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

Tom Vest tvest at pch.net
Tue Mar 31 21:24:25 EDT 2009

Hi Milton,

I find several messages from you in September on this subject:

1. http://lists.arin.net/pipermail/arin-ppml/2008-September/011788.html

...where you promise to share your experience on this subject:

> "This is typical of the debates we went through on the DNS side. I  
> see we
> have perhaps another 10 years of work to do on the address side.
> Like many people coming to these debates with limited knowledge of the
> legal, historical and political aspects of privacy and data protection
> debates, James presents us with a series of oversimplified false
> dichotomies..."

2. http://lists.arin.net/pipermail/arin-ppml/2008-September/011786.html

...where you clearly state that IP number whois should not be treated  
like DNS whois in any way.
My apologies for forgetting about this one. My memory was clouded by  
another statement in the same email, in which the purpose of IP number  
whois is raised, as if this were a mystery with no current answer:

> So first we establish the PURPOSE of the data, and what are the  
> limits of its appropriate use, and THEN we can settle on how  
> "complete and accurate" it is.

This brings us back to the first question that I raised again today.
If you do not agree that the IP number whois has a clear purpose now,  
or you disagree with that purpose and/or the way that it has been  
implemented, then it would be helpful if you would clarify what,  
specifically, you think should change. In other words, on your  
preferred view of IP number whois, what exactly would "cleaning and  
grooming" entail?

For the second question, I have to refer back to email (1):

1. http://lists.arin.net/pipermail/arin-ppml/2008-September/011788.html

> Wrt to registration records, there is a clear distinction to be made
> between individuals, which the law refers to as natural persons, and
> "legal persons" which are not persons at all but organizations.  
> Privacy
> rights mostly inhere in individuals, natural persons. This is
> well-established in privacy law. However, organizations also have some
> weaker rights to withhold information from public exposure.

Since the publicly exposed parts of IP number whois are almost  
universally "organizational" in substance (granted, with some orgs  
being sole proprietorships), I'm curious if, in your view, the privacy  
rights of "artificial persons" would afford them the right to withhold  
or restrict usage of any information that is currently present in IP  
number whois?

I raised the question again today in part because of the highly  
qualified response given in September:

3. http://lists.arin.net/pipermail/arin-ppml/2008-September/011802.html

> I am not saying that there should be no address Whois. ARIN's IP  
> address Whois, from a privacy standpoint, poses no serious problems  
> today. It tells you which company has been assigned the address  
> block and gives you contact info for that company. That is all it  
> needs to do to fulfill its operational purpose, which is to maintain  
> uniqueness and promote conservation and aggregation and other forms  
> of routing stability.

Perhaps I'm over-interpreting, but your messages do convey the  
impression that IP number whois could or should be changed, albeit in  
ways that remain unstated. If I am over-interpreting, then by all  
means please say so. Alternately, it would be helpful to the policy  
development process if you would clearly state what, if any,  
additional privacy rights could be asserted now or should be  
guaranteed in the future for the "artificial persons" that are present  
in IP number whois records.

On the claim of "ad hominem", I don't believe that anything of the  
kind was present in my first message today, and I'll leave it at that.  
I have no wish to repeat the squabbles of last year. If we could  
arrive at some clarity on the these two questions, then all of us  
could get on with more productive endeavors.


On Mar 31, 2009, at 2:38 PM, Milton L Mueller wrote:

> Tom,
> I'm sorry you have become either so sloppy or so focused ad hominem  
> (or both) that you've lost sight of simple fact-checking.  Your  
> question on Aug 31 2008 not only led to a response from me but about  
> twenty messages in response and a long discussion. Check the  
> September 08 archives, please.

>> -----Original Message-----
>> Milton, we are still waiting your views on what "cleaning and
>> grooming" actually means -- the last time an inquiry into this
>> question was made, you provided no response:
>> On Aug 31, 2008, at 4:24 PM, Tom Vest wrote:
>>> Hi Milton,
>>> A couple of quick questions:
>>> 1. Do you think that the completeness and accuracy of current DNS
>>> whois is the right standard for IP number whois?
>>> 2. Does your vision for individual privacy rights extend to
>>> "corporate persons," or only to natural persons?
>>> -- It would appear that you reject the distinction in DNS whois:
>>> http://forum.icann.org/lists/gnso-reg-sgc/msg00072.html
>>> Thanks,
>>> TV

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