[ppml] ARIN's Interpretation of 2003-3

Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com
Wed Jan 18 05:59:52 EST 2006

> In urban areas, the last three digits may indicate a specific city 
> block (one side of a street between two intersecting streets), a 
> single building or, in some cases, a large-volume mail receiver.

> So, your assertion that it identifies the street number appear to be 
> false as well.

One side of a street between two intersecting streets, is a very
small number in the vast suburban belts which most Canadians live
in. Earlier, when this was discussed, I looked up a postal code
in the directory on the Canada Post website and found that it
identified a group of 6 houses. 

Let's be clear on what these privacy initiatives are intended
to combat. They are intended to make it impossible for a 
person to use the whois data in order to identify a private
individual's home and make a personal visit to that home.
If the ARIN whois records narrow down the individuals location
to a single building or a group of 6 houses, then they have
failed in preventing such unwanted visitors. It is trivial
to knock on 6 doors and ask "Is Fred home?". It is not much
harder to roam the halls of an apartment building to do the

At the same time, not one single comment has been made
explicitly supporting the need for postal codes and
zip codes to be listed. Nobody has stated a reason why
they need to see these codes for private individuals.

Policies are never set in stone, and this is a bad policy
that needs to be fixed. In addition, when ARIN is dealing
with issues outside of the expertise of its members, it
really needs to consult experts and make those expert
opinions know to the PPML and the members. In this case
experts on Canadian and U.S. privacy law, and experts
on the workings of the postal systems in both countries.

The fact that a particular policy proposal was accepted
by the small group of people who happened to be present
at one of ARIN's member meetings, really does not mean
much in the grand scheme of things. Obviously, the Board
of Trustees has to work with what they have got and if
all they have is a mediocre policy, they have to cope as
best they can. That doesn't change the fact that the 
policymakers did a mediocre job.

--Michael Dillon

--Michael Dillon

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