From July  - October 2016, the GN4 project has been undertaking a review of the eduGAIN Constitution with the following aims:

  • To make the consitution technology agnostic.
  • To better reflect current operational practice within the Constitution.

This is part of a wider review of the full eduGAIN policy set as described on the GÉANT wiki.

The review group has undertaken an initial review of the documentation and would like to collect feedback from the eduGAIN SG on the current change proposals.  It is recognised that making eduGAIN technology agnostic raises significant questions about how the Constitution is written and that there are unknown elements to operating multiple profiles as part of the eduGAIN service, so areas of the proposed text might still be open for discussion and amendment. 

Comments from the eduGAIN SG were invited until 9th December 2016.  The table below shows the comments received and the actions taken.

line 152-3I have a question about line 152-3 in the marked-up version.  It says that a participant that misses two consecutive votes will be moved to the non-active list for the purposes of voting, but may move back to the active list by voting.  So, what does the non-active list do, if it doesn't prevent a participant from voting?Nick RoyBrook has proposed wording changes to help clarify this.  The intention is to avoid having non-active federations counting towards quorum
line 121typoNick RoyFix

Since the OT is empowered to remove a participant federation from one or more technology profiles or all of eduGAIN under this new constitution, I'd like to ask that the OT also be tasked with developing an incident handling framework that it will use in guiding its actions in security or other relevant circumstances. The OT should then open up this incident handling framework for review by the eSG and then acceptance by the eEC if the eSG recommends moving it forward.


Nick RoyShould be part of the  eduGAIN OP - pass to Brook and Tomasz.
1.2Federation Operator - Organisation providing or commissioning the 
infrastructure for Authentication and Authorisation to Federation Members. 

s/Federation Members/the members of the Federation/ 

Lowercase since member is not a defined term.  BTW: The term 'Federation Operator' is no longer used in the document.
Thomas LenggenhagerFix

Identity Provider - A server acting in an Identity Provider role. In 
this document, an Identity Provider refers to the Identity Provider 
who is a Member of a Participant Federation and whom the Participant 
Federation has exchanged its metadata through eduGAIN.

I think that's wrong: The Home Organisation is the member, not the Identity Provider.

Suggested change: Identity Provider - The system that issues assertions on behalf of end users of a Home Organisation who use them to access services of Service Suppliers.

Thomas LenggenhagerFix

The Service Provider has a double role. An organisation as well as an entity. I think we need to split these two roles. I named the organisational one 'Service Supplier', please suggest better terms.  Service Supplier - An organisation that is responsible for offering the end user the service s/he is going to log in to. It is a member of a Participant Federation whose Service Provider metadata the Participant Federation has published to eduGAIN.  Service Provider - The system that evaluates the assertion issued by an Identity Provider and uses the information from the assertion for controlling access to protected services

Thomas LenggenhagerThis would require substantive changes to the Declaration as well and we do not want to make a Declaration change at this point. Keep on record for future review. 
Line 155Two weeks voting is too shortThomas LenggenhagerThis will not be changed, although it is noted that the eduGAIN team will always make sure that holiday periods are avoided. 
Line 201s/as a Member/as a Member Federation/Thomas LenggenhagerFix
DefinitionsAdd a definition of edugain (appropos comments on "what do we mean by edugain")GÉANT BoardImplement
Section 1Add a paragraph clarifying the role of all the eduGAIN documents - this can be repeated across the suite.GÉANT BoardThis is covered in 1.1.  They are not explicitly listed to prevent issues with change control across documents with different change rules.  A reference t the website has been inserted.
Section 1Swap sections 1.2 and 1.3 to add clarityGÉANT BoardImplement
2.1URL for Executive is missing (known issue, this still needs to be created)GÉANT BoardThis is a to do for Nicole / Tomasz
2.2Add sentence about non-voting observersGÉANT BoardImplement
2.2Add sentence on exception on voting for Constitutional changesGÉANT BoardImplement
2.2clarify "peering relationships"GÉANT BoardImplement
2.2Does the SG "review" membership?GÉANT BoardYes - there is a process for this.
2.3Describe composition of the OT and profile operatorsGÉANT BoardThis has been left purposefully under-specified due to the fluid nature of profile operator undertstanding at the moment. This will be further decsribed in the eduGAIN OP.
section 3Better describe the difference between a member federation and a participant federationGÉANT BoardImplement
DefinitionsAdd a definition for Federation Policy and reference at line 198GÉANT BoardImplement
DefinitionsAdd a definition of interfederationGÉANT BoardImplement
line 152delete participantBrook SchofieldFix
line 148"Federations from the active participants list"Brook SchofieldFix
line 151delete participantsBrook SchofieldFix
line 300"of active Participant Federations from the active voting list. "Brook SchofieldFix

