[cabfpub] Revised Notice of Review Period - Ballot 198 - .Onion Revisions

Ben Wilson ben.wilson at digicert.com
Tue May 16 19:44:01 UTC 2017

I think the end goal is to have a version 1.6.3 of the EV Guidelines with the language indicated in the redlined version of Appendix F that I circulated a short while ago.  So I’d prefer that we find there was no ambiguity and that Kirk start the review period over with the correct language and we call that good, but of course the cleanest route would be that Ballot 198 be declared defective because of ambiguity and a new ballot be presented for a new vote.  Fortunately this issue only affects the EV Guidelines, which doesn’t have any ballots in play, as far as I know. 


From: Ryan Sleevi [mailto:sleevi at google.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 12:39 PM
To: CA/Browser Forum Public Discussion List <public at cabforum.org>
Cc: Ben Wilson <ben.wilson at digicert.com>
Subject: Re: [cabfpub] Revised Notice of Review Period - Ballot 198 - .Onion Revisions


As Ben has highlighted, the result of 198 created a new set of issues.


Kirk's original message includes the full text of the ballot (MOTION BEGINS), which, unfortunately, used text different from what was adopted in Ballot 144 (and part of the current EVGs) when Jeremy made his modifications.


In examining 198 - https://cabforum.org/pipermail/public/2017-April/010706.html - it's clear in Jeremy's redlined versions (which, mistakenly, I reviewed as truth), the 'intent' was a small change. See https://cabforum.org/pipermail/public/attachments/20170424/80683ba2/attachment-0001.pdf


However, as Balloted, it requires a full replacement of the text adopted in 144, in a way that's structurally incompatible with the ASN.1 encoding.


Worse, this is something that was discussed during the voting reform discussions - both situations where redlines and text differ (as in this case) and questions about redlining as 'source of truth'. We tried to address it as best as possible, but also somewhat punted the issue as unlikely :)


I think it's worth highlighting this concern broadly, because we have several possible interpretations:


1) The MOTION BEGINS/MOTION ENDS is authoritative (e.g. as Kirk has distributed)

  - In this case, we've now introduced a bug into the processing that is not easily undone.

  - Supporting Argument: This is how we've always done things.

  - Solution Suggestion: Hold a ballot immediately to try to fix this before the end of the IP review.

    - Approach 1: Nullify the ballot? That is, to keep the version of the BRs the same.

    - Approach 2: Direct the Chair not to publish any new versions of the BRs (thus triggering compliance for CAs) until the matter is resolved

    - Approach 3: Introduce a new ballot with a new OID for the service descriptor that restores the 144 text

  - Implications:

    - If folks don't vote on this, we're stuck in a bad place (effectively, no one should issue EV onion certs, because they'd post a compat/interop risk)


2) The redline text is authoritative (e.g. as Ben has distributed)

  - In this case, we're saying that the PDFs, not the ballot text, are what is authoritative.

  - This means you can no longer read ballots on our website "as is", but must ALSO view/post the supporting materials

  - Supporting Argument: The Bylaws seem to support this with respect to Section 2.3(a).

  - Solution Suggestion: Hold a ballot to agree on this interpretation for this specific ballot

  - Solution Suggestion p2: Hold a (same/different?) ballot to the bylaws clarify this for future ballots

  - Implications:

   - We should figure out what this means for future ballots if we go this route.

   - It also means our ballot postings to the website are probably incomplete


3) The ballot is invalid (due to the inconsistency)

  - In this case, we're saying the ballot is null because of the mismatch

  - Supporting Argument: The Bylaws in 2.3(a) indicate that a Draft Guideline Ballot proposing a Final Maintenance Guideline will include a redline or comparison, and that such redline or comparison be made against the Final Guideline section(s) as they exist at the time the ballot is proposed. Jeremy's redline was not against that section, ergo, was not a valid ballot.

