[arin-ppml] Recommended Draft Policy ARIN-2014-12: Anti-hijack Policy

Kevin Kargel kkargel at polartel.com
Fri Jun 6 17:10:42 EDT 2014

I understand your position, however in every "should" there is an implied "but", as in "you should (but you don't have to)" or "they should (but they don't)". There is not that issue when you use "You must" or "they will"..  
As someone else stated - policy has to be binary, it must exactingly lay down procedures and conditions.  While it is true that "should" gives staff more freedom, the reason for policy is not to provide ambivalent instruction.  Good policy closes loopholes instead of creating them.
The same applies with "They must unless" as opposed to "They should (but they don't have to) unless".  

I maintain that any policy with "should" (or 'may' in absence of 'may not') is a no-op and a waste of time and serves no function at all.  

While "should" may demonstrate the intent of the rule it is completely unenforceable.  Any policy that is unenforceable is actually worse than no policy at all.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Farmer [mailto:farmer at umn.edu]
> Sent: Friday, June 06, 2014 2:57 PM
> To: Kevin Kargel; arin-ppml at arin.net
> Cc: David Farmer
> Subject: Re: [arin-ppml] Recommended Draft Policy ARIN-2014-12: Anti-
> hijack Policy
> On 6/2/14, 11:04 , David Farmer wrote:
> > On 6/2/14, 09:26 , Kevin Kargel wrote:
> >> I will respectfully disagree.  What is the point of "should"?  Even
> >> in the example you gave it would better as "must unless" or "shall unless"
> >>   instead of "should unless" .  With "should" there is no reason for
> >> the unless because there is no requirement to do otherwise in the
> >> first place.
> >>
> >> Should leaves a loophole that can be easily exploited, i.e. "you
> >> never said we had to do that, you just said we should, so I can
> >> technically do whatever I want"..
> >
> > Sorry, I don't have time to debate this issue in general at this moment.
> >   The PPC at NANOG 61 is just over 24 hours away.
> >
> >> It would be perfectly functional to say:
> >>
> >> "The allocation size shall be consistent with the existing ARIN
> >> minimum allocation sizes, unless small allocations are intended to be
> >> explicitly part of the experiment."
> >
> > Are you suggesting we should also change that sentence as well?  If
> > you are I need to know ASAP, like I said the PPC is just over 24 hours
> > away and I have to finalize the presentation ASAP.  I would also like
> > to hear support from a couple others on PPML before opening that
> > sentence also to changes, as well.
> I don't feel I got sufficient support to modify this sentences on PPML prior to
> the PPC. Also, I discussed this sentence with a couple other AC members and
> with ARIN Staff.  Given the "should" is immediately followed by a conditional
> "unless" the intent seems sufficiently clear, the intent is to create a special-
> case exception, and "should" seems appropriate.  Furthermore, "must" or
> "shall" followed by "unless" seemed an awkward way to create such an
> exception.
> Therefore, I did not include any changes to this sentence in the Editorial
> Changes presented at the PPC.
> >> Using "should" in the statement makes it a no-op.  With "should" you
> >> can choose not to follow what is only a suggestion. If you use
> >> "shall" or "must" you have enforceable policy. If the policy is not
> >> enforceable it is nothing more than a best practice statement at best.
> >
> > I also respectfully disagree.  However, I will discuss the issue with
> > ARIN staff here at NANOG to understand how they interpret this issue.
> Staff generally agrees that in most cases for policy "must" is preferred and it
> is best to avoid "should" in most cases.  However, in the sentence above the
> intent seem clear enough and "should" seems appropriate in that particular
> case.
> Thanks
> --
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> David Farmer               Email: farmer at umn.edu
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