[arin-ppml] Update on 2009-3: Global Policy for the Allocation of IPv4 Blocks to RIRs

Scott Leibrand scottleibrand at gmail.com
Fri Jul 24 16:03:34 EDT 2009

William Herrin wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 2:36 PM, Scott Leibrand<scottleibrand at gmail.com> wrote:
>> This is an update on the status of the Global Policy for the Allocation
>> of IPv4 Blocks to Regional Internet Registries, which is policy proposal
>> 2009-3 here in the ARIN region. Please also see below for an updated
>> version of 2009-3.
> [...]
>> Each RIR through their respective chosen policies and strategies may
>> recover IPv4 address space which is under their administration and
>> designate any such space for return to the IANA. Each RIR shall at
>> quarterly intervals return any such designated address space to the IANA
>> in aggregated blocks of /24 or larger, for inclusion in the recovered
>> IPv4 pool.
> Scott,
> Let's parse that: Each RIR [...] may [...] designate any such space
> for return to the IANA.
> I object to the intentionally ambiguous and potentially dishonest use
> of the word "may" here. Policy should not describe what we might or
> might not do, it should describe what we will and won't do.

The background here, which I mentioned in a message on 6/18, is this:

"Those discussions finally made it clear to me that one of the reasons 
2009-3 is such a difficult policy to get consensus on is that the 
original policy, as proposed, is a global policy proposal that has some 
local policy aspects, namely that requires each RIR to return reclaimed 
space.  Ideally, global policies are supposed to maintain a clean 
separation from local policies: global policy is supposed to only govern 
the relationship between the IANA and the RIRs, and local policy defines 
what the RIR can do internally."

"As a side effect of the blurring of global and local policy in the 
current revision of 2009-3, we (and most of the other RIRs) are having 
an interesting debate about exactly which space should be covered by the 
policy (such as legacy vs. non-legacy), and some people are 
uncomfortable even with a legacy-only requirement.  So, as a result of a 
suggestion on the floor at LACNIC, and in an attempt to restore the 
proper separation between global and local policy, I drafted the 
following text for the 2nd paragraph of section A"

> If the intention is to establish an IANA method for accepting returns
> which we might or might not later authorize in some other ARIN policy,
> try replacing "may" with something more precise like "is permitted but
> not required to."

That is exactly what is intended.  I have no objection to replacing 
"may" with "is permitted but
not required to", if folks think that would add clarity.  To me, they 
mean the same thing.

> If the intention is that we in fact do return space to IANA as a
> consequence of this policy then replace "may" with "will" and describe
> the criteria for which space returned to ARIN will be subsequently be
> returned to IANA.

As above, the intent is to move such policy out of the Global Policy and 
make it the subject of local policy.


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