[Council Meeting] Minutes from 2019-12-18

Eyal Rozenberg eyalroz at technion.ac.il
Wed Jan 29 23:06:20 UTC 2020

I want to thank Ryan, and also note that the minutes/summary could have 
been written with about the same length as the original version (perhaps 
a couple of lines more), included all of these details, and clarified 
with a few words why additional information one one or two issues were 
not provided ("no decisions taken", "a delicate legal concern").

And I'll reiterate I very much appreciate the council's work, albeit 
expecting more transparency.


On 28/01/2020 2:33, 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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