Request for Comment: Organization

Patrick Brunschwig patrick at
Fri Jul 22 13:26:50 CEST 2022

This is a cross-post to openpgp-email at,
gnupg-users at, autocrypt at
and openpgp at
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During the last OpenPGP Email Summit[1] we agreed that we would like to
transition the keyserver on (KOO) from a one-person
show into an open community project. Vincent, Lars, dkg and I
volunteered to form a Bootstrapping Committee that would propose a new
structure and governing rules for this community by end of July.

I'm very happy to announce today that we completed this task ahead of
time. We have prepared a proposal for a constitution, together with
several supporting documents, and would now like to invite everyone
interested in OpenPGP for feedback to our proposals. Please provide your
feedback until Aug. 21, 2022 on the OpenPGP Summit Email list
(openpgp-email at

Below is a summary of the proposed constitution. The complete
constitution and all supporting documents can be found on Gitlab:

We are planning to set up the organization according the following
schedule (under the assumption that the feedback is such that the
schedule is feasible):
1. Comment period for the constitution: until Aug. 21, 222
2. Publish first version of constitution: 1w later
3. Invitation for voting body +4w
4. First election of the board +2w
5. Publish election results +3d
6. Install 1st Board

We agreed that Patrick will be responsible for the complete process.

Summary of the Constitution

High Level Summary
------------------ (KOO) is a service providing a verifying key server to
the OpenPGP ecosystem. The service is operated by the operations team as
guided by the Board. The Board is elected by the Voting Body, which is
formed by individuals that are active in the OpenPGP ecosystem.

The Board
The Board offers advice, guidance, and support to the operations
team, and helps ensure the ongoing operation of the KOO service.
If and when the KOO organization gets funds, the Board decides how
to spend them. The Board consists of 3-5 individuals. Board members are
elected for a 1-year term, and may be on the Board for up to 3 years in
a row. Board votes are decided by simple majority, except when replacing
the whole operations team, which must be a unanimous vote by all members.

The Board nominates one of its members as secretary. The secretary takes
meeting minutes and organizes the next election. Board meeting minutes
are published.

The Board takes care of KOO Enhancement Proposals (KEP) that may be
submitted by any voting member. Any KEP requires adoption by at least
one Board member in order to be considered by the Board. The Board may
approve or reject any KEP under consideration, or may ask the KEP author
for revisions before re-consideration.

Board members self-nominate themselves via a public mailing list.
Elected members are asked to ensure that no organization or affiliation
is over-represented in the Board.

The Voting Body
The voting body serves to elect the Board Members. It consists of voting
members. Eligible for membership are all those individuals who use
OpenPGP, implement it, provide services to help use it, produce
documentation, provide training, etc. Voting members are nominated by
existing members and approved by the Board. Membership expires after 3
years of inactivity (defined by participating in the votes and elections).

Membership in the initial voting body is open to anyone who has attended
any of the past OpenPGP E-mail Summits[2]. This only applies to the
election of the first Board.

The Operations Team
The operations team maintains the Hagrid software, and operates the
servers providing the service of the key server. It has final say in how
the software works, and how the service is provided. The operations team
reports on their activities to the Board and the public. The operations
team is self-organized, except for the right of the Board to replace the
operations team entirely.

Initial Formation of the KOO Organization
The KOO Bootstrap Committee will organize the process to establish the
KOO organization as follows:

1. Request for feedback from the OpenPGP community (public
2. Incorporate the community feedback and publish the 1st KOO
3. Invite attendees of the past OpenPGP E-mail Summits to join the
   Voting Body.
4. Organize the election of the first Board.
5. The constitution is considered ratified once the 1st elected Board
   is installed.

In order to ensure continuity, 2 of the 5 initial Board members will
have a term limit of max. 2 years.

Voting Process
Voting and elections are done publicly and are attributable.
Votes for Board elections are done by signed commits via merge
requests on a dedicated git repository.

Changing the Constitution
The constitution may be changed by voting by the Voting Body. To
pass, a change must receive at least 67% of the votes given, and at
least 50% of the eligible voters must vote.

We are looking forward to a fruitful discussion and hope that we can
reach an agreement for how to set up and structure KOO.

dkg, Lars, Patrick, Vincent


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