[arin-ppml] Regarding unauthorized changes (Re: Policy question)

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Sat Sep 22 16:20:07 EDT 2012

On 9/21/2012 4:53 PM, Jeffrey Lyon wrote:

> I would agree with you on almost every point you made. My major beef
> is that the other party does not own a network. We own the network,
> we're using the space, and we're the ones justifying it.

Wrong.  You do not "own" the network.

What you fail to understand is that ARIN doesn't even "own" the IP 
network.  Nobody "owns" the network.

Basically what is going on here is the following:

1) The majority of networks and ISPs have agreed to respect the 
authority of the RIR system to define IP address assignments.

2) your unable to establish an agreement with a member of that system -
ARIN - for them to agree that you are assigned to those numbers

> With that
> said, we also keep routing it whether the other party likes it or not.

3) Your upstreams have also decided in your case to not respect the
authority of the RIR system to define IP address assignments in your
specific case.  Maybe they know something that we do not.

I have been in this situation - I have had a customer who wasn't
disputing ARIN but was disputing with someone else, who I continued
to keep routing going for them.  I knew the situation and had to make
a decision on it.  But I will tell you that the three things that tipped
the balance for me to defy the RIR assignment was that first, the
customer had a history with those numbers, second, my customer agreed
the other org owned the assignment but he didn't get enough time to
complete the move, and last he agreed to vacate by a deadline.  But
my customer certainly didn't go running to PPML complaining that ARIN
make an exception for him.  No, he did what everyone else does in this
situation, he renumbered.  And in my case I used my own trust network,
because MY upstreams were also being pressured to block the routing too 
- and because they had a long trust relationship with me, they trusted
that I understood the situation better, and they sided with me and 
didn't do it.

> It would be very easy for ARIN to revoke the space from the
> non-qualified holder and reissue it to the company who is already
> justifying its use.

Yes, it would be very easy for ARIN to change it's paperwork.  But
you have to understand something here.

The authority of the RIR system rests on one single thing.


As an ISP admin I trust that ARIN and every other RIR in the network
will follow their own policies and procedures.

There are no contractual obligations here.  Yes, ARIN and I have a
contract for my IP assignment space.

But that contract does not guarantee that I can hold ARIN responsible
if Google over there decides to collude with some other RIR elsewhere
and get that RIR to assign space to them not belonging to them.

If an RIR like ARIN were to make an arbitrary decision in your case that 
was not based on their published policy -
even if you could bring convincing documentation to them that you are
supposed to be assigned to that space - particularly if that decision is
based on evidence that you capriciously decide to keep sealed from
public view - then every other RIR and ISP on the Internet can then no
longer trust that ARIN will follow it's policies and procedures.

The entire system then breaks down.

Sure, there's some leeway to bend the rules.  If for example you got the 
rug pulled out of your numbering and weren't given a reasonable time
to renumber, then at times at the ISP level, you may be able to bend the
rules for a certain period of time.  But not at the RIR level.

If the RIR system goes then the only thing that could then replace it is 
the sort of thing that we have that governs radio spectrum allocations 
in the world - that is, a gigantic network of highly expensive contracts 
that exist between the
world's governments and the major spectrum users, all governed by the
United Nations.

If such a thing were to come to pass on the Internet I can pretty much
guarantee that you, Jeffrey, could not possibly afford to participate
as an ISP any longer.  In fact likely just about all of us could not.

Is that the kind of Internet you want?

Keep in mind that there are a LOT of stakeholders with huge sums of 
money to gain who are currently pressuring the United Nations to impose
this kind of regime on Internet IP numbering assignments.  That's why
ARIN joined the ITU, to stave off that pressure.

China for example would love it if all ISPs in the world were
government-owned.  They could then use their government-owned ISP to
pressure the other governments to give up all kinds of information on
Chinese dissidents living abroad.

I ask again, is that the kind of Internet you want?

There are much larger things here at stake than your piddly little
dispute that your trying to drag ARIN into.  The rest of us understand
this and we are trying to politely tell you that your not important
enough for ARIN to initiate actions that could result in wrecking the
RIR system.  Sorry it's not sinking in and I had to get nasty.

Ted Mittelstaedt
NOC Director, Internet Partners, Inc.

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