[ppml] PPML Digest, Vol 7, Issue 11

Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com
Mon Jan 23 04:47:16 EST 2006

> ..except that all the current geo software uses zip codes, at least in 
> the U.S.  I am not aware of how this software works with Canada, nor 
> whether partial postal codes would work with such software at all (and 
> therefore negate any benefit for geo research purposes in Canada).

I'm not sure what software you are referring to,
however, I consider that the city, state/province
and country are sufficient geographical information
for people who want to research the geographic 
distribution of IP address usage.

The lack of zip codes and postal codes will have
no impact at all on such research.

> I would strongly support a policy providing for the use of 5 digit zip 
> codes in the U.S., and partial postal codes in Canada.  Anybody from 
> some of ARIN's other countries care to comment on how it works elsewhere 

> in the region?

This idea of REQUIRING people to supply a partial
zip code and a partial postal code is far too complex.
As Owen DeLong has already pointed out, ARIN does not
do any data format validation on these fields. They
are simply treated as variable length text strings.

If we did want ARIN to start validating the field
entries then we would need to pay for the infrastructure
to do this (i.e. publish lists of valid city names)
and we would need to pay for the data cleanse to clean
up the existing data. I don't see this as a productive
direction for ARIN since I don't see any benefit from 

The fact is that at least some ARIN members
are subject to privacy laws in which they cannot
publish data collected from private citizens
without their consent. This means that ARIN's
previous policy either conflicted with the law
or was unclear. The current policy does not change
that state of affairs since the ZIP+4 code and
the Canadian postal code, both narrow down the
physical location of private citizens in a way
that privacy laws intended to prevent.

--Michael Dillon

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