[arin-ppml] ARIN / Microsoft press release regarding IP address Transfers

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Sun Apr 17 00:03:33 EDT 2011

On 4/16/2011 1:22 PM, Matthew Petach wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 16, 2011 at 12:02 PM, Ted Mittelstaedt<tedm at ipinc.net>  wrote:
> ...
>> On 4/16/2011 11:02 AM, Stephen Sprunk wrote:
>>> On 16-Apr-11 01:21, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
>>>> On 4/15/2011 9:28 PM, Stephen Sprunk wrote:
>> IF they are for internal use only.  As I said, the math does not
>> bear this out.  And you know it since you snipped that part -
>> rather than "non-responding" to it, whatever that means.
>>>> However I think that the amount of IP cannot be justified unless it's
>>>> going to MSN, it is just too large.
>>> The details of a specific request are usually under NDA, so we must
>>> trust that ARIN staff is following whatever policy(ies) apply to it.
>> And that is really what your entire argument/rant/bitch/fear-response
>> can be boiled down to.
>> Trust ARIN staff.
>> Because, after all, us children don't know enough to actually question
>> the great wise and all-knowing ARIN.
>> Trust ARIN
>> Trust ARIN
>> Trust ARIN
>> That's all you have to contribute.
> Dude.  You can't expect publicly held companies to divulge
> information that could have a material impact on their stock
> price to the ppml list just to satisfy your curiosity about
> whether a transfer was justified or not.

Of course I can.  The ppml is a public forum not a private
forum.  There is nothing wrong with a company divulging
such information in a public forum.

What I CAN'T expect is Microsoft or ARIN to e-mail me
privately that information.  That is insider information
in that case.

> There's no way a company like Microsoft is going to trot
> out a statement to the public like "These addresses are
> needed for a super-secret cloud initiative we're rolling out
> that will crush both Google and Facebook in one fell swoop;
> but it's 2 years out, and we have yet to finish building it, but
> that's what all this IP space is needed for; now, so that our
> shareholders aren't screwed over by hearing about this, please
> don't share this information outside the PPML list, mkay?"

I think you have been watching too many movies.  If Microsoft
is engaged in such an effort then Facebook and Google already
know about it through their "competitor observation" efforts
(ie: spying) and thus releasing it publicly isn't going to
make any difference.  Not to mention that Microsoft has a
long history of releasing such information way before they
have anything built, that is why the term FUD was coined.
And not to mention that such a service would be built on
IPv6 anyway or people would simply view it as old-school
and unscalable.

And by the way Microsoft is a public company so it's books
are required to be open, so expenditures on such an initiative
are also easily viewable.

The SEC has no problem with information being released to the
general public that affects a company's stock price.  In fact
that is what they prefer.  The SEC simply does not want one
group to know about it and the public to not know about it
and then that one group start buying up stock.  Nothing in
saying anything on the ppml would fit that.

> If you have that much curiosity about the upcoming projects
> being worked on by such companies, you could always apply
> for a job at ARIN as a staffer, at which point you'd have access
> to such information.  Of course, it would be disclosed to you
> under NDA, so you wouldn't be able to tell anyone else about
> what you'd learned, no matter how many of them taunted you
> or tried to bully you into revealing the information on public policy
> mailing lists--but at least you'd know in your heart that the right
> thing was being done, and you could give your assurances to
> the people on the mailing lists that even though you can't say
> anything specific, you were satisfied that the policies currently
> in force had been followed appropriately.

Actually I have a much better idea, I can hire a 3rd party
auditing firm that can go under NDA and is not part of ARIN
to go in and audit their operations and make sure they are
following policy.  That is how things like this are done
in the real world.

But, you are really missing the point here.  ARIN is claiming they
are following policy.  I am NOT claiming that they AREN'T following
policy.  What I am saying is that policy has enough gray in it
in it's INTERPRETATION that ARIN can interpret policy one way
and issue press releases that are worded in such a way that it
causes the community and general public to interpret things
differently than actual events.

