[ppml] NANOG IPv4 Exhaustion BoFRe: NANOG IPv4 Exhaustion BoF

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Fri Mar 7 11:57:51 EST 2008

> Would the situation get so bad 
> that these large corporations would risk punishment by the 
> law, regulators, and their peers for turning to a black market.

I'm not aware of any laws against buying IP addresses on the
"black" market, or any regulators who would take an interest
in such activity. Also, since it is relatively easy for large
corporations to hide this in a web of subsidiary corporations
and holding companies, who would ever find out what they did?

A few years ago, when the Enron affair was in the news, I had
an interesting conversation with someone who was an insider 
in the large corporate finance area. He explained how Enron
was merely the tip of the iceberg and how there were actually
quite a lot more companies doing the same kind of debt-hiding.
He claimed that a major driver behind many corporate
acquisitions and bankruptcies was to hide what had been done
and protect people from the same kind of fate as the Enron
executives. The scale of this was huge with banks and bondholders
involved as well, loaning money to clean companies to buy dirty
ones, and forcing the dirty ones to sell or fail.

It is still regular corporate finance practice to maintain a
webwork of interlocking corporations in order to optimize their
finances. Employees work for one company, all sales go to another
one, a 3rd owns the network assets, a 4th one operates the network
and so on. And that's just in one country. Add countries and it 
gets even more interesting. When JBC Ventures PLC buys an address
block and books it as an expense, then nobody is breaking the law
because IP addresses are not an asset and have no value. How are
you going to find who ultimately controls JBC Ventures AO?
Big ISP will claim that they are a customer in Lower Slobovia
with a paid peering contract.

If ARIN is not a lawmaker and has no regulatory powers under
the law, then ARIN has no ability to "police" the organizations
who hold allocations from ARIN ranges. Rather than pretend that
ARIN does have such powers, we should accept the situation as it
is, and focus on other activities in its charter.

   1.  to increase and diffuse knowledge to the general public about the
Internet in its broadest sense;
   2. to educate industry and the Internet community in order to further
their technical understanding of the Internet;
   3. to secure united action and to represent the Internet community
nationally and internationally;
   4. to manage and help conserve scarce Internet protocol resources,
and to educate Internet protocol users on how to efficiently utilize
these scarce resources as a service to the entire Internet community;
   5. to do all and everything necessary to enhance the growth of the
Internet and the prospects for competition among Internet Service
Providers by encouraging the exploration and implementation of solutions
to Internet Protocol number scarcity issues;
   6. to encourage the exploration of new addressing and routing
technologies that reduce or eliminate the costs or in some cases the
need for renumbering when an Internet Service Provider or end user
changes to a new Internet Service Provider; and, when such alternatives
are developed, to work with its members to facilitate the assignment of
portable addresses and/or the elimination of the cost of Internet
Protocol renumbering;
   7. to encourage allocation policy changes for Internet Service
Providers in order to enhance competition by providing mobility of
Internet Service Providers among upstream Internet Service Providers
when it is generally agreed that the technology is available for
portable addressing;
   8. to manage the allocation and registration of Internet resources;
   9. to promote and facilitate the expansion, development, and growth
of the infrastructure of the Internet for the general public and members
by any means consistent with the public interest through other
activities, including, but not limited to, publications, meetings,
conferences, training, educational seminars, and the issuance of grants
and other financial support to educational institutions, foundations and
other organizations exclusively for educational, charitable, and
scientific purposes.

--Michael Dillon

More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list