[arin-ppml] "Millions of Internet Addresses Are Lying Idle"(slashdot)

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Wed Oct 22 14:52:40 EDT 2008

Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Stephen Sprunk [mailto:stephen at sprunk.org] 
>> Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Jo Rhett [mailto:jrhett at svcolo.com]
>>>> On Oct 21, 2008, at 2:39 PM, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
>>>>> They ARE doing it.  Anyone who has allocated space gets a bill every year.  If their contact info becomes invalid, the bill then gets returned by USPS and after 6 months or whatever, the account goes to collections and the allocated IP addressing becomes forfeit.
>>>> That is the billing contact, entirely separate from the POC data.   
>>> So you are saying that ARIN still has entries in it's POC database for orgs that paid for allocations then stopped paying for them a few years later when those orgs went bankrupt or otherwise disappeared?
>>> I am sure ARIN staff would be most interested in this facinating 
>>> interpretation of how badly they mis-manage the WHOIS database.
>> Interpretation?  Mis-management?  There was a recent presentations (I 
>> forget by who) which called out the number of "orphan" POC entries.  
> Stephen,
>   You missed Jo's original statement, I'll repost it here:
> "...Asking ARIN to validate POC data for RSA contractees is like reminding the teacher to show up in class.  It is function 1 of their job.  Why aren't they doing it?..."
> Jo wasn't concerned with orphaned POCs but rather with RSA contractees
> that had stale POC data.

There are many orphaned POCs and even OrgIDs that are (or were) 
associated with an RSA contractee somehow.  Most are probably stale.

> By definition, an org that isn't paying it's bill is no longer a RSA contractee.  (ie: they have broken their contract) and ARIN would remove numbering resources allocated to it, thus "orphaning" all the POCs.

That's not the only reason that records get orphaned.

> I presumed she wouldn't care if orphan POC data was stale. 

IMHO _any_ stale information in a database is a Bad Thing(tm).  If we 
don't want to spend the effort to clean up stale orphans, they should be 

>> However, I don't think that is the problem Jo was referring to.  That an org's Accounts Payable department pays an invoice on time does _not_ 
>> guarantee that all the various POCs listed on each of their 
>> registrations are still valid.
> Both you and Jo are asserting here that ARIN billing addressing info
> is separate from the POC info associated with that org.  Do EITHER of you
> have ANY authoratative statement from anyone at ARIN that states this?

Directly from ARIN staff?  Not me.  However, it's a trivial thing to 
look up my own employer's records and see stale and/or orphaned POCs and 
OrgIDs, and if we weren't paying our bills I presume our ASN would have 
been taken away by now.  I thus deduce it is possible, though I'm open 
to correction.

> Because if you do, I feel another NPRM policy proposal change suggestion
> coming on...

Are you proposing that a "billing" contact be added, in addition to the 
"admin", "tech", "abuse", and "noc" contacts?

None of the existing (or at least visible) POC types necessarily has 
anything to do with the name/address where invoices are mailed, which is 
all that receipt of payment validates.  Besides, an org could have 
hundreds or thousands of networks, each with different tech/abuse/noc 
contacts, any one of which could be stale; how could paying one invoice, 
sent to some Accounts Payable person, validate all of them?


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