[OpenStack Foundation] [Foundation Board] Jan 15 Minutes & DefCore for Review

Tristan Goode tristan at aptira.com
Sun Mar 1 20:32:21 UTC 2015


Let's just cease calling this a confidential list because it's far better
and way more fun to call it our secret list, for the board to keep almost
all its communications secret from the community. It's been 99% used as a
secret communications channel, and actual confidential material or what I'm
pretty sure the law or the OpenStack community would regard as
confidential, would account for about 1% of the traffic. Does announcing an
email about a social suggestion to a public list need to be hidden from the

Here's the confidentiality clause of the OpenStack Transparency Policy.

*3. Confidential Information.*

*3.1 Notwithstanding a general policy favouring disclosure and
transparency, certain sensitive information must remain confidential.
“Confidential Information” means*

*            (a) information disclosed during the executive session of
Board meetings including, without limitation, personnel matters,
discussions around Gold Member applications and information collected,
prepared or discussed relating to or in anticipation of litigation,*

*            (b) financial information (excluding financial information
included in the annual summary provided by the Chairman of the Board)*

*            (c) disciplinary actions taken against Platinum Members, Gold
Members or Individual Members and*

*            (d) information subject to other confidentiality obligations,
whether arising under law, statute or contract.*

*In addition, Confidential Information shall include certain “embargoed”
information which is temporarily Confidential Information and which shall

*            (a) draft Board meeting minutes (but not to the extent
included in the final Board meeting minutes posted to the Governance Wiki)

*            (b) information regarding strategic and marketing initiatives
that might damage OpenStack’s competitive position if disclosed prior to
authorization by the Executive Director or the Board. At the time embargoed
information is shared or discussed, the provider will set an explicit date
or criteria as to when it can be made public.*

Under this policy, posting draft minutes would be breaching confidentiality
but I cannot see anything about social suggestion discussions or when any
board member "feels" something should be confidential.

I haven't posted the draft minutes, but I'm still asking why that would
need to be confidential if it wasn't clearly defined to the community as
draft minutes. It is a record of a public meeting, and I'm sure a
reasonable person when confronted with DRAFT watermarked across a document
would understand that it is a draft. If this really is some corporate US
law thing, then so be it, but I suspect it's the embarrassment of the
frequent typos of people's names more than anything else.

An observation on last July's Transparency Committee report was that the
Foundation's counsel are uncomfortable with the realities of a transparent
board. If it's US law that makes that so, then where's the diligence plan
to investigate other jurisdictions where the Foundation might be able to
operate at the transparency level the community demands? This might even be
conducted alongside looking for alternative NFP friendly jurisdictions in
parallel with the Foundation's application to the IRS for NFP status,
should that fail. Perhaps it's time for a review of the Foundation's

Yes, I posted the original Bangalore proposal email to the secret list.
I've posted to the secret list a lot and it's been fun being secret. Quite
a few times in the past few years I've pushed some of those secret list
emails out to the public list because there were important things I felt
the community needed to know about and I've been shouted at about that
before. For a long time I thought that the majority of what was posted on
that list was trivial and too boring for the community to ever care about,
but who am I (or the board really) to judge what is trivial and what is
not. In OpenStack, the community judges what they care about.

Since the backroom dealings of the July meetup (Not Summer, Southern
Hemisphere inclusion IS important) and the super-secret addition of Austin
(you are based there right, I'm sure there's some fine bars there), well
let's just say that galvanised me. I kept the event organisers up to date,
so what? Have I breached strategic and marketing initiatives that might
damage OpenStack's competitive position? That's about as far off as one can
get. My proposal was not about this particular event and its offensive to
say it was about marketing. It was about wanting the foundation to commit
to diversity, in thought and in deed. As I said in my original post, I'd
really like us to dramatically increase our inclusion footprint with one
fairly simple act. This was a benchmark to see where the board is at, and
it's way lower than I had ever imagined. Some have said that the trip would
not be worth the money, which values community engagement at an
embarrassing low. More on this later though.

As for leading by example I can't see how you (or any of us) have been
doing that by habitually posting to the secret list. We've failed, we've
been transparency hypocrites, now let's fix it properly and earn back the
community trust that we've lost.



*From:* Rob Hirschfeld [mailto:rob at zehicle.com]
*Sent:* Monday, 2 March 2015 4:37 AM
*To:* Tristan Goode
*Subject:* Re: [Foundation Board] Jan 15 Minutes & DefCore for Review


This is the point where I remind everyone that forwarding confidential
material (regardless of your opinion that classification) is a breach of
your Board responsibilities.

It is also where I point out that the ORIGINAL email thread about the board
about holding the Summer meeting in India was started by YOU on the
confidential list.  According to your own statements, you are the one who
forwarded emails from that thread off list to the event organizers.

I have been an outspoken advocate for Board transparency and open
governance throughout my tenure. I believe we do that by leading by


On 03/01/2015 02:17 AM, Tristan Goode wrote:

Perhaps this email could go to the public list with a subject line marked
"DRAFT MINUTES", the document watermarked as such, and the email stating
that these are unapproved minutes?

*From:* Rob Hirschfeld [mailto:rob at zehicle.com]
*Sent:* Saturday, 28 February 2015 11:10 AM
*To:* foundation-board at lists.openstack.org
*Subject:* [Foundation Board] Jan 15 Minutes & DefCore for Review


Since I was sending a PDF of the DefCore notes to the Board list,  Alan
asked if I could prepare a PDF of the minutes (he's on the road and afk).

Since these are unapproved minutes, they go on this list.

For DefCore, I've already forwarded a LINK
this same material to the open list but thought a PDF would make it more
likely everyone can read the materials.

See you Tuesday and SAFE TRAVELS



Foundation-board mailing list

Foundation-board at lists.openstack.org





Rob Hirschfeld, 512-773-7522

I am in CENTRAL (-6) time


twitter: @zehicle, github: cloudedge & ravolt
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