[arin-ppml] [arin-council] AC Role in Petitions

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Thu Apr 14 17:04:36 EDT 2011

> I'd venture to say that most of the less vocal members of this list probably don't tend to support many of these petitions because there's an implicit trust, valid or not, that the
> AC knows what they are doing.  There's the run-on thought "I don't feel qualified to discuss topic X, but I trust the opinion of 'John Q. Smith' on the AC and since the AC voted
> thus I assume 'John Q. Smith' voted that way and so I don't speak up about the petition to re-introduce the proposal about subject X."
> However I think it would be prudent and would serve the community well if, when a petition like these are raised, all the members of the AC speak up with how they voted on the
> subject that is under petition and why they voted that way.  Then 'John Q. Smith' would say "I voted thus and here's why" which might trigger more responses from the less vocal
> sectors of the PPML.
I would actually advocate that on policy matters where the AC conducts role call votes anyway, we should probably publish those votes as part of the minutes. I think this is a valid step towards greater transparency and I thank you for the suggestion.

>> Considering that the AC typically contains some of the more vocal and active community members and proposal drafters (as it should), removing them from the petition process should
>> show some sound reasoning, other than "the AC makes decisions as a body" and therefore the members of the AC are no longer part of the community who may petition ARIN and PDP actions.
> Yes, but, given that only 10 individuals from 10 organizations are needed to pass a petition, reducing the member of the AC's ability to be counted in that number seems to be a
> good idea because even 1 or 2 AC members would count as 10-20% of the 'votes' necessary to override the majority opinion of the AC.  I had a thought that this should be larger, but
> Joe is right in that participation in the petitions tends to be fairly low already.
I think for the current mechanism, 10 is a reasonable number. I'm inclined to suggest some modifications to the petition process where both opposition to and support of a petition actually count and the net result of the two needs to add up to some number for the petition to succeed.
Currently, I'm thinking something like a threshold of +5 where opposition counts -1 and support counts +1 and only different individuals from different organizations are counted. (e.g. no individual gets more than one vote and no organization can weigh in with more than one individual).

>> Do AC members need to resign in order to participate in the PDP petition process?
>> Joe
> I certainly hope no one feels that way.  Being vocal is participating, even in this one instance where being vocal, by virtue of the AC members choosing to do so, doesn't count
> towards the tally of 10.  I know that if Owen, or Martin, or any other vocal members speak up on a petition topic, I am personally far more likely to speak up also, if I support
> the petition.
FWIW, I do not support the petition and I did vote to abandon the policies in question. I do not believe that they will serve the community and I believe they are contrary to a good and stable management of the number space.

> The only actual suggestion I have to this whole thing at this time might be a rephrasing of the email message to the list announcing the petition.  That message says:
> "If you wish to support this petition, post a statement of support to PPML on this thread."
> This implies 'if you don't support the petition, don't say anything'.
> Should this phrasing be changed to suggest posting a statement of either assent or dissent?
Well, in the petition process currently, only statements of support matter. Statements of opposition to the petition may be useful to inform discussion, but, they are not counted in terms of measuring the success or failure of the petition.

> Speaking of which:  I do not support either petitions to reintroduce prop-134 or prop-136 for discussion because I still don't support those proposals.  The important fact here
> though is that I took the time to re-consider my stance because of this vocal discussion.
That's good input. Do you think that the petition process should be modified to take into account both statements of support and opposition? Do you think that in such a circumstance, statements of support or opposition from the AC would be valid?

> This discussion about the petition process did get me thinking about a corollary potential issue.
> My issue is that the petition system as defined in the PDP seems very open to abuse.  Its a credit to this community that fraudulent abuse hasn't yet, to my knowledge, occurred.
> Membership in the PPML isn't policed, which is good from the standpoint of an open bottom-up policy making process.  But, if someone had an agenda to push, a lack of moral
> fortitude, and the willingness to put some time and effort into the project, it would not be difficult to create an appearance of overwhelming dissent or assent by using a hoard of
> falsified addresses/identities.
I think that it would be harder than you think. The requirement for 10 individuals from 10 organizations is subject to some level of verification by staff and that is why people who
support a petition have to provide a certain level of contact information in order to be
counted. I believe that unless the supporter is known to staff, a certain amount of vetting
is done to validate their identity.

> Perhaps there is policing of the ppml membership of which I am not aware, but at this moment it seems a simple task to set up 10 fraudulent identities with 10 email addresses on
> different domains representing 10 apparent organizations.  It would be fraudulent as hell, and eventually would be noticed, I'm sure.  But I worry that someone could misuse the
> system to help push their agenda into policy long before such fraud is noticed and acted on.
It takes more than an email address and I think that vetting the petition supporters is much
less expensive and much more useful than vetting all PPML subscribers.

> How valid is my worry?
I think history shows that for now, at least, we are probably OK.


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