NAIPR Message

Answer to Dave McClure's concerns

On Mon, 17 Feb 1997, Dave McClure wrote:

> Please note that this is no longer a **proposed Board of Trustees**, but
> that this self-elected group of hijackers is already at work trying to
> claim a monoploly on all North and South American IP addresses.  Who
> elected them?  Under whose authority?  And why is there only one persone
> even remotely associated with an actual ISP on this "Board of
> Trudtees?????" 

If you would read through the materials in the Reading List at you would realize that ARIN is not claiming a monopoly
on all North and South American IP addresses. On the contrary, ARIN is
offering to act as a "steward" for the IP address space allocated in the
Western hemisphere which is, no doubt, why there is a Board of "Trustees"
rather than a Board of "Directors". It is also incorrect to say that the
BoT is self-elected. Obviously they haven't been directly elected by any
constitutency but this is not surprising in the absence of a structure
to run such an election. However, they have consulted with IANA, NSF, the
current IP allocation folks at the Internic, and most of the major users
of IP space in North America. In addition, they have submitted their plans
to the open scrutiny of the Internet community on this mailing list and on
the website. The plan also provides for an election mechanism for future
trustees as it does for the future Advisory Council.

As far as the ISP connections. Both Randy Bush and John Curran currently
work for large backbone providers as you can read in the biographies on
the website. That's one more than you mentioned. But ISP's are not the
only users of IP address space. The educational and research community are
also large users of IP addresses and Raymundo Vega and Scott Bradner
represent that sector. Donald Telage holds a trustee position because
his firm will be funding the transfer of the existing IP allocation
function to ARIN. It is quite reasonable that he should have a position as
a trustee while his company's money is being spent.

The other two positions are ex-officio and I assume that the intent is to
have the current IANA director and the current Executive Director of ARIN
as permanent members of the board. This provides the essential liaison
with IANA, from whom all IP allocations originate, and with the
operational employees of ARIN who actually do the job.

> BTW, if you'd like some really serious reading on the subject, look at
> the way that APNIC and RIPE were formed.  They were formed as a **true**
> collaborative effort by the ISPs who had control of the IP addressing
> systems. . .with open election of their Boards, ISP control of the
> system, and a real non-profit status. 

I don't understand why you feel that ARIN will not have real non-profit
status. I'm not all that familiar with U.S. tax law, however ARIN is being
chartered as an organization that is tax exempt under section 501(c)(6) of
the U.S. tax code. I know that in Canada that tax exempt organizations
have to follow some fairly strict rules about handling money and I have no
reason to doubt that U.S. law is significantly different. Perhaps the
people from APNIC and RIPE can comment on the open election questions.
I certainly do not find it unusual that an organization gets bootstrapped
into existence with no elections in the first year. As long as the
structure is in place for future elections I believe that the ISP members
of ARIN will ensure that the organization is above reproach. And ARIN
will certainly be far more open that the current privately run Internic.

> > But my own personal gut-feel on the ARIN situation is that it's ready
> > to
> > go if we can just nail down the stuff in the proposal that is still
> > written in conditional language.

> Hehehehe!  Like having real non-profit status, open elections of the
> Board of Trustees, a proposed set of bylaws,

Yes, something like that. As far as by-laws are concerned, they are most
likely available in boilerplate. I have been involved in the incorporation
of several non-profits here in Canada and in one case we used the
boilerplate provided in the provincial Society Act, in two other cases
we used boilerplate provided by the provincial law society. I don't expect
people to give their final consensus on the matter until the bylaws are
actually presented, but knowing that the Trustees are all volunteers with
full-time jobs elsewhere, I'm not terribly worried that details are coming
out in a trickle. In fact, I'd be far more worried if we had been
presented with a nice neat package from day one.

> a mission, seems good enough so far. I agree it
would sound better if rewritten as a mission statement, but the basic info
is there.

> How about a proposed
> budget, any input from the ISPs who will foot the bill for this,

Yes, definitely. I agree 100% with you on these two points. However, given
the level of vituperative attack we have seen on this mailing list, it
doesn't surprise me that the Trustees are keeping the budget secret until
they can justify every line item on it. And I am confident that ISP's who
intend to become ARIN members or subscribe to ARIN's services will make
their views known to the Board of Trustees. Sadly, I expect a number of
them will not want to speak publicly due to the level of discord on this
list, but that is their prerogative. 

> or the
> authority under which these hijackers are operating???? 

You really must check out the website in more detail.

> Michael, can you give a list, here in public, of the major ISPs who
> support this proposal?  I am very prepared to provide a list of the ISPs
> who do not. . .large, and small. 

