[Owasp-leaders] The Final Leaked TPP Text Is All That We Feared | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Paul Ritchie paul.ritchie at owasp.org
Tue Oct 13 21:29:12 UTC 2015


To the OWASP Leadership.

*On the topic of 'Allowable Lobbying by a 501c3 Charitable group like OWASP*

Just for clarity, and regardless of the outcome of this year's board
elections, the OWASP community may do "some" lobbying and a greater share
of 'Advocacy' without jeopardizing their nonprofit and 'charitable'
status.  To determine "how much" is OK and how much is too much, the USA
IRS has several tests on amount of time invested, and amount of money
invested by the org.

Per the USA IRS webpage and rules:  https://www.irs
.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Lobbying

*Lobbying  --  In general, no organization may qualify for section
501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to
influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying).  A 501(c)(3)
organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity
risks loss of tax-exempt status.*

*Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local
council, or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills,
resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of
appointive office), or by the public in referendum, ballot initiative,
constitutional amendment, or similar procedure.  It does not include
actions by executive, judicial, or administrative bodies.*

*An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if
it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a
legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing
legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of
legislation.*

P.Ritchie says:  This last paragraph describes an 'Advocacy' effort as
opposed to a Lobbying effort.
*Organizations may, however, involve themselves in issues of public policy
without the activity being considered as lobbying.  For example,
organizations may conduct educational meetings, prepare and distribute
educational materials, or otherwise consider public policy issues in an
educational manner without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.*

If OWASP community agrees to proceed with drafting a Position Statement and
Educational Materials.....at the time we want to take it from 'draft
planning' to 'public distribution'.....we should engage legal counsel to
help define 'how much' is acceptable, and 'when our efforts become
substantial' and put our nonprofit charitable status in jeopardy.

I've been through this before  and I trust my experiences will add value to
the OWASP efforts.

Paul


Best Regards, Paul Ritchie
OWASP Executive Director
paul.ritchie at owasp.org


On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 1:45 PM, Tobias <tobias.gondrom at owasp.org> wrote:

> I agree that this is an important issue.
>
> What should we do as next step?
> Would a statement from OWASP in that regard be the appropriate way to
> build awareness for this potentially problematic agreement text?
> Do Milton or Eoin maybe like to prepare a statement to run by the
> community and later release by OWASP?
> Are there other steps you think we could or should initiate?
>
> Best regards, Tobias
>
>
>
>
> On 13/10/15 22:34, Eoin Keary wrote:
>
> Milton, this is worth making a stand for.
> I hope you are successful in the OWASP board elections.....
>
> Eoin Keary
> OWASP Volunteer
> @eoinkeary
>
>
>
> On 13 Oct 2015, at 8:22 p.m., Milton Smith <milton.smith at owasp.org> wrote:
>
> A related article on TPP for everyone I found this morning.
>
> TPP requires countries to destroy security-testing tools (and your laptop)
> http://boingboing.net/2015/10/13/tpp-requires-countries-to-seiz.html
> (article excerpt) "...order the destruction of devices and products found
> to be involved in" breaking digital locks... used to identify critical
> vulnerabilities in vehicles, surveillance devices, voting machines, medical
> implants, and many other devices in our world.
>
> Among other things, this TPP provision includes destruction of security
> static/dynamic analysis tools.  It's difficult to know if these provisions
> will be adopted as written but I'm concerned it's on the table for
> discussion.  As written, TPP will hurt industry more than it will help.
>  Security researchers are not the problem.  The problem is vulnerable
> software.
>
> Unfortunately, it will take politicians and rights holders years to learn
> from there mistakes.  Positive influence early in the policy making process
> will be beneficial for everyone including OWASP members.  I realize most
> OWASP members are not very interested in politics.  Still unfavorable laws
> and regulations will make security even more difficult than it is today.
> Think of what it would mean if ZAP becomes illegal software.
>
> --Milton
>
> On 13 Oct 2015, at 9:49, Milton Smith wrote:
>
> I'm tracking TPP as well Tom.  Aside from favoritism for rights holders,
> there are some provisions negatively impacting security.  Wassenaar
> Arrangement is a disaster, crypto backdoors, etc.  Unwinding this mess will
> cause trouble for years.  Think of pass problems like ITAR.
>
>
> OWASP must begin investing to positively to influence security from the
> top down as well.
>
>
> --Milton
>
>
> On 13 Oct 2015, at 1:40, Tom Brennan wrote:
>
>
> Worth a read when you consider getting behind and lobbying for things that
> matter.
>
>
> https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/10/final-leaked-tpp-text-all-we-feared
>
>
> Tom Brennan
>
> 973-506-9304
>
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