[arin-ppml] History Lesson (was: DRAFT POLICY ARIN-2011-1: GLOBALLY COORDINATEDTRANSFER POLICY (Legecy space))

Jeffrey I. Schiller jis at mit.edu
Tue Apr 12 23:43:21 EDT 2011

Hash: SHA1

On Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 05:35:23PM -0400, Milton L Mueller wrote:
> Reiterating 1996-era best practices as if they were religious
> principles doesn't help.

Ah, RFC2050... Let me quote the IESG Note, right at the top of the
document, before the abstract:

  "By approving this document as a Best Current Practice,the IESG
   asserts its belief that this policy described herein is an accurate
   representation of the current practice of the IP address registries
   with respect to address assignment.  This does not constitute
   endorsement or recommendation of this policy by the IESG. The IESG
   will reevaluate its approval of this document in December 1997
   taking into consideration the results of the discussions that will
   be take place in the IRE Working Group between now and then."

I am pretty much responsible for that note. In our deliberations
within the IESG (John, I believe you were there as well) I objected to
the proposed document (which would become RFC2050). One objection
(called a DISCUSS vote) was sufficient to stall a document. And
DISCUSS we did...

The basis of my objection was that the document covered what I
believed to be business practices and was not really about
technology. I didn't believe then (and don't believe now) that
business practices should be purview of the IETF.* If the registries
at the time wanted to promulgate a policy, they were welcome to do
so. However I didn't believe that the IETF should endorse the
policy. A BCP at the time implied endorsement. I don't believe I would
have objected to a informational document.

Eventually we reached a compromise and I removed my DISCUSS vote,
permitting the RFC to be published. The compromise was the IESG note
above. I don't believe the IETF/IESG ever did revisit the document. I
have no recollection of the IESG doing so, and I served on the IESG
until 2003 (though my memory is not perfect by any means). I believe
the phrase "Overtaken by Events" best describes what happened. ARIN
was formed and the rest, as they say, is history.

I bring this up now just to make clear that RFC2050 was not handed
down from Mount Sinai. It was simply a Best Current Practice based on
the practices in place in 1996.


[*] Actually I have waffled over time on this point. I guess I believe
    that the IETF should either deal with business issues, or not. But
    not sort of do it half way with technologist pretending they are
    business people or lawyers or whatever :-)

- --
Jeffrey I. Schiller
Information Services and Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue  Room N42-283
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
617.253.0161 - Voice
jis at mit.edu
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