[arin-ppml] IPv4 Transfer Policy Change to Keep Whois Accurate

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Thu May 12 16:42:17 EDT 2011

On May 12, 2011, at 12:35 PM, Chris Engel wrote:
> Unless I misunderstand the situation here (which admittedly I may) ARIN has no real legal authority over the address spaces it registers. It's a self-appointed non-profit, not a government agency.... and has no real legal authority to regulate address usage outside of the individual contracts it has with many organizations.  Therefore, if an organization never entered into a contract with ARIN, it really has no legal mechanism for regulating it's use of any particular set of addresses. Do I misunderstand the nature of ARIN as an organization?

Chris - 
   ARIN maintains a database of registry entries in accordance 
   with policies developed by the community.  ARIN does not need 
   any "regulatory" powers for administration of its registry on   
   behalf of the community.

> In practical terms, ARIN's, functional authority seems to derive from the fact that most of the organizations responsible for routing traffic voluntarily accept it as the official keeper of records for what address space belongs to whom. Would that be a correct summation?

   ARIN's usefulness relies upon that acceptance. 

> It seems to me that if ARIN started reclaiming address space from those organizations (or their clients) on any sort of significant scale, it would pretty rapidly risk undermining it's own authority and relevance to them. Whether, ARIN, from a policy standpoint has the technical ability to do so, strikes me as somewhat ancillary as to whether it would actually be a good idea for them to do so.

   That's not necessarily true at all - ARIN has to manage the
   registry per the policies the community develops, even if 
   that results in actions that are individually unpopular to
   any given organization.  While some policies may be individually 
   unpopular, they are adopted because they are recognized as 
   collectively necessary for efficient Internet operations.

> As a hypothetical, if an extremely large organization which had no contractual arrangement with ARIN believed it had legitimate claim to a certain address blocks. I would assume that many of the ISP's who were financially dependent on that organization would be inclined to route said block regardless of what ARIN might have to say about it. I would also presume that it would be in ARIN's self-interest to generally try and recognize the legitimacy of such claim, if at all possible... and try to get that organization into some sort of contractual relationship so that it could exert some sort of legal authority. Are those presumptions reasonable?

   Correct, but presumably, many of the same ISP's who were financially 
   dependent on that type of organization would also be inclined to make 
   policies which resulted in the minimum number of conflicts possible.


John Curran 
President and CEO

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