[ppml] An Apple for ARIN

Jim Fleming JimFleming at ameritech.net
Wed Oct 2 08:42:46 EDT 2002

Many people do not seem to understand that ARIN has not been around very long. The I* society
seems to have a knack for working behind the scenes to create private companies to serve their needs
and as soon as those companies are formed, and Board members are "selected", and the cash is flowing
the general public (and customers) are distracted from the basic questions of who gave these self-appointed
insiders the right / authority / legitimacy to be doing what they are doing ? which is largely **nothing** more
than what could be accomplished with some simple automation programs allowing ISPs to obtain and
return blocks of numbers in an organized manner.

===== Why Names and Numbers Are Needed =====
The history of ARIN and all of the Address Space  Registries (ASRs) is rooted in the design of the IPv4
IP layer Header which is 160 bits in length without options. Two of the fields in that 160 bits are 32 bits long
and contain what are called IP Addresses. Many people now, young and old, can quickly tell you their IP
Address and can tell you weather it is dynamic or static. Some consider it to be like a phone number and
even put it on their business cards and other signatures. They understand that static is stable and persistent
and allows them to use that for people to contact them. Because of the artificially inflated cost of managing
IP Address Space, dynamic IP address allocations have become popular, and the DNS is used to allow
people to have a persitent name (which may be long but FREE), and that name can always be used to
look up the dynamic IP address. To complicate matters even more, DNS names can be made to look a
lot like phone numbers or static IP addresses, so people start to see the name and number spaces blurring
together. Inside telephone systems, there is a notion of LEN - Line Equipment Number which is separate
from the logical "phone number" which is largely now a database index. 800 numbers have of course created
another layer which are mapped to underlying phone numbers which eventually end up with an LEN.
Because of the circuit-switched nature of phone systems, each end does not have to know the LEN of the
other end. That is not the case in packet-switched systems, where each end, ultimately, has a raw 32-bit,
or larger, value for itself and the other end.

Returning to the real issue, why do certain insiders think they have the exclusive rights to be the Trustees
or Stewards of the 32-bit values?? Why are they any different from any other human on Earth?? There are
many answers to these questions. Most answers fall into the categories of: 1. They were there first. 2. They
are the ones with the clues. 3. They care about the Internet. 4. They make lots of money from it. 5. It gives
them an unfair advantage over their competitors. 6. They happened to know the right person at the right time.
7. They are control freaks. 8. They like to travel and party and hand out favors. 9. Their religion teaches
them that they are special. 10. They have no clue how they got on the following list, but they will look into it.

Trusteeship can be separated from Allocationship in various ways. Many people seem to think that ARIN
is the top level trustee for all of the 32-bit values. Because the ICANN Board and Staff are mostly clueless,
and distracted with domain name debates, they have allowed ARIN to become the main allocator of **all** of
the 32-bit values, partly, because of the management of the IN-ADDR.ARPA zone, and the out-sourced
arrangement to Nominum, David Conrad (ARIN), Paul Vixie, and Paul Mockapetris who all worked closely
with the late Jon Postel (IANA) who went to the same high-school as Vinton Cerf (ICANN) who was a DARPA
funding manager that funded people to work their way up thru the I* society labor union or political party.
RIPE and APNIC are under ARIN, yet are parallel (peers) in some ways, because they appear in this list.
Each line in the list is worth $1 to $2 billion dollars and the large commercial companies in the list remain
largely silent, keeping ICANN in place as a well-funded and clueless overseer, and ARIN as the enforcer,
with RIPE and APNIC as the go-along with anything sheep, and the always present *emerging" wannabees
(LACNIC, AFRICANIC, etc.) that can't wait to get in on the game of handing out numbers in return for
large sums of money to fund their travel, connections to the Internet, etc. all while telling everyone that they
are doing this for the good of the community and saving the router tables from being overflowed, which is
total nonsense, because leasing out numbers says nothing about how those numbers will be used. It should
be noted that ARIN does not guarantee routability with the blocks leased. Other Registries, such as AT&T,
may be able to imply some potential for routability because they also operate equipment that forms the network.
012/8           AT&T Bell Laboratories                  Jun 95
Blocks of numbers without routability are largely worthless. Anyone can stand on a street corner and
try to sell index cards with unique numbers on them. Most people would not buy one or lease one because
it means nothing to them and therefore has no value. For people that do not want to collide, and want to
engage in creating a cooperative network, having a unique id or block of numbers can be the key to
participating or not. With 32-bits, in theory, there could be 4,294,967,296 owners. Some owners may
want to use the unique ids for one purpose and others may want to use them for routing. Some people
are narrow-minded and can not imagine why someone would want to own a unique id. [ As a bit of
disclosure, in 1981 I started a company selling Unique IDs with signed, framed certificates. That was
21 years ago. A lot has happened since and there is more to come.]

Stepping back and looking at the Internet with a fresh-start approach, one can imagine having a large
land area (let's say Montana) and imagine having to divide it into 256 Trustees. Imagine one arrives in
Montana and they just happen to land on Acre #17. They look around and they see that the land is covered
with Apple trees, so they call it the Apple Acre. They also happen to notice a huge building on the land
that makes computers, but they ignore that. Let's say that these people who landed on Acre #17 just so
happened to have Tribal Names such as BBS, KIDS, SPACE and APPRAISERS.
017/8           Apple Computer Inc.                     Jul 92
0:136     PICTURES
0:137     BBS
0:138     PLACE
0:139     KIDS
0:140     SPACE
0:141     APPRAISERS
0:142     CHANGE
0:143     CREATED

Let's say years and years go by and Acre #17 just sits there and is hardly used. Contrary to what
some may think, Acre #17 does not come and go with an entry in a file. It exists because of the way
ranges are numbered, because of the way all humans have learned to count and to order things.
On each side of Acre #17 is Acre #16 and Acre #18. Each Acre is exactly the same size. Let's say
that over time, the Tribal visitors to Acre #17 and the company there making computers all learn to
get along and they eat the apples from the trees, and life is wonderful. Let's say they divide up the
land and all learn to live with their "allocations" and one person from each of the tribes and one person
from the computer company periodically meet and make sure everything is "fair". No outsiders are
involved or needed. Let's say that over time, the computer company folds up or loses interest and
what remains are the tribal leaders who run their BBSes, or raise their KIDS, or play in cyber SPACE.
Let's say that they are all happy with Acre #17 and they all learn to get along and to play fair.

Imagine that these tribes are doing this and low and behold some people arrive from across some
ocean and decide that the tribes must be organized. They take their Acre #17 from them and they
give it back to the computer company. With land, it might be possible to take it from someone. With
a totally abstract entity, such as a block of numbers, that is much harder. Imagine that all of the tribal
leaders decide that they are very happy with Acre #17, and they all agree to tell each other and others
that they live on Acre #17, the one with the apple trees. Who can stop them ? Via their strong bonds
and their years of working together, they arrive at a view of the world that works for them and you
can not change that view. They view that it is fair, that they have exclusive rights to Acre #17 and
they are very happy to share some of the space with others. In fact, imagine that the tribal leaders
are discover that they can lease part of the space to other people (who have no land) and make
enough money to not do anything other than play, ride their horses, raise their kids, etc. They happen
to be there first, at the right place and the right time, and they have the space and they prosper.

...to be continued...

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