[arin-ppml] Fraud reporting and self-incrimination

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Sun Nov 7 01:48:48 EST 2010

On Nov 6, 2010, at 1:52 AM, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:

> In message <C8FA2E84.167F4%marty at akamai.com>, 
> "Hannigan, Martin" <marty at akamai.com> wrote:
>> Do you think we could get another year or two our of v4 if we are able to
>> recover any addresses that are being utilized fraudulently?
>> Ron? Ted? Leo?
> Does it matter?
> I think you are asking the wrong question.
> Let me explain why I say that.
> Quite simply, I'm looking at this v4->v6 transtion and I frankly think
> its going to be a debacle of historic proportions, not because people
> of good will haven't been working their butts off to try to make it all
> go smoothly... many many surely have... but rather because they are all
> struggling, vainly, I think, against one of the most fundamental aspects
> of human nature, inertia.  And against that, they are nearly powerless.
Right, so, inertia will receive a rather large force acting on bodies
when IPv4 runs out.

> We have, I think, a model for how a mass technology transition like this
> can be pulled off with a reasonable level of success and without too
> awfully much confusion and pain, i.e. the transition, in North America,
> from analog to digital TV.  In that transition also, we had producers
> and consumers and a massive chicken & egg problem, but somehow it all
> worked.  I think it worked for one simple reason... somebody, and I'm
> not even sure who (the government?) put their foot down at some point
> and said ``OK, after this date certain, EVERYBODY is going to get onto
> the new standard, and to make sure that we get even the lazy, and the
> stupid, and the die-hards to do that, we are going to actually pull
> the plug on the old system and SHUT THE DAMN THING DOWN ENTIRELY as of
> date X.''
The main reason that transition wasn't so painful is because regulators
were able to force the largest dependencies to switch. That doesn't apply

The set top box program from NTIA was an absolute disaster of epoch
proportion in terms of the consumer confusion and irritation created,
but, $40 STBs are a pretty easy thing for the majority of consumers
to eat anyway, so, at the end of the day, the coupon problems were
mostly noise.

The IPv6 transition, unfortunately, isn't as easy as putting a $40
STB in front of every computer, so, the CPE solution space is
also different.

I don't think your model fits as well as you think it does, and, we don't
have time to apply it at this point, anyway.

> For whatever reasons... and I don't even know the reasons because I
> wansn't in the room at the time... the decision was made that this
> would NOT be the way the v4->v6 transition would be handled... no
> big brother coming in and pointing a gun at all our heads, no date
> certain for the ``universal'' changeover, and most importantly, no
> committment by anybody, as far as I know, to turn down and turn off
> IPv4.
Note: At the end of the last deadline, the FCC tried to get the broadcasters
to accept yet another extension to the deadline and the broadcasters basically
said "Look... You set a date by which we had to be on digital. You don't have
anything that legally requires us to keep running analog and we're stopping
because it's costing too much to keep it running."

So... While regulation and a date certain got the ball rolling, it was actually
the industry decision not to keep spending money on the legacy that
actually completed the transition and turned off analog. The FCC actually
wanted to extend the date.

> To be clear, I am not criticizing the decision to try to operate the old
> and the new, v4 and v6, in parallel for an extended period of time, nor
> would I, because I am almost completely ignorant of the reasoning or argu-
> uments that went into that decision.  I am only offering my observations
> on what seems likely to unfold, based on that decision.
Extended parallelism was a good plan. The problem was that we
did a poor job of convincing CxOs and others that they needed to
add IPv6 capabilities sooner rather than later.

> And what seems most likely to me is that v4 will be around and will be
> in active use for another 5, 10, and possibly even 20 years.  As long as
> you can be v4 and yet still have v6 on the side, some people and organi-
> zations will continue to cling to v4 like a life preserver.  And they
> will be right to do so as long as there are _other_ people they want to
> communicate with who are v4 only.  (And there will be.)
I doubt v4 will ever be fully deprecated, but, I do think its use as a
globally routed internet protocol will probably only last 3-5 years
after address runout.

> I see a big potential downside here for future innovation.
Maybe, maybe not. Certainly IPv4 has had several downsides
for innovation, not the least of which is NAT. I think IPv6 will
eventually encourage quite a bit of innovation, but, the longer
we take to transition the longer that will take to achieve

> So what's going to happen to the next generation of Internet innovations
> and innovators?  Are they going to be hamstrung in their quests for success
> because they can't get any IPv4 and because they have the misfortune of
> comming online at a time when 50% of the planet still speaks only that?
> How will tomorrow's New Upstarts compete against the Old Guard, when the
> latter has access to 100% market share while the former only has access
> to 50% of that?
Nope... Not getting IPv4 is not what will hamstring them. The innovation
will be happening in IPv6 and the rest of the internet will adapt to IPv6
relatively rapidly once they no longer have the option of remaining at

> I don't know what the next great and indispensible Internet site or service
> is going to be.  I wish I did.  All I know is that there _is_ going to be
> one... or rather many.  Do _you_ want to be the one to tell the next great
> Internet innovators that they are SOL as far as IPv4 connectivity simply
> because a bunch of crooks got there ahead of them and stole what remained
> of the IPv4 space (and because nobody even took the time to clean that mess
> up)?  I don't.
First, characterizing the users of the majority of address space as crooks
presumes facts not in evidence.

Second, no matter how you slice it, we need more than 3.2 billion unicast
addresses and IPv4 doesn't scale. So I have no problem telling them or
anyone else that IPv4 is dying and IPv6 is the place where future
internet innovation should be happening.

> So who would you rather see get the last remaining bits of the IPv4 space...
> the next eBay or Google or Huffington Post or Facebook, or a bunch of
> fraudsters?
I could care less... I'm much more concerned at this point with making sure
that eBay, Google, Huffington Post, Facebook, and whoever else needs it
can get and use IPv6 address space.

> In short, I don't think it is a question of how long we can keep on giving
> _everybody_ (and every toaster) more IPv4 space.  To me the question comes
> back to stewardship.... as long as IPv4 lives it should have good stewardship
> and somebody should make sure that deserving and needy entities get preference
> for WHATEVER amounts remain... including whatever amounts can be recovered...
> in preference over both (a) crooks and also (b) toasters & refrigerators.

Good stewardship includes prioritizing where to put resources. That includes
human resources. Applying human resources that could be used to deploy IPv6
to projects to recover IPv4 is not good stewardship at this point. It might be
good IPv4 stewardship, but, it is not good internet stewardship and it is not
good management of resources on behalf of the community.


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