[arin-ppml] Serious question for the list.

John Springer springer at inlandnet.com
Fri May 6 14:20:53 EDT 2011

Hi Mike,

First of all, please let me thank you for bring up a most interesting
topic. I have read the thread through Owen's post of 5 May 2011 17:04:02,
but I want to respond to the original post, if I may, which I will do 

On Thu, 5 May 2011, Mike Burns wrote:

> Hi all,
> I have had an idea.
> Since it has been determined that everybody in the ARIN community with an email address may participate in policy development, how does the list feel about soliciting the input from a broader group of participants?

ARIN has spent quite some effort on outreach regarding IPV6 adoption. To
the extent that anyone wishes to pick up that banner and assist in getting 
"the word" out to groups that have not received attention before, 
Outstanding! However, I have the uneasy feeling that that is not exactly 
what you are talking about here.

> Suppose I posted to a site like Reason magazine, which is Libertarian, inviting people to join the ARIN ppml in order to support my proposal to end needs requirements for IPv4 transfers?

This sounds like  astroturfing to me.
from the wiki: "Astroturfing is a form of propaganda whose techniques 
usually consist of a few people attempting to give the impression that 
mass numbers of enthusiasts advocate some specific cause."

It looks like some self regulating professional groups have and attempt to 
enforce policies against this type of behavior. OTOH, what would be the 
harm? Anyone with a pulse on the planet is invited to participate in the 
PDP. Having followed the larger contexts of proposals and petitions that 
this question seems to be posed to counter, it looks like the only effect, 
might be to enable easy override of proposal abandonment through assured 
petition passage. Masses of "me too" PPML posts, remote comments at 
meetings and at the mike comments, unsupported by clue would seem to be 
obvious. And the AC seems well armed to deal with that. Since what appears 
to be going on lately is a kind of value orthogonality (free markets good 
everywhere, free markets not good here), I'm not sure a million +1s is 
going to have the right kind of weight to force a policy past the AC and 
board in the face of widespread articulate reasoning. We might want to 
guard against lots of input from say, robocallers: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robocalling or the dead: 

> And those who oppose could post to HuffPo or some other site where opposing views might be expected to be courted.

I don't find this idea attractive myself. If I have something to say about 
ARIN (rare, I know), I think I will do it here on PPML or at a meeting. I 
note that a number of public advocacy industry groups have policies 
against astroturfing and one that while it "does not specifically mention 
astroturfing, it does require honest communication." Perhaps ARIN might 
wish to formally eschew this behavior itself, while allowing it for 

> Is this a horrible idea?

No. The idea itself seems unbaked. It is certainly possible and may even 
be acceptable.

> I have not acted on it, there could be large implications.

Could indeed. In a quick search I find no particular policy or PPML AUP 
that addresses this proposed behavior, although the following might 
# Postings by fictional or non-identifiable names and addresses.
# Posting false or fictitious statements.
# Actions, that while not described specifically here, are similar to the 
conduct described.

AC, staff, Board or list, where would the appropriate place to address 
this be? Policy proposal, ACSP, AUP edit? Or someone more lofty than me 
just telling Mike to go for it? :)

> What are your thoughts?

Thanks again for a thought provoking question.

John Springer

> Regards,
> Mike Burns

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