NAIPR Message

Rebuttal to Mr. Weisberg's insinuations Re: Important News from Don Telage about ARIN

On Thu, 17 Jul 1997, Eric Weisberg wrote:

> Robert T. Nelson wrote:
> > 
> > I hope that Vaden, Weisberg, Fleming, Walker, etc think carefully about

[sorry, Jeff]

> Robert,

> I suggest that there has been little response to the issues I raise.  I
> think Gordon, has been the exception and has genuinely tried to nudge
> the process in the right direction.  Instead of dealing with my points,
> people questioned my motivation and accused me of attacking the Net. 
> That, I do not accept.  

I do not question your motivation. I presume that you do what you feel is
best (difficult as that may be to discern, given issues like this one) for
you and your business. I believe that you raise important points, however
I also think that theyu are somewhat misdirected. I think you would be
better off (on the IP Space issue) pushing for ARIN to be formed, and and
working to see to it that all of us Netizens out here are protected from
entities who try to hijack the process.

> I want to be subject to a REPRESENTATIVE system.  And, I suggest that it
> should be created in a democratic process--a vote of the governed or of
> some broadly representative group.  I question whether that has
> occurred.

You are currently not subject to a representative system at all. ARIN will
bring more representation to the process, not less. 

I suggest to you, and to Peter, that you join ARIN as members, and make
your voice heard, and subject to the consensus there. 

> I am not criticizing Jon Postel.  I am criticizing top-down governance. 
> I am alleging and criticizing a failure to publically discuss how ARIN
> should be organized.  

Unfortunately, this is a computer. Unless you have a better programming
model, I think you need to stick with it for a while. ARIN seems to me to
be a step in the right direction. I think that in no more than 10 years
we will have to go at this again, to wean the Internet further off of its'

> You may have discussed ARIN's structure to death before I came along and
> decided that a self-appointing board is what you want.  Maybe there was
> a public vote to do it this way.  If so, I owe and give a lot of people
> an appology and will understand their reluctance to accept it.  If such
> a process has not occurred, I suggest that it should. I ask you to
> respond to this suggestion rather than attacking my motives or
> integrity.

I will certainly respond to this. I have not been actively involved in the
debate over ARIN. There are parts of the proposal that I am not wild
about. I am personally pleased that leaders in the Internet Community have
come up with an idea to get NSI out of the IP Space business, even if it
takes NSI to start it up. It is a step in the right direction.

A public vote should not necessarily occur on the issue of numeric space.
Assignment of numbers is somewhat inherently (to me, anyway)
non-democratic. If you can show me specifically how you intend
to assign numbers from multiple registries, without having a coordinating
body, I am very interested. This may sound like the "benevolent dictator"
system, and to a degree, it is. It will eventually have to be torn apart,
and a new system born. 

I do not attack your integrity. I believe that you do what you feel is
right and just. And i will defend your right to speak your mind, while I
disagree with you in the same breath.

> I also suggest that the ARIN "proposal" smacks (to my admittedly
> sensitive ear) of paternalism.  I read it as saying that the people
> involved in the Internet are not competent to democratically manage an
> IP registry in a responsible way and that this function must be
> entrusted to a board which is out of the reach of the "peasants" (to use
> an indellicate term which I suspect Gordon would love to withdraw from
> his prior post).  Thus, some may believe and argue that having a board
> appointed by NSI (or whomever) was necessary.   If anyone disagrees with
> my reading of the proposal, they should say so.  Or if anyone believes
> that a more democratic or representative form of governance would be
> dangerous, you should discuss your thoughts.  But, no one has responded
> to me on these points.

You can hardly form an entity without having a group of "founders". 
As far as peasants go (yes, poor choice of words) do you let your users
control your network? If you did, wouldn't it be more of a knotwork? It
really isn't much different. Remove yourself from your personal stake in
the issue, and look at it objectively. 

I would hesitate to give numeric assignments the stature of governance. I
think that that word has sufficient connotations that if we use it in this
sense, we will set ourselves up for Real Governance (tm) by an Internet
Government (tm). I do not support that Internet. I think that we don't
know how to govern, much less govern cyberspace.

> Sometime in the next year, the BoT is going to appoint an advisory
> board.  How representative will it be?  Does anyone reallly know? 
> Shouldn't we discuss that process, now?  Or, do you feel this process
> should go on behind closed doors?

By my reading of the proposal, it will be as representative as the
membership insist that it be. If the BoT selects Advisory Council members
from the membership, then you should be out there selling ARIN as much as
the next guy to make sure 1) you have wide representation via members and
Advisory Council seats and 2) the power to oust. The membership will
consist, by my guess, of the serious stakeholders in IP Space, and those
who feel qualified to add to the process. If this is not the
representation you want at ARIN, you should be pushing your kind of people
to participate. The process, for the initial term, seems fairly
straighforward, and certainly not behind closed doors. I think you should
make it you goal to make *damn sure* that come next year, as ARIN reviews
these processes, that you make your voice heard via your membership and
the Advisory Council. 

> My comments are directed toward making AN arin (if not THIS arin) work. 
> Am I off base in my stated concerns or premises?  If not, how else do
> you propose we raise and deal with those issues?

It is my goal to make these Public trusts, remain in the public trust, in
a way that the public can trust. Unfortunately, spin gets out of control
very quickly on the net, and it is very difficult for the organizers to
respond to everyone's complaints personally. They are then accused of
being secretive. Mostly they're trying to get something done. For you. And
me. And them (don't forget them) ;->

Hopefully I have made myself more clear.


Rob Nelson