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

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Mon May 23 17:19:31 EDT 2011

Sent from my iPad

On May 23, 2011, at 16:00, "Mike Burns" <mike at nationwideinc.com> wrote:

>>> And still in the real world, if the addresses continue to be usable after the sale, these sales WILL happen, and Whois accuracy will be lost.
> Hi Owen,
>> And here is the crux of the matter. Will the addresses continue to be usable?
>> What would prevent ARIN from registering them to someone else after removing
>> the records for the original holder who clearly abandoned them from the database
>> per ARIN policy?
> Nothing except a claim of tortious interference in a contract, I would guess.

Ah, but, you can't have it both ways... Either registry in the ARIN database isn't
relevant to the ability to route addresses (the addresses keep working) and there
isn't interference, or, it is relevant (the addresses don't keep working) and the
buyers will look askance at such deals.

> If you reread my last post, I clearly state that this is an option ARIN has, to reissue to another allocant and have Whois list the new allocant.
> ARIN controls Whois.
>> What will ensure that ISPs remain willing to route those addresses to the purchaser
>> outside of policy vs. the third party now registered in the RIR database?
> You are correct, this is the crux of the matter.
> ARIN has no control over network operators, and who is to say what they will do?

So far, they pretty much have.

> Will they band together and make pariahs out of anybody who routes in contravention to Whois data?

I think this is an extreme. The other extreme is routing whatever on a free-for-all basis.
Neither extreme is likely. However, I suspect that the most likely outcome is to continue
as in the past until a conflict arises. At the point where a conflict arises, I believe that
the RIR database(s) will be considered authoritative in virtually all likely circumstances.

> Will they look to another routing authority, like another registry?

I think this unlikely.

> Will they rely on their own review of chain-of-custody documents?

I think this is even more unlikely as such reviews are high overhead and
would not scale beyond one or two levels of ASN indirection.

> Will they solicit a CYA document, route the addresses, and pocket the revenue from the connection?

That's certainly what happens today, at least until a conflict occurs. Now, the interesting
part is that when conflicts have occurred, to the best of my knowledge, the RIR database
has always emerged as the authoritative information that is believed and the other
party loses.

> Maybe we need some more information on this. Do carrier ToS announcements state any requirement to match Whois?

Not that I am aware of, but, I'm not sure that matters.

> I can understand the reluctance people to speak on this issue, though.
Ah, yeah... So can I. Especially people wanting to operate contrary to RIR policy.

>> Do you not believe that this uncertainty would actually serve as a disincentive
>> to these sales? Again, I think you need to make it clear what, exactly, you think
>> is being sold in the real world in these instances of sales that you propose.
>> Owen
> Yes, the uncertainty will devalue the addresses and the normal incentive would be to have the addresses registered.

Exactly. I believe this incentive is strong enough to resolve the problem to a sufficient
extent without abandoning needs basis.

> But then again, if network operators continue to route addresses with Whois mismatches, then maybe those addresses become even more valuable, as it becomes clearer that those addresses are not subject to ARIN's dues, fees, and needs requirements.

Unlikely. I think that as conflicts increase, the probability of network operators continuing to route addresses with whois mismatches will continue to decrease.

> It comes down to what the network operators decide to do, and whether ARIN would have the confidence to reissue ip addresses known to have control conflicts to some hapless applicant.

I think that eventually ARIN will have no choice but to do so. I also think that they will
responsibly advise the applicant of the situation and give them the option of remaining
on the waiting list hoping to obtain cleaner addresses through the transfer market or
other uncontested reclamation/revocation/abandonment processes.

However, I think that there will be some (large) applicants that will accept the space
out of desperation and be able to convince network operators in general that the
squatter needs to be evicted as it were.


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