[arin-ppml] Reclaiming unused IPv4 space (WAS: Draft Policy 2010-10 (Global Proposal):GlobalPolicy for IPv4 Allocations by the IANA Post Exhaustion- Last Call (textrevised))

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Wed Nov 3 15:24:13 EDT 2010

On 11/3/2010 10:47 AM, John Curran wrote:
> Ted -
> If we can determine that the organization that was assigned the resource
> is defunct, we will reclaim the resources. Feel free to send me any
> documentation that you have that would help with that determination, and
> we will "handle" it as you request. Do you know if the organization that
> was assigned the resources is defunct?

It isn't.  That is part of the problem with dealing with these legacy
resources, you see.

Back when the ISP I work for was very young (1994-1996 era) when a 
customer needed IP addressing they would file for what is now
"assigned PI" on behalf of the org wanting the space.  They did this
instead of the more obvious method of filing for a lot larger amount
of what we call "allocated PA" and then "renting" it or whatever.  I 
don't know if this was common practice then, or why they did it this 
way, it was before my time. I went to work for them in late '98.

Most of that space disappeared when customers left over the years and
took the space with them.  I don't have a list of it (unfortunately)
but as far as I know, Leatherman Tools was the only "exiting" customer
who was told point-blank by their new ISP (our competitor) that they
would not route the space, that we heard about.

It wasn't until around 2000 that I seriously started getting into
auditing our space, finding out where it came from and so on.  After
doing that, the 199 block was the only PI space we had.  Everything
else were were using was "allocated PA" that had been assigned to us
by the various feeds we were using (and we were then advertising) and
we had in turn assigned chunks of that to our customers.  (and it was
a real mess to untangle)

> If they are not, we need someone
> authoritative from the organization to contact us (and if they're not
> using the numbers internally then it would indeed be very appropriate
> for them to return the address block to ARIN)

I know they aren't using the numbers internally but chances that they
would contact you are just about nil.  This is a tool company, they
make knives that people carry around in their backpacks when they
hike in the woods.  They don't know anything about the Internet, they
use Easystreet Online services which has their own assignments from

If Easystreet contacted them and said "do this" they would do it, 
because they have an established relationship with them.  But I doubt
anyone from Easystreet is even on this list at all, despite that they
almost certainly pay ARIN a pile of money every year.

If ARIN contacted them and said "are you using this, if not then we
will take it" they wouldn't know what the hell you were talking about
and would just say "yes we are using it" because they wouldn't want
to spend the time investigating it.  time=money.

If ARIN contacted them and said "we are going to start billing you
for this, unless your not using it in which case we will take it back"
then they would THEN spend the employee time investigating and then
tell you "take it"

If we contacted them they would say something along the lines of
"who the hell are you" since I doubt anyone there remembers us.

And I do not believe Leatherman would behave any differently than the
majority of orgs out there.

If someone called or mailed the ISP I work at and said "you have 
something I want but if you don't want to give it up just say so and
I'll go away" then without blinking I would tell them to get lost.
In fact my fiduciary duty to my employer would be to do this, rather
than provide work time to some stranger who is not a customer and isn't 
paying us.

I spend time mailing you because your a vendor
of ours.  I spend time helping our customers because they are our 
customers.  I spend time on the mailing list because it's germane to
the job, and because things like cleaning up legacy space will 
ultimately help us.  But I don't have time during working hours to just 
provide time to people who have no relationship with the company I work 
for and just want to call me and bend my ear about, for example, cars,
(I do my own car service work) or motorcycles (I ride) or whatever else
that's non-work related.

I doubt that your any different.  So how can you reasonably ask a
company like Leatherman to spend any time on cleaning up a decade old
SNAFU that wasn't even caused by them and only involves them in the
most periphery manner?  Why would you reasonably expect them to give a 
tinkers damn about it?

And if for some reason, they ARE using this space internally, and I
am wrong, then why does ARIN tolerate such an obviously
wrong e-mail address on the POC?)

