[ppml] Policy Proposal 2005-2: Directory Services Overhaul

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Mon Apr 18 02:46:37 EDT 2005

While I respect and understand your criticism of Jon Postel (that is the
correct spelling of his name, btw), I think you must consider both his
actions, and, the possible or likely actions of ARIN staff in appropriate
context.  When Jon was doing what you describe, it was at a time when
virtually anyone could obtain an IP address and there was no expectation
that they would become a scarce resource.  Once we started seeing hints
of scarcity and the need for CIDR due to routing table constraints on AGS
boxes (remember those?), he stopped doing that.

ARIN has never engaged in such behavior, though, technically, I suppose
that certain members of the staff probably have the discretion to do so
if they really chose to.

However, in the current context of ARIN, there are layers of supervision
within the staff and multiple peer reviews of such discretionary decisions,
so, generally, corruption would require a conspiracy of corrupt individuals.

Finally, any such discretionary action that was viewed as wrong would, in 
likelihood be brought before this mailing list by the reporting party who
saw the staff repeatedly refuse to reclaim the resources, as it would be
appropriate at that point to comment that the existing policy was not 

Again, I just do not see a serious risk to the community from giving the
current ARIN staff this discretion, nor, should the makeup of the staff
change such that it is a concern, do I see this as even in the top 10 issues
related to staff discretion.

I also believe that by the time that happens, we will be in a much better
position, with much better data to review what changes should be made to
the policy to limit such discretion.

As such, I think this policy is a good step in the right direction.  Let's
put it in place and get some data.  When we have an idea of what would make
it better, let's propose a new policy which amends it.  That's the whole
point of the ARIN IRPEP and this list.


--On Sunday, April 17, 2005 23:46 -0700 Jeff Williams 
<jwkckid1 at ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> William and all,
>   Thank you for your reasoned remarks.
>   I can understand your attitude and concern here.  Yet it seems
> more than obvious that discretion needs limits and hence a
> flexible policy seem appropriate that has hard and fast requirements
> regarding reporting, ect.    How for instance will it be knowable if
> any ARIN staff member is using good and reasoned discretion?
> Or does one just assume such?
>   I can for instance remember Jon Postal, god rest his kind soul,
> handing out IPv4 address blocks like they were so much candy
> at halloween.  Is that good discretion?  Or was it trick and treat?
> william(at)elan.net wrote:
>> On Sun, 17 Apr 2005, Jeff Williams wrote:
>> > Glenn and all,
>> >
>> >  I don't like the idea that the ARIN staff has significant leeway with
>> > regard to discretion.  Discretion is a very nebulous thing and can be
>> > easily inappropriately or improperly applied for any number of
>> > reasons.  Hence a hard and fast policy for reclaiming resources
>> > is unfortunately necessary.
>> There are a lot of circumstances that can be involved that its difficult
>> to predict by policy text right now. It is probably better that we give
>> ARIN staff some discretion but require them to report on how its been
>> used and if we see that there have been cases that ARIN staff seems
>> to not be applyng "their discretion" in the right way then policy can
>> always be toughened (but already we'd have certain amount of experience
>> and be able to write more detailed policy). This is better then somebody
>> loosing the block because we were too tough and did not account for
>> their special circumstance.
>> >>  After ariving in Orlando and getting my registration packets, I read
>> >> Raymond Plzak's 'observations' related to ARIN directory Services &
>> >> Data...  I noticed some interesting stuff that made me think more
>> >> about what drives some of my underlying feelings of being
>> >> uncomfortable with the proposed policy (2005-2). From Section 4.1 of
>> >> that document...
>> And for those not attending were can we read those 'observations'?
>> ARIN staff should really work harder on giving equality to availability
>> of documents to all the ARIN policy process participants (no matter if
>> one is attending meeting or not). As it is is, its 2nd time (in last 4
>> years) that I'm not able to attend the meeting and yet again I see
>> policy-related documents mentioned  that only meeting attendees have
>> access to ...
>> --
>> William Leibzon
>> Elan Networks
>> william at elan.net
> Regards,
> --
> Jeffrey A. Williams
> Spokesman for INEGroup LLA. - (Over 134k members/stakeholders strong!)
> "Be precise in the use of words and expect precision from others" -
>     Pierre Abelard
> "If the probability be called P; the injury, L; and the burden, B;
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> P: i.e., whether B is less than PL."
> United States v. Carroll Towing  (159 F.2d 169 [2d Cir. 1947]
> ===============================================================
> Updated 1/26/04
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