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

Alexander, Daniel Daniel_Alexander at Cable.Comcast.com
Thu Apr 21 00:07:36 EDT 2011


Thank you for your response. You point out a topic the AC has debated on
numerous occasions. On one end there is an AC that simply implements the
will of the community. On the other end you have an AC as the primary
development tool for community ideas.

If I understand you correctly, is one of your issues with the current PDP
that the AC assumes control of a proposal once they take it onto their
docket? Would this be correct? Do you see any cases where it is
appropriate that the AC make modifications to a proposal without the
consent of the author? Another question would be whether you think the AC
could modify proposals, but the community could have access to the
petition process if they disagree with the actions of the AC, and wanted
to discuss the original version of a proposal?

Dan Alexander

On 4/19/11 3:10 PM, "William Herrin" <bill at herrin.us> wrote:

>On Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 11:28 AM, Alexander, Daniel
><Daniel_Alexander at cable.comcast.com> wrote:
>> As one of the AC members on the PDP Committee I'm sorry you think this
>> work is being done in such a secretive fashion?
>I think it's remarkable that so much work has been done on a process
>intended to engender public participation without polling the public
>in simple ways like, say, posting a message to PPML saying, "These are
>the problem areas we think need to be solved in a PDP revision. Did we
>pick the rights ones?"
>Knowing Lee, I doubt it's intentionally secretive. Reading between the
>lines, scheduling has been such a problem that the chair let members
>charge ahead rather than insist on iterations of public comment. But
>then that's the number one problem with any volunteer-driven process:
>individuals who accept a task and then fail to make themselves
>available or dedicate the time it takes.
>> ward_pdp.pdf
>Are there slides missing? Slide 7 says the "following" slides will
>show steps in the proposed process but slide 8 has skipped past all
>that straight to discussion points.
>> I am abundantly aware of the issue some people have with the AC's
>> rule. I am confident this will be discussed on the next PDP call. How
>> would you like to see the policy development process improved?
>That's very difficult to say without you having provided the proposed
>changes to the PDP in any form. However, if the edits are focused on
>the "problems" identified in slide 6 then I suspect the first
>improvement would be to throw out the work you've done and start over.
>To wit:
>1. Newcomers have a hard time understanding PDP
>No, not so much. The NRPM is very opaque with odd language like LIR
>instead of ISP and  gigantic distinction between the synonyms allocate
>and assign. But the PDP itself is straightforward.  The hardest task
>newcomers face PDP-wise is learning that there is a policy development
>process, that's it's called "PDP" and the URL where the document
>lives. You need a routine FAQ post, not a dumbed-down PDP.
>2. It takes too long to pass policy.
>Baloney. This complaint is made of every rulemaking body and it's
>almost always bunk. It takes what it takes because it's appropriate to
>reach the entire community not just for approval of the inner circle's
>ideas, but for participation in the formation of ideas. More, the
>proposals that take longer than the current minimum generally do so
>because of significant dissent within the community. This is entirely
>3a. Many proposals aren¹t important,
>!!! That's an incredibly frightening statement to hear from a
>committee charged with developing a process that engenders _public
>3b. or aren¹t policy.
>Stating the problem this way implies a desire to LIMIT rather than
>ENCOURAGE public participation. Folks come up with ideas. Some of them
>make more sense as procedures or process rather than policy. If
>there's a problem here, it's the _inadequate forums_ for continued
>discussion and development once an idea is determined to be out of
>scope for policy. Hint: a suggestion box is not a forum for
>4. Need to improve communication between Board, AC, and community
>Yes, but you're missing the nuance. More later.
>5. Policy workload is high, for AC members and community
>This complaint was levied against the IRPEP. It was one of the excuses
>for moving to the PDP in the first place. Policy workload is high
>because we have thorny problems to solve. It's a symptom, not a root
>cause. The roots of this issue are:
>a. Lack of mechanisms available to the community for keeping up with
>the evolution of policy ideas without wading into the necessarily
>extensive debate. Where's the weekly update you can read to decide
>whether you should join the debate or let it ride with the current
>b. AC members who can't afford the significant time it takes to do the
>job well but won't step aside for any of the other half score of
>volunteers willing to do the work. Clueful people tend to be busy
>people. What a shock! If you can no longer find the time, don't block
>others who can.
>c. A certain goofiness around the concept of justified need which
>requires increasingly intricate and convoluted definitions which, of
>course, take considerable time and argument to develop.
>6. Role of shows of hands, polling
>I'm surprised to hear this mentioned. Polling is to assess consensus.
>The consensus assessment is intended to guide (but not restrict) both
>the AC and board when advancing policy. Has something changed?
>So, communication and nuance. Let's go back to basics for a moment.
>The founding idea behind ARIN is that Internet users in ARIN's
>territory can and should self-govern the number resource process. For
>that reason, it's built as a non-governmental organization from the
>bottom up (from the in-region Internet users) rather than receiving
>it's authority top-down from a national government or from the U.N.
>And that broad base is necessary - ARIN's claim to legitimacy arises
>from the fact that their constituency is all of the Internet users in
>its region, not just direct registrants or ISPs. Without that broad
>constituency, ARIN would not have a legitimate source of authority.
>Practically speaking, the overwhelming majority of Internet users in
>the ARIN region don't care about the minutiae that go in to the
>address management process. So, ARIN's immediate constituency is the
>Interested Inregion Internet Users (3IU).
>Good communication with the Interested Inregion Internet Users (3IU)
>is pivotal. But talking about it in terms of communication completely
>misses the point.
>What's more, ARIN is not a representative democracy. Final decisions
>rest with a board of technical experts and even voting for that board
>is restricted to a range of folks with technical expertise. This was
>done intentionally so that popular but technically unsound ideas would
>not drive the network addressing process.
>This technocratic structure is in fundamental dissonance with ARIN's
>source of authority. The solution to that dissonance is an expansive
>and rigorously enforced process through which the Interested Inregion
>Internet Users (3IU) develop and evolve ARIN's functioning policy from
>below with technical soundness checks imposed from above.
>The core problem with the PDP, and this is key, the core problem with
>the PDP is that it moved the bottom of the bottom-up process of
>developing ARIN public policy out of the hands of the 3IU and put it
>firmly in the hands of the technocratically elected Advisory Council.
>The 3IU are largely relegated to making suggestions and offering
>comment on this "policy committee's" proposals.
>Quite naturally the AC has become the driving force behind ARIN
>governance with the 3IU becoming gradually but steadily less
>self-governing. Even trivial proposals (like Marty's policy to keep
>recovered IP addresses in-region) are subject to massive overbearance
>and retasking. Even being on the AC itself is no longer proof against
>busy fingers!
>If you want to fix a problem with the PDP, fix this one. Put the
>Interested Inregion Internet Users back in the policy drivers' seat
>like they were under the IRPEP and make divergence from the 3IU's
>selected policies the exception rather than the norm.
>In other words, find a place about halfway between where things are
>now and where they was under the IRPEP and start muting AC powers.
>Don't restrict individual AC members' behavior! They're part of the
>3IU too and should have every privilege. Reduce the -group-'s power.
>Move them back towards being an ADVISORY council rather than the
>representative policy development committee they've become.
>And I think you'll find that if you solve this participation problem,
>the communication issue will largely evaporate on its own.
>Bill Herrin
>William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
>3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
>Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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