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

Milton Smith milton.smith at owasp.org
Tue Oct 13 22:27:20 UTC 2015


Paul & Bill,

I know there's been some discussion around 501(c)3 vs. 501(c)6.  Before 
we deep dive into organizational structures let's form the working 
group.  Let the working group work though the OWASP goals in this area.  
Once we have the goals/objectives that we agree upon, we should let our 
goals/objectives drive any organizational improvements or other 
improvements OWASP requires.  The facts you've gathered and your 
experience around non-profit organizations will be helpful.

At this point, all I am recommending is thoughtful discussion.

Regards,
Milton

On 13 Oct 2015, at 14:29, Paul Ritchie wrote:

> 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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