  - Solution Suggestion: Hold a ballot to agree on this interpretation for this specific ballot

  - Solution Suggestion p2: Adopt it fixed


In short, I think we should probably resolve this with a ballot - which can be completed in two weeks. The IP Review Notice has been triggered, but its unclear as to whether Review Notices need to also include the Ballot text itself (e.g. the Ballot is, presumably, what was posted to public at cabforum.org <mailto:public at cabforum.org>  and voted on - which included the redline changes). That is, it's unclear whether the text Kirk included in the Review Notice - which is different than the ballot (since it omits the redlines) - supersedes/replaces the Ballot itself.


Does this capture every possible interpretation? Are the others?


On Tue, May 16, 2017 at 1:00 PM, Ben Wilson via Public <public at cabforum.org <mailto:public at cabforum.org> > wrote:


Attached is the redlined version of Appendix F of the EV Guidelines (v.1.6.3) based on the language of the ballot.  There was a discrepancy between the earlier PDF attachment to the ballot and the text in email that announced the ballot.  It appears that the PDF was based on an old, out-of-date version of Appendix F .  

In the attached redlined version I have tried to preserve the intent of Ballot 198.  I will be posting version 1.6.3 of the EV Guidelines to the CA/Browser Forum website shortly.  All versions (PDF/Word/redlined/w-o redlining) will be uploaded to here https://cabforum.org/wiki/EV on the wiki as well.

Yours truly,

Ben Wilson  


From: Public [mailto:public-bounces at cabforum.org <mailto:public-bounces at cabforum.org> ] On Behalf Of Kirk Hall via Public
Sent: Monday, May 8, 2017 5:18 PM
To: CA/Browser Forum Public Discussion List <public at cabforum.org <mailto:public at cabforum.org> >
Cc: Kirk Hall <Kirk.Hall at entrustdatacard.com <mailto:Kirk.Hall at entrustdatacard.com> >
Subject: [cabfpub] Revised Notice of Review Period - Ballot 198 - .Onion Revisions


Sorry, got end date wrong before.  End date in June 8 at 01:00 UTC.




This Review Notice is sent pursuant to Section 4.1 of the CA/Browser Forum’s Intellectual Property Rights Policy (v1.2).  This Review Period is for Final Maintenance Guidelines (30 day Review Period).  A complete draft of the Draft Guideline that is the subject of this Review Notice is attached.


Date Review Notice Sent:        May 8, 2017


Ballot for Review:                    Ballot 198 - .Onion Revisions


Start of Review Period:           May 9, 2017 at 01:00 UTC


End of Review Period:             June 8, 2017 at 01:00 UTC


Please forward any Exclusion Notice relating to Essential Claims to the Chair by email to  <mailto:kirk.hall at entrustdatacard.com> kirk.hall at entrustdatacard.com before the end of the Review Period.  See current version of CA/Browser Forum Intellectual Property Rights Policy for details.  (Optional form of Exclusion Notice is attached)

Ballot 198 - .Onion Revisions


Revise Appendix F, Section 1 to read as follows:

Appendix F – Issuance of Certificates for .onion Domain Names

A CA may issue an EV Certificate containing the .onion Domain Name provided that issuance complies with the requirements set forth in this Appendix:

1.	CAB Forum Tor Service Descriptor Hash extension (

The CAB Forum extension in of the TBSCertificate to convey hashes of keys related to .onion addresses.  The CA MUST include the Tor Service Descriptor Hash extension using the following format:

cabf-TorServiceDescriptorHash OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= { }

TorServiceDescriptorHash:: = SEQUENCE { 

algorithm                        AlgorithmIdentifier

subjectPublicKeyHash   BIT STRING              }

Where the AlgorithmIdentifier is a hashing algorithm (defined in RFC 6234) performed over the raw Public Key of the .onion service and SubjectPublicKeyHash is the value of the hash output of the raw Public Key.

--Motion Ends--


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