[cabfpub] Ballot 203: Formation of Network Security Working Group

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Mon Jun 5 17:13:18 UTC 2017

Hi Ryan,

On 05/06/17 15:14, Ryan Sleevi wrote:
> That seems a sort of broadly worded expiration, and one that would be
> hard to measure.

Which half is hard to measure? The deliverables are fairly concrete, and
after they come up with a couple of proposals which don't reach
consensus, it should end up being fairly clear to all whether or not
there's no obvious way forward. (Although I suspect this scenario to be

> For example, if a single ratification fails, is the WG expired? 

Not unless there are no other plausible candidates for a proposal.

> If the
> WG never tries to ratify a proposal, does the WG expire? 

If that happens (and they also can't agree that a proposal is
impossible), we might ask them what on earth they are doing :-)

> If the WG makes
> a single proposal - while others are still being worked on - does the WG
> expire?

I wouldn't expect the WG to make a proposal if others are being
prepared; they are being asked for one report.

I recognise and appreciate the "jackass genie" approach to checking
whether wording is sane, but I really don't think we can write text to
cover all possible weird eventualities in one charter.

> Looking at the bylaws, Section 5.3 makes it clear that there's a
> "Working Group expiration _date_" (emphasis added). From the past
> discussions regarding the scope and nature of WGs - including the F2F
> discussion in Raleigh - and borrowing from other SDOs, perhaps it would
> be more fruitful and worthwhile to set an explicit date, one year out.

I've been involved in IETF groups such as DBOUND; they seemed to shut
themselves down when it was clear that no progress was going to be made,
rather than on a date basis. I agree the Bylaws say "expiration date",
but do any of our existing WGs have an expiration date? That's not
necessarily a reason not to have one, but it shows the sky doesn't
necessarily fall if we have expiration conditions rather than a date.

Given the short time available and the value of having the WG
constituted by the F2F, I propose this: we'll talk about WG rules at the
F2F and if there is support for expiration dates rather than conditions,
I'll put forward a ballot adding dates to all existing WGs. If there is
instead support for conditions, I'll put forward a ballot amending the
Bylaws to match practice.

> Are there any limitations to the WG? For example, will the WG only
> consider updates to the Network Security Controls? Is it considering
> updates to all documents? 

I think the statement is pretty clear that the group's charter is to
consider the future of the NSGs, not any other document.

> Is it trying to provide the documents
> themselves, or is it simply trying to make proposals for them?

It is proposing a plan (or plans) to move forward, for the consideration
of the membership. It's not necessarily trying to provide "the documents
themselves" - their recommended plan may not involve a document :-) Of
course if it does, and they've prepared a draft, I'm sure the membership
will be grateful for the input.


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