[Servercert-wg] VOTING BEGINS: Ballot SC31v3: Browser Alignment

Chris Bailey Chris.Bailey at entrustdatacard.com
Thu Jul 9 12:47:40 MST 2020

Entrust Datacard votes no on Ballot SC31 v3, for two reasons.

1.       A “browser alignment” ballot to add root program provisions to the BRs should only include non-controversial issues that everyone supports by consensus.  However, Ballot SC31 also includes Apple’s recent program rule limiting certificates to 398 days, which was rejected by the Forum last fall.  This root program rule covers a controversial issue, and so should not be included in a simple “browser alignment” ballot.  See our prior position stated here: https://archive.cabforum.org/pipermail/servercert-wg/2020-June/001993.html

We also agree with the Chair’s message to Forum members on June 29, https://archive.cabforum.org/pipermail/servercert-wg/2020-June/002029.html, pointing out this statement from Sections 1.1 and 1.3 of our Bylaws:

“Members of the CA/Browser Forum have worked closely together in defining the guidelines and means of implementation for best practices as a way of providing a heightened security for Internet transactions and creating a more intuitive method of displaying secure sites to Internet users. ***

“The historic goal of Forum activities (including development of proposed requirements and guidelines and voting on all matters) has been to seek substantial consensus among Forum Members before proceeding or adopting final work product, and this goal will remain for the future. Members shall not use their participation in the Forum either to promote their own products and offerings or to restrict or impede the products and offerings of other Members.”

The Forum’s Baseline Requirements are not intended to be just a compilation of browser root program rules, but instead are intended to be a collection of industry “best practices” that have been adopted by consensus in the Forum among CAs and browsers.  In our opinion, there is no consensus in the Forum that the maximum certificate validity period for certificates should be limited to one year, and so this root program rule should not be added to the BRs.

2.       No browser root program currently includes any “revocation reason” rules for end-entity certificates.  Ballot SC31 includes new provisions on this issue, and so should not be included in this “browser alignment” ballot but should instead be presented and discussed in its own ballot.

Chris Bailey

From: Servercert-wg <servercert-wg-bounces at cabforum.org> on behalf of Ryan Sleevi via Servercert-wg <servercert-wg at cabforum.org>
Reply-To: Ryan Sleevi <sleevi at google.com>, CA/B Forum Server Certificate WG Public Discussion List <servercert-wg at cabforum.org>
Date: Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 1:01 PM
To: CA/B Forum Server Certificate WG Public Discussion List <servercert-wg at cabforum.org>
Subject: [EXTERNAL][Servercert-wg] VOTING BEGINS: Ballot SC31v3: Browser Alignment

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This begins the voting period for Ballot SC31v3: Browser Alignment

Purpose of Ballot:

As a regular part of Root Program maintenance, and reflecting the independent nature of each Root Programs' needs and requirements, Root Programs have introduced a number of requirements above and beyond those captured in the Baseline Requirements. For Root Programs, this approach results in a lack of certainty, as the requirements are not independently audited and assessed, unless otherwise provided for. For CAs, this introduces confusion when applying to have the same CA certificate trusted by multiple Root Programs, as the effective requirements that the CA and certificates need to comply with are the union of the most-restrictive policies.

The following ballot attempts to resolve this uncertainty for Root Programs, and ambiguity for CAs, by incorporating Root Program-specific requirements that are either effective or will, in the future, be effective.

This was originally drafted in https://github.com/sleevi/cabforum-docs/pull/10 , and as a pull request is available at https://github.com/cabforum/documents/pull/195

The full description, and motivation, of each change, along with the effective dates, are available at the above pull request.

The following motion has been proposed by Ryan Sleevi of Google and endorsed by Clint Wilson of Apple and Mike Reilly of Microsoft.

The changes between SC31v1 and SC31v2 can be viewed at https://github.com/cabforum/documents/compare/90a7dfe95d32ae8c76a4fa55c7b038d4928872c6...1bb3be897213b21d15b837befa885b0ba34bfd3d . This corrects "Not applicable" to "No stipulation", updates the formatting/markup for Pandoc and provides additional example text to the effective date table for the Chair or Vice-Chair.

The changes between SC31v2 and SC31v3 can be viewed at
https://github.com/cabforum/documents/compare/1bb3be897213b21d15b837befa885b0ba34bfd3d...a9a7814da2328c3d3d54d8355eff6fe398354af8 . This addresses an issue with certificate suspension for pre-existing, non-TLS certificates from TLS-capable subordinate CAs, and attempts to clarify the expectations around the use of CRL reason codes by requiring they be documented in the CA's CP/CPS. This also shuffles a requirement already present in the BRs and the RFCs, regarding Delegated Responders being conflated with TLS-capable CAs, into the "Cleanup and Clarification" ballot.


This ballot modifies "Baseline Requirements for the Issuance and Management of Publicly-Trusted Certificates" ("Baseline Requirements") as follows, based on Version 1.7.0

MODIFY the Baseline Requirements as defined in the following redline:

This ballot modifies the “Guidelines for the Issuance and Management of Extended Validation Certificates” (“EV Guidelines”) as follows, based on version 1.7.2:

MODIFY the EV Guidelines as defined in the following redline:

The Chair or Vice-Chair is permitted to update the Relevant Dates of the Baseline Requirements and the EV Guidelines to reflect these changes.


This ballot proposes two Final Maintenance Guidelines.
The procedure for approval of this ballot is as follows:

Discussion (7+ days)
Start Time: 2-July 2020 00:00 UTC
End Time: after 9-July 2020 00:00 UTC

Vote for approval (7 days)
Start Time: 9-July 2020 17:00 UTC
End Time: 16-July 2020 17:00 UTC
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