[ARIN-consult] Reminder - Consultation on ARIN’s Membership Structure

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Mon Nov 8 12:58:02 EST 2021

> On Nov 8, 2021, at 12:09 PM, Owen DeLong <owen at delong.com> wrote:
>> One option would certainly to be have everyone just be “general members”, but it’s fairly plain that some organizations just want registry services and have little interest in participating in ARIN governance activities (and this characterization applies to both those who are existing ISP/general members and to end-user organizations.)
> And what is the problem with those organizations (continuing to) abstain from voting, but retaining their rights to vote?

Owen -

There is nothing wrong with doing so - ARIN could easily have a single “general member” category and 14000+ general members, of which 1000 to 2000 vote in elections when they wish…. It is a functional model (and any quorum matter could be addressed by setting at an appropriate value at the time the membership surges with the additional end-user members.)

It certainly suffices, but then again, it pretty much precludes ever having the general membership having increased authority over the organization –as the ability for an bad actor to surreptitiously harvest votes from the large uninterested and otherwise uninvolved electorate is quite real.

A substantial benefit of an well-defined general membership that is that (once stable and smoothly running) it would be possible to consider taking more substantial matters of ARIN governance and putting them before that general membership. I note that when ARIN started out, all of the authority was held by the Board of Trustees (even the ability to “elect” new Trustees) but we have with time and and stability worked to empower ARIN’s membership (e.g Election & removal of trustees, formal consultation on certain bylaws changes, approval of RSA changes). It is my own personal view that such a trend of increasingly vesting authority of the organization with the members should continue, but I do believe having a well-defined and active general membership is necessary to do so.


John Curran
President and CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers

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