I'm not on the Board of Trustees and I have not personally surveyed even
the backbone providers so I cannot give you this information. I would like
to point out, however, that several of the trustees do participate
in a number of forums that the major providers attend such as NANOG
and IETF. They certainly know how to contact the providers and the
providers know how to contact them. I interpret the absence of public
comment from the major NSP's on this list as a tacit vote of confidence 
for ARIN.

> As for it being a non-profit, the IRS looks poorly upon
> organizations that charge for services but try to claim non-profit
> status.  Unlike APNIC or RIPE, ARIN has no collaborative or educational
> mission.

You should read through section 501 of the tax code. While your comments
would certainly apply to a 501(c)(3) corporation, they do not appear
to apply to 501(c)(6).

> Why have we not seen ...

Like I said, the volunteers have sull time jobs, and they are asking
the industry for input. If anyone has some direct advice on how to
structure ARIN, bylaws, budgets, please share them with the BoT if not
with the entire list.

> but offers **NO**
> accounting of how those funds will be used, why they are necessary, or
> what the accountability will be to the industry. 

In reading through the current draft proposal I do see accountability
built into it. If you feel there is a shortcoming in the accountability,
let's hear your suggestions for improvement.

> The truth is, Michael, that the authors of this proposal have little
> interest in "nailing down the details," and have rigourously avoided any
> opportunity to do so. 

Perhaps this is the truth in your worldview, but not in mine. Of course, I
have personally met Kin Hubbard on two occasions, and met both Randy Bush
and John Curran on one occasion. In addition I have met and talked to some
Internic employees in person. One thing that face-to-face meetings do for
me is to give me insight into a person's character. And I have to say that
I get generally good impressions of these people. I have encountered
sleazy people several times in my life and the ARIN folks do NOT fit that
mold. This doesn't mean that they will automatically do everything
perfectly, but since I'm not perfect either, I won't hold them to such a
high standard. And with the open process exepmlified by this mailing list,
I think we can all ensure that the job is done right.

> Don't believe it?  Here's a simple test, Micheal. . .get an answer to a
> simple question:  How many exectuives of Network Solutions, Inc., will
> become executives of ARIN, and how many NSI employees will be
> transferred to ARIN.

I'm not interested in numbers. But I hope that 100% of the people engaged
in IP allocation functions at the Internic move to ARIN with basically the
same job description. I think we are fortunate that Network Solutions is
supportive of this because in most industries you would get sued for
hiring away an entire department. And in order to maintain the stability
of IP allocations in this continent we need as little disruption as

> Michael, have you ever (and I will invoke the FTC truth in advertising
> law here, since this is a public forum) discussed with anyone the
> possibility of you becoming either a member of the ARIN Board of
> Trustees or its appointed Advisory Council? 

Some people on the ISP/C Board think that we should have a member on the
Advisory Council and I am one of three ISP/C directors that our board
has discussed as possibilities. However, the ISP/C has not been asked to
appoint a member to ARIN's Advisory Council. In addition, the ISP/C board
has not received any indication that the Advisory Council will be set up
as a series of appointments by other organizations. In fact, I don't think
that is a good way to set up the initial AC, they should be appointed
directly by the initial BoT. I don't believe that the earlier proposals
specified how the AC would be chosen, but the current proposal contains
this statement:

     The initial Advisory Council will be selected from among ARIN's
     membership by the Board of Trustees. 

Since the current annual membership fee is $1000, I won't be joining ARIN
as an individual and would thus be ineligible to be an AC member. Unless,
of course, I end up working for a company that joins ARIN but then I would
expect the choice of which employee would hold the ARIN membership would
rest with the CEO of that company.  It is entirely possible that the BoT
already has a set of candidates for the AC and I have never discussed this
with any BoT members except on this list. If you have reviewed the
archives you will note that I made a number of suggestions about
structuring the Advisory Council as a body elected directly by the
membership of ARIN. As for the BoT, I don't think it would be good for it
to expand in size. The ex-officio appointment of Jon Postel is a good idea
leaving the board with 5 voting members which is a good size, IMHO, for a

This may seem like a complex answer to a simple question but I wanted to
cover as many bases as possible and answer many of the questions that
you have hidden inside your question.

One thing that you fail to realize is that the Internet community is quite
open to new ideas if they are good ideas. It is not necessary to have
connections or to bribe somebody in order to be listened to. Good ideas
speak for themselves. This isn't the first forum in which I have freely
contributed my ideas and found that some of them have been accepted as
part of the "stone soup". If you have some good ideas, there is a good
possibility that they will also be accepted here. And I'm sure most of the
people on this list would be happier to read a few good ideas than to read
your constant critique of everything about ARIN. Let's face it, there may
well be some bad things that could be fixed but it's really stretching it
to suggest that everything is as bad as you make out.

Michael Dillon                   -               Internet & ISP Consulting
Memra Software Inc.              -                  Fax: +1-250-546-3049             -               E-mail: michael at