[cabfpub] [EXTERNAL]Re: Draft SMIME Working Group Charter

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Wed Feb 6 20:34:37 UTC 2019

On Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 3:20 PM Tim Hollebeek <tim.hollebeek at digicert.com>

> My experience is the reverse.  IETF and groups with tight charters get
> bogged down in constant discussions about charter revisions.

Interesting example. While I do disagree with your conclusions, it's useful
to understand the perspective and the context - IETF WGs that would
regularly go off into the weeds and produce something unusuable,
unimplemented, and not aligned with actual needs. Recall that this is why,
especially in the PKI space, multiple WGs were shut down - because they
constantly were getting distracted, lacking consensus, and yet still
trudging on.

While I can't speak with absolute certainty, the debate about adoptions -
including in LAMPS - has I think helpfully demonstrated a very clear lack
of consensus to take on the work, and that while sometimes the work is very
important to some members, it's not seen as broadly valuable or with

With something as broad as S/MIME, we absolutely need that level of

> CABF has recently fallen into the same trap and I don’t think it is a
> change for the better.  There are other SDOs I participate in where groups
> have operated for 10+ years with the same charter, with no downsides other
> than the fact that they spend their time discussing and working on the
> relevant issues instead of re-chartering every time a new topic comes up.

And do they scope their IP protections the same? And consensus measures?

My choice of IETF and W3C wasn't accidental; they have also served as
models for our workmode and IP protections.

With something as broad as S/MIME, we absolutely need those level of
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