ARIN's response to this is OK fine, fix the policy.  That does
not, however, answer the question of what has transpired under
the existing policy.  It also sets up a kind of catch-22 in that
since the community does not know the reality of what happened,
the community does not know where the differences of interpretation
are that need to be corrected in policy, and thus the community
cannot create policy proposals that correct those areas.

> Remember--depending on the nature of the information that
> ARIN staffers have access to during an allocation of this
> magnitude, revealing too much detail to people who may
> potentially be investors in the company could violate SEC
> regulations and be considered a leak of insider information;
> if anyone on PPML subsequently engages in trades of that
> company's shares, they could be guilty of engaging in insider
> trading, and punished accordingly.

Asking if the allocation went under RSA or LRSA is not
going to reveal anything to anyone that would violate SEC.
That is the dumb thing about this discussion - all that
ARIN has to do to shut it down is say that the addresses
that Microsoft got are under RSA or LRSA.

If they are under RSA and Microsoft is using them internally,
then ARIN gets little in the way of fee increases.  If
Microsoft is not using them internally then ARIN gets a lot
in fee increases.

If they are under LRSA then ARIN gets nothing in the way of
fee increases no matter whether they are used internally or
not.  That is the central issue I raised.  Milton is the
one who is up in arms about the supposed "property" aspects
of the transfer, not me.  I think your confusing the two

> I have perhaps more reason to hate Microsoft than most
> others on this list, but even that's not going to blind me to
> the reality of the situation here; there's simply no way to
> discuss the validity of the needs justification in a public
> forum for a publicly held company in a way that doesn't
> run afoul of the restrictions around shareholder notifications
> of significant information that may materially affect the stock
> price of that company.

Since I'm not an insider I am free to discuss the needs
justification.  And I'm pointing out that the mathematics does not 
support end-user use of the numbers.  Thus, if the addresses are under
RSA then ARIN is going to get a big pile of money in new

There really are only a few logical reasons that Microsoft
would make such a buy:

1) Their existing ISP MSN/Windows Live is running out of numbers and
needs more.

2) MSN/Windows Live 5.0 is planning on buying the North American 
operations of an ISP that currently has numbers assigned from a foreign
RIR, and they know that they will be required to vacate that number

3) Their ISP is getting ready to go on a buying spree and sucking up a 
huge number of dialup providers (why??)

The block from Nortel is way too large for end user use
internally, they could not meet utilization requirements
for employee use of it.  Plus they can buy a lot smaller block
for a lot less money.  But the block is way too small for
rolling it out as a new "cloud" service or something like that, plus
it's IPv4 not IPv6.  The block is also too expensive to
use internally for employee use since they can easily get
smaller amounts for a lot less money.  And Microsoft really
isn't in the speculation market so the idea that they are
buying this block to just resell isn't normal for them.

This block really only has value to them for using it to
run an ISP with existing customers and an existing network
that is IPv4 already, and cannot be shifted to IPv6 easily.
That is why I think Stephen's claim that it is an end user
block is absurd.  The math really only supports the
idea that this is for use for an ISP and that is why I
want to know if they were allowed to preserve the "Legacy"
status on it and sign an LRSA instead of an RSA.

> So...deep breath in...deep breath out...
> the same privacy rules that limit what information can be
> disclosed about the purpose and usage of these addresses
> are the same privacy rules that protect others from snooping
> into what each of our respective companies is doing both now
> and in our future development efforts.   We can't selectively
> decide we want privacy for some, but insist on full disclosure
> by others.
> OK.  Enough ranting.  :(  Maybe if I go eat some lunch, my
> buttons won't be so easily pushed.  :/

I think your simply completely misinterpreting my point.  Your
getting hung up on the privacy issues but in the real world
there are no privacy issues that apply here other than the
needs justification - and ARIN does not have to say anything
about the needs justification to say if the block went in under

If you trust ARIN and John then it did go in under RSA - and
thus my original smart aleck comment - that ARIN is going to get
a big pile of money as a result - is most likely accurate
since the only logical use of such a block is for MS's ISP.


> Matt

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