ARIN-PPML Message

[ppml] Staff Comments Regarding Policy Proposal 2006-1

> Staff calls to
> the attention of the community the effect of the suppression of
> information from the general public that is currently used by those who
> use this data in research. This data would have a diminished value as
> the use of a term such as "private residence" or "private customer" may
> not necessarily reflect the accurate distribution of the address space
> by the customers of ARIN. The community may want to consider further
> definition of these terms to provide clarity to the research community.

Clarification is good. In my opinion, there is no
legitimate and justifiable requirement to provide any
data whatsoever to the research community that is
not also provided to the general public. This goes
back to the fact that ARIN publishes a whois directory
simply because it is "traditional" to do so. The tradition
arose out of the need of ARPANET administrators to record
users of the ARPANET in order to justify the expenditure
of funds.

I would welcome a clear definition that describes
the purpose and scope of the whois directory. Potentially
such a definition of scope could include some of the
needs of researchers. Two years ago I made an attempt
at such a definition with this policy proposal:
http://www.arin.net/policy/proposals/2004_4.html
If you read sentence 7 and item (i) in the rationale
on that page then that shows how the whois directory could
contain information to support research while still 
maintaining privacy.

> If on the other hand this policy would permit the suppression of
> information being presented to ARIN, staff has additional concerns to
> those described above.

Good example of the ambiguity of current policy.
This needs to be fixed so that the operational need
for information is handled entirely separately from
the definition of which information is collected for
the express purpose of publishing it.

I suggest that the staff and trustees should think
about how to define which bits of the current policy
could be removed because they really belong in some
definiton of ARIN services and practices. Now that there
is this new process http://www.arin.net/about_us/corp_docs/acsp.html
to drive needed changes in ARIN services and practices,
there is no need for ARIN policy to contain these
grey areas.

--Michael Dillon