[arin-ppml] 2600::/12 LOA

Joe St Sauver joe at oregon.uoregon.edu
Sat Mar 29 13:29:42 EDT 2014


John Curran commented:

#We were asked to cooperate with Merit on darknet research on ARIN's IPv6
#2600::/12 space and I authorized the effort.  Apparently, the effort also
#included the routing an overall covering prefix and I missed that aspect 
#of the project.  Aside from the technical concerns outlined here, there 
#is also a very valid question of whether ARIN should ever be involved in 
#routing authorization covering already issued space, since presumably the 
#same dialogue and consensus in the operator community (that should be a 
#prerequisite for such an experiment) should also suffice as the approval 
#with ISPs when it comes to researchers actually inserting the necessary 
#Going forward, ARIN will not issue routing authorization that covers any
#address space issued to others without community-developed policy that
#specifically directs us to do so.   

In mid-December 2013 I highlighted this very Merit darknet project in 
a keynote I did for Merit Networks Networking Summit in Ann Arbor, see
"Networking in These Crazy Days: Stay Calm, Get Secure, and Get Involved,"
at slide 28. 

I think that the Merit IPv6 darknet project was *very* important in helping
to promote uptake of IPv6 in that it provides empirical evidence that the 
level of "background radiation" in IPv6 space isn't very high right now 
(roughly ~1Mbps), and what is there is typically the result of 
misconfiguration rather than malicious scanning (or at least that's what 
was reported in the Merit technical paper summarizing that experience,
as cited in my slides).

Moreover, given BGP route selection rules, I'm not particularly disturbed
by the presence of that covering announcement: any more specific route should
immediately be preferred to a broad covering route of the sort employed by
the IPv6 darknet research effort.

I believe that ARIN acted properly in supporting this network research, and 
I'd be quite disappointed if ARIN (and other RIRs) discontinued support for 
research of this sort, particularly when carefully done by leading academic 
networking research organizations.


Joe St Sauver, Ph.D. (joe at oregon.uoregon.edu)

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the Merit Darknet effort, and all 
opinions expressed in this note are purely my own.

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