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Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2023 23:09:25 +0100
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: linux-distros membership application of openEuler

Hi Alexander, Igor, and all -

On Sun, Dec 24, 2023 at 09:43:06PM +0800, Alexander E. Patrakov wrote:
> Thanks for the summary that you posted. I have read it carefully and
> found a phrase, "an isolated one application like that so far", that
> effectively says that this legal issue regarding communications to
> sanctioned entities is *new*.

What I meant is that it's the first time this was brought up as a
concern about a new member application.

> Could you please recheck that it is indeed the case?

I (or anyone) could check oss-security list archives to see if a similar
concern was possibly brought up before, but I think I'd have remembered
if this were the case.

> The question formally arises because there are Alt
> Linux representatives on the list already, and I do not know if there
> are US sanctions against them.

As far as I'm aware, there are currently no US sanctions against them.

Also, as I pointed out, even the US sanctions against Huawei don't seem
to apply to what we're doing, per LF's public statement and per my own
reading (but I am not a lawyer).

However, that might not be enough to prevent people from being concerned
and discouraged from participating if openEuler joins.  This is why I
suggested that it's best if openEuler does not join now, and that people
who had commented before could want to say whether their concerns are
now sufficiently addressed or maybe not.

> Also, Igor has communicated an important note about the mandatory
> disclosure of vulnerabilities to the Chinese government. Therefore, a
> question arises: is the Chinese government the only one that requires
> this?

These are valid concerns.

Per my reading, the EU CRA (which isn't final yet and isn't in effect
yet) is going to require something related, but different.  The proposal
from 2022:

includes the below:

"The manufacturer shall, without undue delay and in any event within 24
hours of becoming aware of it, notify to ENISA any actively exploited
vulnerability contained in the product with digital elements."

"The manufacturer shall, without undue delay and in any event within 24
hours of becoming aware of it, notify to ENISA any incident having
impact on the security of the product with digital elements."

"Manufacturers shall, upon identifying a vulnerability in a component,
including in an open source component, which is integrated in the
product with digital elements, report the vulnerability to the person or
entity maintaining the component."

As you can see, this separates "actively exploited vulnerability" and
"incident" requiring timely reporting to a government agency vs. "a
vulnerability" requiring (not so timely) reporting to upstream.  When a
vulnerability is actively exploited, we'll generally want to publish it
within 24 hours anyway, and we generally want to notify upstream anyway,
so EU list members would probably be able to comply with these while
meeting our usual policy as well.

I'm not currently aware of related legislation elsewhere, but I would be
unsurprised if it exists.

Overall, I am concerned about this trend towards more government
oversight.  While we also have our policies, we do not have a monopoly,
so if folks disagree they can choose not to participate or set up
something different, whereas with laws opting-out is much harder.

> Can existing list members certify that they do not have any
> requirement placed upon them by the applicable laws to disclose the
> postings beyond what is permitted by the list policy - i.e., "at
> anywhere beyond the need-to-know within your distro's team"?

We might not want to require that.  It may be sufficient that they
certify they don't violate the list policy, so that if they take a legal
risk it's on them and it's not increased by us having made that request.

> On Sun, Dec 24, 2023 at 2:50 AM Igor Seletskiy <> wrote:
> > Based on what I know, in 2021, China passed a legislature that requires
> > people to disclose vulnerabilities to the Chinese government within 2 days.
> > I don't have a good grasp on the actual terms/conditions, but based on this:
> >
> >
> > *(2) Infomation on the relevant vulnerabilities shall be reported to the
> > Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's network security threat
> > and vulnerability information-sharing platform within 2 days; The content
> > sent shall include the name, model number, and version of the products in
> > which network product security vulnerabilities exist, as well as the
> > vulnerability's technical characteristics, threat, scope of impact, and so
> > forth.*
> >
> > I read it as adding Chinese entities or residents to the list would force
> > them to disclose a subset of security vulnerabilities to the Chinese
> > government before public disclosure.

Ouch.  This does look more problematic than the proposed EU CRA wording.


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