[arin-ppml] Proposal insanity --- an open letter

Tony Hain alh-ietf at tndh.net
Tue Feb 22 14:18:17 EST 2011

John Curran wrote:
> On Feb 23, 2011, at 12:48 AM, Tony Hain wrote:
> > ... given the many times that John has specifically noted on this
> > list that he views and promotes the ARIN whois database as a routing
> > registry,
> Tony -
>  We go at length to point out that the ARIN Whois database is not
>  routing registry and does not control routing (reference: NRPM 4.1.1),
>  so please cite some of these "many times" or correct yourself asap.
>  We run the ARIN Whois according to the community-developed policy,
>  and it's quite possible that ISPs find it useful for configuration
>  as a result, but ultimately ISPs decide what to route or not route
>  on their own.

This note is a prime example. Rather than simply and clearly stating that
the ARIN whois database is not and "MUST NOT BE USED FOR A ROUTING
REGISTRY", there is a backhanded promotion that we recognize the 'presumably
smart people' use it as one because it is constructed with exactly the data
they have told us to put in for that use. The implication being that if you
don't use it as one you are not part of the 'smart' group because all the
data is there and ready to go. So it becomes the defacto registry.  

If it is a defacto routing registry, then policy proposals need to recognize
the implications of that. Continuing the two-faced 'we say nothing about
routing' while at the same time all policy proposals are judged by 'the
impact on routing will be ...' is not helping promote the perception that
the RIRs are independent. Playing the 'we tell you it isn't a registry'
while simultaneously recognizing it is 'the defacto routing registry for the
region' is not helping either. 

At the end of the day, the inherent conflict of interest between 'those that
have and want to keep others out, and those that want in' has been placed
squarely in ARIN's lap. While resources were abundant it was not too hard to
get community agreement on who would be denied a seat at the table, though
arguably there probably was never a valid reason to have a minimum size
allocation. While I can hear the screams about routing table size, the
intentional deaggregation by those who got the resources exposes the fallacy
in the argument. In any case, ARIN is in the position where 'legally' there
has to be a disconnect between resource management and operational practice,
but 'practically' they are tied at the hip because the members who pay the
most insist on getting the results that favor them. 


> /John
> John Curran
> President and CEO

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