating the same points over and over.  I
> would also ask that any member who thinks Ballots 180-182 violate our IPR
> Policy and/or Bylaws to double check with their IP attorneys to make
> certain they agree with that conclusion.

As has been pointed out to you, repeatedly, this line of thinking is quite
problematic for the Forum going forward, and shows a callous disregard to
the concerns being raised. This seems to go beyond not understanding the
concerns, and elevated to the nature of not caring about members' concerns.
As a member, this might be acceptable, however undesirable - but as Chair,
this is quite problematic, and sets a course which does not help bring the
Forum together and back to a productive, meaningful discourse on how we can
all work together to provide a more secure Internet.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.cabforum.org/pipermail/public/attachments/20161118/cf3ead78/attachment-0003.html>

More information about the Public mailing list