[arin-ppml] clarification of Board actions Feb 2 and Mar 18, 2009

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Mon Mar 30 20:38:05 EDT 2009


> -----Original Message-----
> From: arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net 
> [mailto:arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net] On Behalf Of Lee Howard
> Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 9:07 AM
> To: ppml at arin.net
> Subject: [arin-ppml] clarification of Board actions Feb 2 and 
> Mar 18, 2009

> The 
> Board has been concerned for some time that the lack of a 
> liberalized transfer policy would create legal risk: that we 
> had not provided a mechanism to improve the efficient 
> utilization of previously-allocated resources, and that this 
> risk was significant enough to jeopardize ARIN's ability to 
> fulfill its stewardship mission.

I have been saying this same thing for years and this is
why I proposed the POC cleanup.  HOWEVER it must be clear that
this statement presumes that the legal risk is created by
the lack of a liberalized transfer policy.  This is a fundamentally
flawed argument.  The legal risk is NOT created by this,
the legal risk is created by INSUFFICIENT utilization of
assignable IPv4.

The fear argument goes something like this:

When IPv4 runs out some large cash-rich org will request a
block and be denied.  That org will then spend it's money
lobbying it's nation's government that the RIR's know that
there's lots of available IPv4 tied up in old assignments that
aren't being used, and that because ARIN has the bulk of it,
and ARIN hasn't done enough to scavenge out this stale addressing,
that ARIN is no longer functioning, and that the U.N. needs
to assign a committee - like WIPO was done with the DNS 
system - to interfere and take control of the assignment
mechanism away from ARIN.

ARIN will cease to exist and chaos will ensue.  Previously signed
contracts will be voided out under the guise of an emergency.  There
is plenty of legal precedent for this - for example, in the US a bankruptcy
court can wipe out contracts if it wants.

As a follower of politics, I personally think this argument
has a lot of validity.  But the Board and ARIN staff and many
people are falling for the idea that the problem is in the
transfer policy.  It IS NOT and NEVER HAS BEEN.

It is in operations - it is failure to properly document
use of IP addressing.

Any county government today has FAR BETTER documentation of
land deeds than ARIN has of orgs assigned to IP addressing.
And their taxation departments go to the utmost in finding

It is NOT necessary to create a buying-and-selling market of
IP numbers to obtain close to 100% use of routable IPv4.  It
is merely necessary to prove that all assignable, routable IPv4
is in use on the Internet.  Cleaning and grooming WHOIS is a
major first step.

IMHO what ARIN and the Board are attempting to do is take the
easy way out.  They figure if they hang up a for-sale sign on
IP addressing that there's enough bottom-feeders and scavengers
out on the Internet who will be looking for a quick buck, who
will set themselves up as "brokers" of these IPv4 sales, that
if they end up getting sued, or if the United Nations decides
to get involved, that they can make the argument that since 
a financial incentive now exists with this buying-and-selling market
to scavenge up old IPv4 addresses, obviously, there's no abandoned
IPv4 floating around on the Internet, because the scavengers
are out there fishing it out of the pond.

IMHO this is a very weak argument.  It also assumes that 
after the former-bottom-feeders, now IP-brokers
have finished cleaning out the IPv4 pool of usable IPv4, that
they will mildly go off into the sunset, and disappear.  That
isn't what will happen.  Instead these people will simply
move into the business of creating complex obfuscating
schemes to get portable IPv6 to people who do not and never will
meet the qualifications for their own addressing - and the number of
routes in the dfz will soar to immense levels.

It is like if the State of California decided that since they
can't document 10% of the current whereabouts of tax-dodging
landowners owning land in CA, that they should just declare that 
any Realtor who thinks that a piece of land is abandoned
is now allowed to just sell it to the highest bidder - instead
of what they actually do, which is the state takes back ownership of the
property as a result of failure to pay taxes.

It is an utterly ridiculous argument when applied to most
scarce resources, and the reason some people are thinking
it has validity to IP addressing is simply because they aren't
very experienced with the messes that are created when trying to do this
kind of thing with public resources.


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