[arin-ppml] IP Address Policy

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Thu Aug 9 21:25:42 EDT 2012

On Aug 9, 2012, at 12:18 , Steven Ryerse <SRyerse at eclipse-networks.com> wrote:

> With all due respect bad policies need to be changed.  Policy isn't policy as you say when it is bad policy.  Consensus isn't good when it is wrong.  ARIN does actually have an obligation to me and to you and to Microsoft and to every other member of the Internet community in North America.  Their charter is to serve ALL of us and not just SOME of us.  All of us should be on the same level playing field.  The BGP policy is specifically designed to deny Internet resources based on the size of the requesting organization.  This is absolutely wrong and it is bad policy!

First, there is no ARIN BGP policy, so I'm not sure what you're talking about.

Second, the policy of requiring a certain minimum size for ARIN allocations is precisely to support needs of this community as expressed by this community to conserve routing table slots. It _MAY_ at this point be somewhat anachronistic, though I tend to think not.

While I would support changing the policy, I cannot claim in good faith that it is not a legitimate policy. It is a legitimate policy which was properly developed with the consent and consensus of this community. I understand that you and others don't like this policy. There are several policies that I don't like and many that I have gotten changed as a result of my efforts in the policy development process.

> Arin's mission statement says:  "Applying the principles of stewardship, ARIN, a nonprofit corporation, allocates Internet Protocol resources; develops consensus-based policies; and facilitates the advancement of the Internet through information and educational outreach."  

The principles of stewardship require ARIN to administer (allocate IP resources) according to the consensus-based policies developed by the ARIN community. You may think that because your organization is not getting exactly what it wants, those policies aren't serving your opinion of the advancement of the internet, but I'd be willing to bet that some of the operators on this list feel that filling the routing table with requests like yours would be contrary to the advancement of the internet. Not everyone has the same perspective. It's not about exclusion or an unlevel playing field.

Indeed, I suspect most reading this will be surprised to see me defending the current policy. I do believe it needs to change and I would support changing it through the PDP with a proper policy proposal. However, until that proposal reaches consensus, as much as I do not like the policy, indeed for many of the reasons you have mentioned, I cannot call it illegitimate merely because I don't like it.

It is a legitimate policy. It was developed through a community driven bottom-up consensus process. It is in place for legitimate technical reasons that were at least sound at the time it was adopted. It is a matter of opinion whether or not those requirements are still valid. IMHO they are not as valid as some claim them to be, but, I cannot argue that they are any less right than I am because I cannot prove one way or the other.

> This specifically says that one of ARIN's main missions is to Allocate resources.  It absolutely does not say that ARIN is supposed to find reasons and ways to deny resources.  It should be finding reasons and ways to approve allocation of resources to everyone who needs them.  To do anything other than allocating resources to organizations who can demonstrate the need for those resources is the exact opposite of ARINs mission.  Each policy should first have to pass the test of: Does this policy completely align with ARINs mission - and does it advance Internet usage?  Any policies that fail this test need to be redone or be removed or not approved - regardless of how well written it might be.  

ARIN must allocate those resources using the principles of stewardship which includes following the policies developed by this community.

It absolutely does require ARIN to deny a request which does not conform to policy until something changes (the request or the policy) to allow them to approve it. Continuing to throw a temper tantrum and saying the same thing over and over again will not change the fact that you are fundamentally misinterpreting the select pieces of ARIN's mission statement and ignoring it's charter, bylaws, and finally the NRPM which is the document, developed by this community which contains the body of ARIN Number Resource Policy.

While I understand that you do not believe that the policy as it exists passes that test, many on this list, myself included disagree with your interpretation and believe that it does, in fact, pass that test. However, the actual test that a policy must pass is as follows:

1.	Is it sound, technically feasible, and beneficial to the community?
2.	Does the proposed policy have the consensus of the community
	as expressed through the PPML, the PPM(s), and possibly
	other forms of input?

IMHO, the test you mention above is part of what is required to consider a policy sound.

I believe that each and every piece of policy in the NRPM does, in fact, pass your test when viewed from at least some of the many perspectives that exist within the ARIN community.

Any BGP policy is not ARIN's, it is imposed by the people running routers and you should take that up with them.

