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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject Operating ooo-security (was RE: Population of ooo-security)
Date Fri, 29 Jul 2011 20:28:01 GMT
We are in a very fledgling situation here.  Let's see if we can clear up a few things.

Here is my understanding of the situation as it exists at the moment.

 - Dennis

 1. The ooo-security@i.a.o list is private and moderated.  Anyone can send a message to the
list.  The three current moderators of the list share responsibility for allowing a post onto
the list or not.  Anyone can also attempt to subscribe to the list.  Once the requester completes
the e-mail verification ceremony, the request is submitted for approval by the moderators.
 In this case, the way the moderators decline is by doing nothing.

 2. It is the PPMC that is entirely responsible for handling the mitigation of security issues,
including undisclosed exploits.  No one else.  That means it is the PPMC that would authorize
a patch.  If, for some reason, any non-Apache-committer submitted a patch, it would presumably
be treated the same as any patch submission on ooo-dev, apart from the additional secrecy
of the activity until the mitigation is in place.  
   However, there are many activities that go into the assessment of a security issue and
the analysis of potential mitigation approaches.  They might never involve the actual creation
of code or patches.

 3. It is the PPMC, as part of its responsibilities, with the advice (and consent?) of security@a.o,
that determines how the ooo-security@i.a.o list is managed and who serves on it.  

 4. Perhaps we should look at the ooo-security@i.a.o list subscribers as strictly advisory
to the PPMC.  The subscribers would have the specific charge of handling the inputs that are
accepted as bona fide security matters with appropriate sensitivity.  We need to be careful
to operate within the norms for dealing with undisclosed vulnerabilities and prospective exploits
and maintaining the security of all preparations and ooo-security@i.a.o are the shepherds
for this, let's say.  We don't quite know how this will work out in practice and how much
the ooo-security@i.a.o subscribers will work things out before engaging the PPMC as a whole.

In none of this do I see a requirement for a committer, or even PPMC membership for someone
who is subscribed to the list for purposes of supporting the coordination with others who
need to be responders (as in a multi-alarm fire), and reciprocally, since anyone might be
the "first responder."  Requiring an iCLA I can understand, with regard to IP matters that
might arise, although that might be more symbolic than essential.  But if the practice is
to require PPMC members, then that is what we should do.  The current subscribers are all
PPMC members.

Although I favor a more ecumenical arrangement than we are putting in place, we can of course
make it work without that.  We can provide liaison already with the small ooo-security@i.a.o
subscriber list that we have now.  That will be necessarily selective, and it is not clear
what agreement needs to be reached before any external entities are engaged.  We'll have to
figure that out.

We can also create the arrangements that Rob Weir proposes for having an alert mechanism and
having a PPMC-maintained (private) list of contacts both for alerts and for experts.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Danese Cooper [] 
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2011 09:55
Subject: Re: Population of ooo-security

[ ... ]

 Only people recognized as committers can "own" the
problem of security for this codebase.  It is this way to protect both the
ASF and the codebase.

[ ... ]

I'd propose that we (as a project) decide how best to work with LibreOffice
to identify people who would like to serve as liasons for security. If
indeed nobody wants to sign an iCLA, then we'll gladly subscribe LO to
receive downstream notifications rather than early disclosure of any issues
that arise.  That is suboptimal, but until more diplomacy and trust work is
done it may be the best we can do.

[ ... ]

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