Recently a dispute was filed about some confusion with our “Trusted Third Party” procedure. As part of this arbitration the board was asked for some explanatory words on the discontinuation of the TTP. In order to comply with this request and also shed some light on the issue, I have taken on the task of explaining this.
First off there is a misconception, that the board decided to discontinue the TTP. That is a misconception, because the board does not have the authority to do so. However the TTP was discontinued by the policy-group. The reason for this was simply that there was no policy to describe how the TTP procedure worked. As such the practice was outside the policies and needed to be stopped until a policy has been written defining TTP. The policy group has since made several attempts at writing such a policy, but has not yet come to a conclusion.
So I would invite everyone interested in this area, to please join the policy group, which is open to all community members, and help us write this policy and remedy the situation.
After the policy group had made the decision to discontinue several practices that fell outside the Assurance Policy by moving it to policy status the board felt it necessary, in its role as executive organ of CAcert, to enforce that decision. It did so with a motion ordering the ceasing of all assurances not under the Assurance Policy. This motion caused the systems team to terminate these practices.
However at the time it was missed that there was still a page up on the cacert.org website explaining the availability of the TTP process. This page has since been removed.
So to sum up, the board neither had the power nor did it in fact terminate the TTP, it simply enforced a decision by the policy group. However the communication of these facts was sorely lacking.
So to clear things up, and to comply with the Arbitrator order in Dispute a20091118.1 it should be clearly stated that:
The TTP programme is effectively Frozen until a subsidiary policy under the Assurance Policy is written and moved to DRAFT. Until such a time the TTP programme is against the Assurance Policy rules.
Note: although I am currently serving on the CAcert Inc. Board of Directors, I do not have authority to speak for the board. Therefore this article is written solely on my own behalf.