[arin-ppml] ARIN-prop-134: Identification of Legitimate Address Holders

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Thu Feb 17 00:32:25 EST 2011

On Feb 16, 2011, at 6:18 PM, Benson Schliesser wrote:

> Hi, Bill.
> On Feb 16, 2011, at 7:40 PM, William Herrin wrote:
>>> Prop 134 makes the definition of "Legitimate Address Holder"
>>> a matter of community consensus rather than a staff implementation.
>> A. The community doesn't actually have a consensus on this.
>> B. If we did have a consensus, it wouldn't be prop 134.
> If there isn't consensus on this topic, then what does ARIN implement?  My understanding is that ARIN staff currently implements something similar to prop 134.  If there are differences, I'm hoping to understand and discuss them.
Most definitely speaking only for myself and of my own perspective here:

John has already pointed you to documentation of ARIN's operational
practices (which are not policy and were built more on the experience
of ARIN staff and their ability to do the right thing than on community
consensus as regards this particular topic). Note, I'm not saying that
policy in this area is a good or bad idea, just that policy is a matter of
community consensus, whereas operational practices sometimes
have to develop in the absence of guiding policy and such has been
the case in this area to at least some extent.

The current operational practices definitely differ from prop 134 in
significant ways and I suggest you review the documents that were
linked by John in his earlier messages.

>> C. Historically speaking, the kinds of documentation you're looking
>> for often isn't there.
> This is a challenge, I suppose.  I believe that I may need to update the text, based on a comment John Curran made, to reflect the validity of historical whois updates.  But we should talk about the implications, in as much as it is possible for ARIN to make a mistake.  E.g. Theoretically, if multiple years ago I told ARIN that your block was mine and ARIN accepted that update, could you present yourself now and successfully dispute that change?  What policy would you rely upon?
Yes. I believe that an equivalent situation has come up and the legitimate registrant was able to approach ARIN with appropriate documentation and ARIN was able to resolve the issue in favor of the legitimate block registrant. I do
not recall the specifics and I am not sure it is exactly as described above or as I recall it. I am also not sure how
much of the details of such a situation ARIN could make public if that were the case. (My knowledge of this
event is independent of ARIN).

If you are the legitimate resource holder, there is no need to rely solely on policy. Once a block is registered
to you, absent revocation or transfer through a legitimate process recognized by ARIN, you remain the
legitimate registrant. I believe this is the spirit that runs throughout the entirety of the NRPM and ARIN
operational procedures rather than being spelled out in a separate particular policy.

>> D. Policy for policy's sake is unhelpful. It merely solidifies
>> bureaucracy and ties folks hands when the odd exceptional case comes
>> along. ARIN today does a fine job sorting out who is the rightful
>> address holder when an update is requested but the POCs are defunct.
>> Let 'em be.
> I'm sure that is often the case.  But I have heard a number of accounts that contradict your statement.  Granted, these accounts mostly have to do with application of policy to legacy resources, when the organizations involved didn't expect to be subject to that policy.  For example, I don't believe ARIN will update the whois to reflect a transfer of legacy resources to a party that refuses to submit to "justification of need" policy.  We can debate whether the recipient is obliged to submit, but that would miss the point.  The point is that if ARIN refuses to update whois in any circumstances, then we run the risk of inaccurate data - the more likely those circumstances are, the less accurate the whois will become.  And I'd argue that IPv4 exhaustion makes some circumstances (such as the sale of legacy address blocks) even more likely.
ARIN Should not recognize such a transfer. In the event of such a transfer, ARIN absolutely should
remove the registration for those resources and make the addresses available for registry to an
organization with proper justified need.

There is no precedent anywhere that should lead an organization that is not a legacy holder to
believe that their receipt of such a transfer would in some way be exempt from ARIN policy,
nor is there any reason for a legacy holder to believe that, either.

Address resources were never considered transferrable without permission of the applicable registry,
even before the existence of ARIN.


> Cheers,
> -Benson
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