[arin-ppml] [arin-announce] [Fwd: ARIN-prop-133: No Volunteer Services on Behalf of Unaffiliated Address Blocks]

Benson Schliesser bensons at queuefull.net
Mon Feb 14 15:28:45 EST 2011

Hi, Edward.  Thanks for your note - my intent in submitting policy proposal 133 was to encourage this very discussion.

On Feb 14, 2011, at 1:33 PM, Edward Lewis wrote:
> Removing information about legitimate resource holders that are not paying ARIN (whether legitimately not paying or just behind on their bills) is detrimental to those that are paying.
> If the effort is to entice legacy space holders into joining ARIN, don't try to penalize them.  Give them a positive incentive.
> ...
> The faulty logic here is in identifying who is "receiving services from ARIN."  The relying parties that hit the whois and DNS servers are not only the holders of number resource but anyone that sends a packet in the Internet.  The vast majority of these people do not have any number resources registered to them.

For what it's worth, I personally agree with the perspective quoted above.  But I don't think it gets at the heart of the issue exposed by prop 133.  The question we must ask ourselves is whether ARIN is acting appropriately by listing legacy resources *and extending restrictive policy over the update of those listings*.

One way to look at this question is, as you have done, to frame Whois as a service intended to benefit the broader Internet.  If we think in these terms, then the impetus is on accuracy of the data.  For some of that data, the "authority" to declare accuracy rests with ARIN or another RIR.  However, for the legacy Whois data there isn't a clearly delegated "authority".  Who is allowed to request updates, and under what circumstances would ARIN be correct to deny them?

To give you an example: current policy is a bit like your neighbors deciding who owns your house, and publishing a list of neighborhood homeowners, without your consent.  As long as you agree with their published list there is no reason for you to worry.  But if they ever decided to "reclaim" your house and/or refuse to acknowledge a "transfer" of your house to a new owner, well, that would be a different story.  You might not like the comparison to real property, which we can debate.  So take it further, if you want, and imagine this same kind of scenario applied to other forms of property, intellectual property, music rights, etc, and the issues become more complicated (and potential liability becomes more expensive).

Another way to look at this question, as I have done with prop 133, is to frame Whois as a service to benefit the address holders listed within it.  If we think in these terms, then it becomes clear that "authority" is delegated by the address holder when they request service.  There should be no ambiguity about whether ARIN is acting appropriately, because ARIN has a legally valid policy for identifying legitimate address holders, accepting a request to provide services, etc.

Now, getting back to my first comment, I agree that there are open issues with prop 133.  For instance, who provides in-addr and Whois for legacy holders that don't choose to sign the LRSA?  One alternative is competitive post-allocation services such as those mentioned at http://www.circleid.com/posts/competition_to_regional_internet_registries_rir_for_post_allocation_service/ and again this past weekend at http://blog.internetgovernance.org/blog/_archives/2011/2/12/4748945.html.  Another alternative might be for ARIN to enable transfers without requiring LRSA.  But any approach requires a definition of "legitimate address holder" in order to answer the fundamental question of "authority".


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