> I'm sorry that I appear to be ruffling the feathers of some members of the this community but I will keep on saying that in this forum over and over again until some reason prevails that this is wrong and it needs to be fixed.  I am part of this community too.

You are part of this community. Multiple people have pointed you at the tools you need to use to get things changed. Reason has prevailed and you don't agree with what everyone else considers reason. Continuing to repeat yourself hoping that we will agree is known as railing and is unlikely to achieve your desired result. In fact, it will more likely alienate the people willing to support your cause.

> I would also categorically state that ruling by consensus can be dangerous and frequently does NOT result in good policies.  If all of the polices that have been approved to date by consensus are so perfect then why do existing policies have to frequently be modified and fixed?  I

Times change. Times change relatively rapidly on the internet. Nobody said that the existing policies are perfect. But the consensus process is better than any other process I've seen for developing compromises that the largest proportion possible of the community can accept and support.

> will give you a very graphic illustration of how consensus can be used for very bad policies.  In the United States there used to be a very strong consensus in the southern states that black men and women should be enslaved.  The vast majority of southerners had come to a strong consensus that the "policy" of slavery was good for the south and that the "policy" of slavery was good for the economy and that black men and women were only capable of being good slaves.  This consensus was so strong that southerners were willing to die to keep the "policy" of slavery in place.  There was a small minority in the south who stood up and said slavery was wrong.  They were not part of the consensus and of course we all realize today that the "policy" created by the consensus of the majority that slavery was good was very WRONG - and this small minority was RIGHT.  Consensuses have led to big trouble in Communist Russia and Nazi Germany and many other examples.  Thank

That policy was developed not by consensus, but by majority rule, actually. Further, the blacks were not given a voice in the process, so, again, this was an exclusive process.

Claiming that the things you refer to in Russia and Germany were done by consensus is absurd. They were absolutely not done with the consent or consensus of the people they were being done to. In the case of ARIN policy, it is the consensus of the people who might request resources that is used in evaluating the policies for administering those resources. 

> goodness we are not discussing issues of this magnitude in this community and of course I use these extreme examples to illustrate that governing solely by consensus is not always smart.  The beauty and the power of this Internet Community forum is NOT consensus - but IS the ability of the Internet Community to have input into what ARIN does.  That is very positive and the obvious reason why the mission statement seeks to give the Internet Community input to its actions.  If the consensus of this community is contrary to ARINs mission then it should always be denied by ARINs board - every time.  That is their fiduciary responsibility!   

You also use flawed examples of exclusive majorities and not inclusive consensus based policies where all stakeholders are free to participate in the consensus process.

I have no reason to believe that the ARIN board would deny any policy proposal we put forward that did not fall within ARIN's mission statement. I do not agree with your interpretation that the existing policy violates ARIN's mission statement merely because it does not support you doing things in exactly the way you wish to do them. There are (arguably) sound technical reasons not to allow what you are requesting that have nothing to do with "picking on the little guy". If you look at my history on this list, I think you will have a hard time denying that I am a pretty staunch defender of the "little guy" and have been for many years. I myself _AM_ actually a little guy, though I also work for a fairly large ISP at this point as well.

> Many of the responses I have received so far want to debate a particular point of policy or a fine point of my augments but they don't really address my overlying point.  While that kind of dialog is positive, it misses the overlying point I am trying to make that ALL policies need to be FULLY aligned with ARINs mission.  Until we come to agreement that ARIN needs to fully pursue its chartered mission to serve EVERONE who can demonstrate need - at a mission statement level, arguing the various points of a policy at a low level won't help solve the overlying problem.  I am asking for the help of ARIN & this Community to correct the overlying problem first.  I hope you will join me!

ARIN's mission is NOT to serve EVERYONE who can demonstrate need. It doesn't say that anywhere in the mission statement, the charter, or the bylaws. ARIN's mission is to administer the address space according to the principles of stewardship according to the policies developed by the community. The policies developed by the community are the reference by which ARIN can define what will or will not "advance" the internet because there is no other objective criteria available.

I'm sorry you don't like the way that works out for you at this moment, but it does not make what is happening invalid.


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