[cabfpub] Ballot FORUM-12: Creation of S/MIME Certificates Working Group

Tim Hollebeek tim.hollebeek at digicert.com
Wed May 13 21:26:17 UTC 2020

As I mentioned on a few recent calls, I think it is time to start discussing
this on the list again, especially for those who haven't been following the
github discussion.  Most of the recent comments are around the sentence
stating that non-publicly trusted S/MIME certificates are out of scope for
the working group, which seems rather useful and non-controversial to me,
but I'm interested in other perspectives.


Adding additional clarity by using the defined term "Root Certificates"
instead of "root certificates", and defining publicly-trusted in terms of
certificates that chain to roots from Certificate Consumers seems useful to
me, but not essential.


There's also a proposal that text from the introduction of the BRs that
describes the voluntary nature of the Server Certificate BRs might be
useful; we would support that in some form.


I'd also encourage those who haven't read the charter recently to review it
and provide any last comments.  DigiCert would be willing to support the
charter as written.




From: Public <public-bounces at cabforum.org> On Behalf Of Tim Hollebeek via
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 5:18 PM
To: CABforum1 <public at cabforum.org>
Subject: [cabfpub] Ballot FORUM-12: Creation of S/MIME Certificates Working



The following ballot is proposed by Tim Hollebeek of DigiCert and endorsed
by Wayne Thayer of Mozilla and Clint Wilson of Apple.


Ballot Forum-11: Creation of S/MIME Certificates Working Group


Purpose of the Ballot


The CA/Browser Forum underwent a two-year long governance reform exercise,
modifying the Bylaws to allow the creation of working groups that covered
topics other than server certificates.  While originally motivated by the
inability to maintain requirements for code signing certificates, it was
anticipated from the start that this would also provide an opportunity to
create other working groups that could develop and maintain certificate
profiles and requirements for other kinds of certificates.  While a number
of regional and technical standards exist regarding the creation and
issuance of S/MIME certificates, there is no current global forum for
certificate authorities and those who consume or use S/MIME certificates to
come together and develop and maintain policies and standards for those
certificates.  This lack of standards has impeded the adoption and
interoperability of S/MIME certificate worldwide.  This ballot would
establish a working group chartered to develop and maintain such standards
for S/MIME certificates, including but not limited to two important
priorities: a uniform certificate profile for the issuance of
publicly-trusted S/MIME certificates, and validation requirements for such




Establish S/MIME Certificates Working Group


Upon approval of the CAB Forum by ballot in accordance with section 5.3 of
the Bylaws, the S/MIME Certificates Working Group ("SMWG") is created to
perform the activities as specified in the Charter, with the Charter as
described here




The procedure for approval of this ballot is as follows:


Discussion (7+ days)


Start Time: 2020-05-13  17:20:00 EDT


End Time: after 2020-05-27 17:20:00 EDT


Vote for approval (7 days)


Start Time: TBD


End Time: TBD


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