ARIN-PPML Message

[arin-ppml] Fraud reporting and self-incrimination

In message <C8FA2E84.167F4%marty at akamai.com>, 
"Hannigan, Martin" <marty at akamai.com> wrote:

>Do you think we could get another year or two our of v4 if we are able to
>recover any addresses that are being utilized fraudulently?
>
>Ron? Ted? Leo?

Does it matter?

I think you are asking the wrong question.

Let me explain why I say that.

Quite simply, I'm looking at this v4->v6 transtion and I frankly think
its going to be a debacle of historic proportions, not because people
of good will haven't been working their butts off to try to make it all
go smoothly... many many surely have... but rather because they are all
struggling, vainly, I think, against one of the most fundamental aspects
of human nature, inertia.  And against that, they are nearly powerless.

We have, I think, a model for how a mass technology transition like this
can be pulled off with a reasonable level of success and without too
awfully much confusion and pain, i.e. the transition, in North America,
from analog to digital TV.  In that transition also, we had producers
and consumers and a massive chicken & egg problem, but somehow it all
worked.  I think it worked for one simple reason... somebody, and I'm
not even sure who (the government?) put their foot down at some point
and said ``OK, after this date certain, EVERYBODY is going to get onto
the new standard, and to make sure that we get even the lazy, and the
stupid, and the die-hards to do that, we are going to actually pull
the plug on the old system and SHUT THE DAMN THING DOWN ENTIRELY as of
date X.''

For whatever reasons... and I don't even know the reasons because I
wansn't in the room at the time... the decision was made that this
would NOT be the way the v4->v6 transition would be handled... no
big brother coming in and pointing a gun at all our heads, no date
certain for the ``universal'' changeover, and most importantly, no
committment by anybody, as far as I know, to turn down and turn off
IPv4.

To be clear, I am not criticizing the decision to try to operate the old
and the new, v4 and v6, in parallel for an extended period of time, nor
would I, because I am almost completely ignorant of the reasoning or argu-
uments that went into that decision.  I am only offering my observations
on what seems likely to unfold, based on that decision.

And what seems most likely to me is that v4 will be around and will be
in active use for another 5, 10, and possibly even 20 years.  As long as
you can be v4 and yet still have v6 on the side, some people and organi-
zations will continue to cling to v4 like a life preserver.  And they
will be right to do so as long as there are _other_ people they want to
communicate with who are v4 only.  (And there will be.)

I see a big potential downside here for future innovation.

I think that most of us would agree that the Internet is a wonderful thing.
Take eBay, for example, which took a massive set of localized disorganized
flea markets and yard sales and made the whole mess both rational and global.
And then there is the Huffington Post, which so far seems to be able to
make a go of it, by preserving something that looks sort of like journalism,
in a world where that particular art form is rapidly dying out.  Innovation
made the Internet what it is and vise versa.

So what's going to happen to the next generation of Internet innovations
and innovators?  Are they going to be hamstrung in their quests for success
because they can't get any IPv4 and because they have the misfortune of
comming online at a time when 50% of the planet still speaks only that?
How will tomorrow's New Upstarts compete against the Old Guard, when the
latter has access to 100% market share while the former only has access
to 50% of that?

I don't know what the next great and indispensible Internet site or service
is going to be.  I wish I did.  All I know is that there _is_ going to be
one... or rather many.  Do _you_ want to be the one to tell the next great
Internet innovators that they are SOL as far as IPv4 connectivity simply
because a bunch of crooks got there ahead of them and stole what remained
of the IPv4 space (and because nobody even took the time to clean that mess
up)?  I don't.

So who would you rather see get the last remaining bits of the IPv4 space...
the next eBay or Google or Huffington Post or Facebook, or a bunch of
fraudsters?

In short, I don't think it is a question of how long we can keep on giving
_everybody_ (and every toaster) more IPv4 space.  To me the question comes
back to stewardship.... as long as IPv4 lives it should have good stewardship
and somebody should make sure that deserving and needy entities get preference
for WHATEVER amounts remain... including whatever amounts can be recovered...
in preference over both (a) crooks and also (b) toasters & refrigerators.