[arin-ppml] Borders sells their /16 block

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Wed Dec 7 10:31:24 EST 2011

On Dec 7, 2011, at 7:10 AM, Mike Burns wrote:

> Hi McTim,
>> How is this different than a "normal" hijacking case?
> -- 
>> Cheers,
>> McTim
> This is not a hijack. Registrant wants to sell to buyer, he is not taking the registrant's block without permission, as in a hijacking.
> Owen is saying that if a legacy address rights holder sells to party B and party B chooses not to engage in a Section 8 transfer, with the attendant justification requirements, that ARIN should revoke and reissue the block.

Even legacy addresses were issued on a needs basis with the expectation that at the end of need, the block would be returned to the community for reallocation.

While this expectation may not be in writing provably old enough to serve as documentation or policy, that was the reasonable expectation of the (at the time friendly and not monetarily based) community.

If party B chooses not to engage in a section 8 transfer, and party A is no longer using the addresses (whether defunct, unreachable, etc.), then ARIN cannot distinguish party B from a hijacker and party B has no documentable right to any ARIN registration. The appropriate action in such a case is for ARIN to delete party A's registration and return the addresses to the ARIN free pool.

> I'm not sure if the example you gave matches these circumstances.

You can argue that it is not a hijack, but, from a policy perspective, it is indistinguishable from one.

> My argument is that ARIN has no contract with legacy address rights holders which gives it the right to apply its policies. Remember these addresses were doled out before ARIN even existed.

I think this misses the key point...

ARIN has no contract with legacy holders which requires them to maintain any registration for those holders in their databases. ARIN chooses to do so for the community benefit and out of good will. ARIN has absolutely no obligation whatsoever to do so for third parties that choose to attempt to operate outside of the community and in a manner contrary to policies set by that community.

Remember, ARIN revocation is not taking the addresses away from them. It is merely deleting the registration which never pointed to party B in the first place.

Once the registration to party A is deleted, the addresses should become part of the free pool and would naturally then be registered to some other party C. While it does not guarantee party C that they can use those addresses effectively on the internet, those parties that choose to work within the community according to policy are likely to give more weight to the registration in the ARIN database(s) than to some arbitrary contract between a former legacy holder and a third party that refuses to work within the system established by the community for managing address uniqueness and registration.

> ARIN controls the Whois database, and can do what they wish with the data therein, but when attempting to negate the uniqueness of addresses, we tread on dangerous ground, and not just the danger that ARIN will be liable for tortious interference in the sales contract between the address rights holder and the buyer.

ARIN would not be negating or even attempting to negate the uniqueness of addresses. As you said, ARIN controls the whois database. The registrations retained in whois would remain unique. There would no longer be an invalid registration for party A in whois. There would, instead, at some point, be a unique registration to party C. The fact that party B has some arbitrary sense of entitlement to use of those numbers is not of particular concern to ARIN or the community, except to the extent that it causes damage to the internet, wherein the community is, IMHO, likely to take appropriate action against party B (derouting).

> I believe that the best way to maintain the registry function while recognizing the legal realities would be to require Section 8 transfers of non-legacy space, because in that case ARIN has a contract with the seller. With non-LRSA legacy space, transfers should merely be booked.

I don't think elevating those that choose not to participate in the community to a level of sovereignty over the community is a rational approach at all.

That would be sort of like allowing people who wanted to be above the law to buy exemptions from the law. While such a concept has existed in the past and there are those that would argue that it materially happens today (though not within the laws of the US at least), conceptually, it was retired long ago and I don't believe that the majority would consider it a desirable concept.

> Prop-151 goes a step further and requires an RSA of the buyer, which is one of the benefits of Prop-151, IMO, in that it will use the desire of all parties to have a unique registration in Whois to drive legacy space into RSA space.

Current policy requires an RSA of the buyer, too. So I don't see how that is a benefit of 151 vs. current policy.


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