[arin-ppml] Draft Policy 2009-1: Transfer Policy (Using the Emergency PDP)

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Tue Mar 24 14:13:13 EDT 2009

In a message written on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 01:00:24PM -0400, Member Services wrote:
> At their meeting on 6 February 2009 the ARIN Board of Trustees, based on
> the recommendation of the ARIN Advisory Council and noting that the
> Policy Development Process had been followed, adopted Draft Policy
> 2008-6: Emergency Transfer Policy for IPv4 Addresses.

I find there is a great lack of clarity in what the Board has done.

The paragraph above matches the Board minutes from the Feb 6, 2009
Board meeting (https://www.arin.net/about_us/bot/bot2009_0206.html).
Both state that 2008-6 have been adopted, although the latter
suggests "with edits" although those edits are not specified.

The Board had a March meeting, but those minutes are not yet available
online.  Rather, we have the following from the announcement of 2009-1:

> Then at their meeting on 8 March 2009, the Board noted there is a gap in
> the transfer policy that limits the availability of IPv4 address space
> at a time when otherwise available IPv4 address space will become
> scarce, and declared this gap an emergency. The Board initiated the
> Emergency PDP of the Policy Development Process in order to revise the
> transfer policy (both the existing transfer policy and the policy just
> adopted).
> Per the Emergency PDP, the draft policy below is being posted to the
> Public Policy Mailing List for 10 business days of discussion and review
> by the community. The emergency discussion period ends 7 April 2009.
> Within 5 business days of the end of discussion the Advisory Council
> will, having reviewed the comments on the list, review the draft policy
> and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The Board may adopt
> or reject the draft policy. If the Board adopts the policy, it will be
> presented at the next public policy meeting for reconsideration.

Unfortunately this leaves a series of progressively more imporant
questions.  Did the Board adopt 2008-6 as-is, or with changes?  If
changes were made, where are those changes documented so that the
public can review them?  Since the Board has now put forth 2009-1,
is it in addition to 2008-6, or to replace entirely 2008-6?  If it
is in addition to 2008-6, how are inconsistencies between the two
policies resolved?

More importantly, the way in which these actions have been taken
leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.  It appears 2009-1, which
is the emergency policy the board wants, has little or nothing to
do with 2008-6.  If the Board did not like 2008-6 and felt 2009-1
was more appropriate then the Board should have rejected 2008-6 and
used their emergency powers to directly create 2009-1.

It feels to me like the Board is keeping 2008-6 in name only to
provide the pretense that the community and AC has supported this
action.   The reality is 2009-1, from my perspective, has /nothing/
in common with the letter or intent of 2008-6, and thus keeping the
name is a rather sleezy tactic to try and sell the emergency policy.

In any event, the Board needs to get the March minutes posted and
clarify its intentions regarding both 2008-6 and 2009-1 before PPML
will have any solid idea of what the Board is trying to do.

Now, separately onto 2009-1 itself:

> Draft Policy 2009-1
> Transfer Policy
> Replace Section 8 as follows:
> 8. Transfers
> 8.1. Principles

Fairly close if not exactly word for word from the current NRPM
8.1, no real issues here.

> 8.2. Mergers and Acquisitions

Fairly close to existing sections 8.2 and 8.3 combined into one
section.  No major issues here as well.

> 8.3 Transfers to Specified Recipients
> Number resources may be released, in whole or in part, to ARIN for
> transfer to another specified organizational recipient, by any
> authorized resource holder within the ARIN region. Such transferred
> number resources may only be received by organizations that are within
> the ARIN region and can demonstrate the need for such resources in the
> exact amount which they can justify under current ARIN policies.

Here we are at the meat of the policy.  This is a wide open transfer
policy with the only restriction being justified need.

I see no need for sections 8, 8.1, and 8.2 to have been rewritten.
It seems to me the 2009-1 8.3 section could have been added as 8.4.
What was the purpose of rewriting the previous sections?

The 2009-1 addresses virtually none of the many concerns that came up
while discussing 2008-2 and 2008-6, concerns the community was quite
interested in addressing.  To name a few:

  - This policy doesn't seem to require the receiver to be under an
    RSA to receive resources.  Is that the Board's intent, or is that
    an "operational detail" left out?

  - The policy as worded seems to make ARIN an escrow agent for IP's,
    specifically that they may be released "to ARIN" to be subsequently
    given to a third party.  Is this language just to show the flow of
    IP's, or is it that ARIN may be a deeper part of the transaction
    (releaser provides them to ARIN, receiver provides money to
    releaser, releaser tells ARIN they have received the money, ARIN
    releases to the receiver)?

  - This policy provides no restrictions on deaggregation.  A releaser
    with a /8 could turn it into /22's overnight.

I find myself unable to support this emergency policy.  The primary
reason is I feel the Board has failed to listen to the community
input on a wide range of issues here, ignoring well voiced concerns
about a wide open transfer policy and specific details (like the
sunset clause) in 2008-6.  

Worse, this policy includes no justification what so ever for the
Board's decision.  There is nothing here to indicate why the Board
felt Emergency action was necessary.  This is particularly damning
in light of the timing, we are 30 days away from a full face to
face meeting, and the Board feels it is necessary to have an emergency
policy in place merely a couple of weeks before that.  I see
absolutely no reason there should be any action on this policy until
after the San Antonio meeting.

At the same time we have the exact form of 2008-6 up in the air as it
appears to be documented no where that PPML can see it, and we have a
pending policy proposal, 2009-4 (full disclosure, I was the original
author of 2009-4) that would be rendered moot by this action a few weeks
before the community was able to discuss it.

In short, the Board took the wrong action at the wrong time, and
has utterly failed to explain these actions to the community.  I
am shocked and saddened by what I feel is a total breakdown in our
normal processes.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
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