[cabfpub] DRAFT Ballot Forum-XX: Allow Informative Changes to Guidelines

Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) dzacharo at harica.gr
Wed Sep 11 15:14:28 UTC 2019

I probably got confused by processing all the previous discussions, 
during the F2F, teleconferences and the recent discussion on the CA/B 
Forum plenary public list.

Leaving the EV Guidelines change aside, which you are absolutely correct 
and I didn't consider it properly, the rationale of making this a 
Forum-ballot is because the procedures for updating the Guidelines 
affect all Working Groups. The existing Server Certificate WG Charter 
doesn't say anything about how the ballots take place because this is 
described in the Bylaws. Passing a Forum Ballot with an accepted 
practice would affect all Working Groups and therefore we would not need 
to pass the same ballot for each Working Group. Please note the Motion 
language which starts with "The Chair or Vice-Chair of a CWG..."

I did not propose updating the Bylaws because the majority of Members 
wanted to have more substantial changes collected for Bylaws updates 
because of the extra revisions (though legal and other departments). You 
also supported that we should not make small changes to Bylaws very 
frequently. I tried to capture that in this ballot which is why it is 
not a Bylaws update but a "Forum approved" practice, which already 
happens today.

There is no contravention of the Bylaws as far as this procedure is 
concerned. The Bylaws are silent about these changes. If you consider 
that this proposed procedure violates the Bylaws, then you are 
practically saying that all existing Guidelines published on our web 
site are invalid.

If members feel that this needs to be an SCWG ballot, I'd gladly move it 
to the SCWG public list. If members feel this should be a Forum ballot, 
for the reasons mentioned above, I will revise the ballot and remove the 
changes to the EV Guidelines, as these would have to be performed at the 
SCWG. I therefore welcome some feedback from other members as well.

I also feel a bit offended by your expression that I am "committed to 
avoiding changes to the Bylaws". I would very much like to make this a 
Bylaws update but I respect the majority's opinion not to make small 
changes to Bylaws.


On 2019-09-11 4:25 μ.μ., Ryan Sleevi via Public wrote:
> Dimitris,
> I'm a bit surprised you went this way, as I do think it creates more 
> problems.
> On a ballot legitimacy level, I do not believe you can propose a Forum 
> level ballot to change a Final Maintenance Guideline of a CWG, which 
> you've done by proposing to use the Forum to change the EV Guidelines. 
> That seems directly in contravention of our Bylaws.
> With respect to proposing Ballots that change our procedure in 
> contravention of the Bylaws, this is not acceptable. If you want to 
> change our Bylaws, then change our Bylaws - but the suggestion of 
> creating procedures that conflict with and contravene our Bylaws, 
> without actually capturing them, undermines the entire legitimacy of 
> the Forum and our IP protections, which are gated upon the execution 
> of the Bylaws.
> As we've previously discussed, repeatedly, a path forward involves 
> having the Bylaws recognize that CWGs may designate portions of Final 
> Guidelines and Final Maintenance Guidelines as informative and 
> non-binding, and permit modifications to those sections by the Chair 
> or Vice-Chair. This would then allow the SCWG to designate the 
> appropriate sections as informative.
> If you're committed to avoiding changes to the Bylaws, there are also 
> obvious other solutions as well, which fully comport with our Bylaws 
> and IP policy, and which would be done at the SCWG level.
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