[Council Meeting] Minutes from 2019-12-18

Ryan Sipes ryan at thunderbird.net
Tue Jan 28 00:35:50 UTC 2020

> given this is a public list we didn't want to ruin the confidentiality
> we have with Thunderbird's legal Council by publishing what we're
> discussing in these minutes.

Just to clarify, I meant "counsel". I've typed "Council" too many times.

Ryan Sipes
Community and Business Development Manager
Thunderbird <https://thunderbird.net>

On 1/27/20 5:33 PM, Ryan Sipes wrote:
> Eyal,
> My thoughts in-line:
> On 1/27/20 4:00 PM, Eyal Rozenberg wrote:
>> On 27/01/2020 17:49, Wayne Mery wrote:
>>> As for this set of minutes, in order:
>>> * Regarding hirings, the approval was an ordinary renewal of a
>>> contract, but in general we do not publicly share details about
>>> employees.
>> Well, please change that: Tell us what position and have the position
>> description somewhere accessible.
> I'm not sure why these were not publicly shared in the first post. The
> agreed positions were the following:
> - Thunderbird Release Engineer / Web Infra Engineer
> - Senior Software Engineer
> - Software Engineer
> - Add-ons Coordinator
> There is another role that we have agreed to keep confidential for the
> moment, I think the Council will be happy to talk about it candidly
> this week (more on that below).
>>> * The new positions will be made public when the jobs are posted.
>> Please make it public once the decision is taken, through the meeting
>> summary. The exact details will come with the job posting.
> I agree, no reason why we couldn't do that in the future.
>>> * Regarding EOY donations, the numbers were only preliminary because
>>> we were only partly through December - more information will
>>> eventually be available.
>> Ok, so say that; plus, what are those numbers? Or - at what delay
>> will these numbers get published?
> I don't think they should be published until they are final. The
> preliminary numbers are based on analytics data which doesn't capture
> everything. MoFo donation team and accounting produces the final
> number. The problem with that is well illustrated here - after waiting
> for the data the number was actually slightly less than last year at
> *$138032* versus *$143034*. I published financial data last year when
> I had all of it - and I intend to do that again this year. But it can
> be slow when you have many funding sources (including physical
> cheques), and it all has to be put together.
>>> * Election details will be shared when they are ready to begin.
>> I would be fine with that if not for the overall air of secrecy. If
>> no decisions were made, then ok; if you made significant decisions,
>> why not put them in the summary?
> No decisions were made, we simply discussed. Nothing worth writing
> home about, or in this case - the list. But your point is well taken,
> I agree that this needs to be more verbose.
>>> * The encryption discussion involves issues which cannot yet be made
>>> public.
>> What's with this assumption of privilege-of-secrecy? Unless you were
>> discussing a current security vulnerability (which seems not to have
>> been the case), I don't see why that can't be made public.
>> By the way - I'm not versed in the formal bylaws (if those exist),
>> but it's not even clear to me the council has a mandate to hide
>> information from the body politic which elected it. I remember the
>> issue with minutes/summaries being that they require effort to put
>> down; now, a custom of secrecy seems to have developed, and that's
>> worrying.
> Actually, a legal question was raised regarding encryption. And
> specific concerns were cited, given this is a public list we didn't
> want to ruin the confidentiality we have with Thunderbird's legal
> Council by publishing what we're discussing in these minutes. This is
> a well understood concept in the US legal system, so I think that
> should be easy enough to understand.
> I believe I have responded to you in the past regarding this topic but
> the Council, as the body this community has elected, has agreed to
> keep some things secret  - to protect our contractual partners
> (including staff), and any privileged information we obtain from
> Mozilla. I would hope that if you were elected to Council that you
> would do the same.
> *BUT - I think we can do a better job of being more descriptive in
> these notes*, and address most of your concerns. However, there are
> some things that we should not publish publicly and have agreed not to
> do so because of the factors above. I think some of this will be made
> more clear for those interested this week.
> In closing, we will try and do a better job. This year has been a
> whirlwind of activity for the project and, frankly, the complexity of
> what we have to manage has grown tremendously (we now have 10 people
> we pay full-time to work on Thunderbird). We have to learn to do this
> part better as we've had to learn to do many other things as we've grown.
> Maybe you and I could talk through ideas on a call soon.
> Ryan
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