Post Review Comments

2.1The comment on the comment (meta comment?) of the GÉANT Board "Describe composition of the OT and profile operators" says: "This has been left purposefully under-specified due to the fluid nature of profile operator undertstanding at the moment. This will be further decsribed in the eduGAIN OP."  Insofar, would it hurt to amend section 2.3 accordingly - informing the reader that composition/appointment etc. of the OP is/will be specified in a separate profile/document?WolfgangAdd a link to the edugain Operational Profile

1.1: Overview
"The eduGAIN service enables Federations to interfederate. The Member Federations primarily serve the authentication and authorisation interests of research and education sectors."

seems identical to

1.2: Goal
"The goal of eduGAIN is to support Identity Federations primarily engaged in research and education by providing a service which enables them to interfederate."

If you want to keep a separate section 1.2 I'd suggest dropping the paragraph from 1.1.

PeterThis makes no substantive difference so a change is not recommended
33. Membership
Nowhere in that document does it state that you have to be a
Member Federation in order to become a Participant Federation, AFAICT.
At least my understanding was that this is 2-stop process: The
first/lower step is becoming a Member Federation. Only Member
Federations then may also become Particpant Federations (by adopting
Tech Profiles).
So maybe change its defintion like this (having added "are Member
Federations" that "additionally") in section 3:

"Participant Federations [are Member Federations] that [additionally]
are actively participating in eduGAIN via the use of a Technology

Alternatively, adding something to 3.3 to that effect would also take
care of this, e.g.:
1. The Federation has joined eduGAIN as a Member Federation
   (renaming all other 3 items +1)

Or maybe simply by changing the first sentence in 3.3 by prefixing it
with "For a Member Federation", so that it becomes:

"[For a Member Federation] the process to become a Participant
Federation in a Technology Profile is as follows:"
PeterThis is defined in the definitions - no change recommended.
3.63.6: Suspension

This section only talks about Participant Federations, even when it's
about policy issues. Does that mean that only Participant Federations
can be suspended or disqualified? I.e., Member Federations cannot do
anything that would change their member status?

Either way, the following sentence is a bit weird then:

"* Announces suspension or disqualification of eduGAIN membership to
all Participant Federations and,"

So it's the "membership" that's being suspended/disqualified, and
that's only communicated to all Participant Federations?

Everything prior in that section is about Participant Federations and
their suspension. And why only communicate the fact that someone was
suspended to all Participant Federations instead of all Member

PeterThis is a leftover from the original document.  Could delete the word "participant" from 10th bullet in section 3.6.
3.6Suspension reasons. The no confidence vote opens a very vague area. I have a problem explaining this to the lawyer since I cannot imagine a reason for suspension which does not result from one of the first three points. Perhaps we do not need such an open and arbitrary possibility for suspension?TomaszThe vagueness is intentional, no change proposed.
3.6Disqualification reasons. Contrary to the title of the section no real reasons except for a vote from the SG is given.TomaszIt's intended to be a possible end results of suspension, so behaviour that has led to suspension that is so bad permanent disqualification is proposed.
3.6Automatic suspension by the OT. I believe this really was meant for technical blocking incoming federation data in cases requiring urgent action. Such a technical action by the OT should not be seen as a suspension. If I misinterpret this  then some guidance would be nice.Tomaszstill see that as suspension.  Anything that causes service outage = suspension.
AllNo governing law is specified. Pointed out by the lawyer as a flaw.TomaszThis is in the Declaration, not the Constitution: "Neither the existence of this declaration, nor the exchange of information enabled by it, shall create any new legal  obligations  or  rights  between  Members  or  operators  of  any  federation.  Members  and  operators  remain 
bound only by their own respective laws and jurisdictions."

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