 From my point of view, Section 3.6 was never anything more than a
beginning of a much larger cleanup/organization drive.  But I wonder
if this is working - because by now ARIN should have gotten a NAK on an 
email to hostmaster at hcorp.com (the
e-mail on the Leatherman 199.2478.255 netblock) and
by now ARIN should be well on the way to determining that
is in a state of abandonment.  ARIN should have by now already mailed a
letter to the street address of that netblock giving them 30 days to
correct the e-mail address on the POC or have it declared invalid.  Or
so I would think.

But I would bet if you check with your people you will find that none
of this has happened.

I don't mean to be nasty about all of this and I'm well aware that it's
only a /24 but if ARIN has a good system for cleaning up these things
then it will work on ALL of the legacy blocks that are questionable,
whether a /8 or a /24.  I therefore conclude that if the ARIN system
is only working on stuff like /8's /9's /10's and so on, that it needs

John, section 3.6 says:

"...If ARIN staff deems a POC to be completely and permanently abandoned 
or otherwise illegitimate..."

The "ARIN staff deems" that is in there was absolutely positively 
deliberate.  It was put there to allow ARIN staff the leeway to wield a 
club if they wanted to.  It is there because if ARIN wants to focus NOW 
on the large /9's and such that are likely bogus, and ignore the /24's, 
that they can, it allows section 3.6 to be unevenly applied.

But if ARIN feels that this "ARIN staff deems" does not allow them to 
wield a club then maybe the community should take it out.  Maybe that 
section should just read:

"If a POC is completely..."

followed by multiple paragraphs defining what constitutes abandonment,
with deadlines and time limits for specific things to happen.

Your the ARIN President, you tell us - is the language in Section 3.6
so vague that ARIN cannot take it as a mandate?  Does ARIN think that
Section 3.6 not constitute a club?  Or is the language perfectly OK and
give you what you need to go mining with the honey in one hand and the
club in the other - and clean up stuff like the 199.248.255 block?


> /John
> On Nov 3, 2010, at 1:32 PM, Ted Mittelstaedt <tedm at ipinc.net
> <mailto:tedm at ipinc.net>> wrote:
>> I have posted SEVERAL TIMES to this list the following data:
>> Back in 1999 we had a customer with a legacy /24, Leatherman Tools.
>> The block is NET-199-248-255-0-1 you can look it up in WHOIS.
>> The customer disconnected from us around 2002 and went to a competitor.
>> The competitor would not add this block into their routing and forced
>> the customer to renumber. The customer renumbered their internal
>> network into private numbers and forgot about this block.
>> For the next few years we used this block for various things,
>> our upstreams still were routing it.
>> Our former network admin, Byron, had left the company by then but
>> he had changed the POC e-mail on the block to his address at his
>> new company - because he used the same tech handle (BCO-ARIN) on
>> some other blocks he was admining.
>> Eventually we got our own allocations and stopped using this
>> block permanently.
>> Since then I have periodically checked the status of this block to
>> see how it is faring.
>> Our former admin's company went bankrupt and his e-mail address
>> on BCO-ARIN became owned by a domain name speculator sometime around
>> 2006-2007 I think.
>> Today, the block is STILL IN the WHOIS. The POC on it uses
>> hostmaster at speculator-owned-domain.com
>> <mailto:hostmaster at speculator-owned-domain.com> (hostmaster at hcorp.com
>> <mailto:hostmaster at hcorp.com>)
>> so it probably is passing muster with the ARIN e-mail POC check.
>> The block does not appear in the DFZ and hasn't since 2004, when
>> we stopped advertising it. In 2004 I told the ARIN hostmaster it
>> was abandoned. I have e-mailed the hostmaster this at least once
>> since and faxed a bunch of junk to them showing the history. And I
>> have posted this to the list several times.
>> Frankly the block has become more useful (IMHO) disproving assertions
>> that ARIN's handling of legacy space is "working" than it ever was
>> carrying traffic.
>> If ARIN cannot "handle" this, even after I have used this example
>> multiple times to publically embarrass people who claim that everything
>> is A-OK, then YOU KNOW there is a problem. You would think that
>> just for PR's sake that John or someone like that would pull the
>> hostmaster aside quietly and say "please take care of this so that
>> he can't squeak about it anymore" ;-)
>> Ted

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