[arin-ppml] Draft Policy ARIN-2019-2: Waiting List Block Size Restriction

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at tristatelogic.com
Tue Feb 26 17:51:46 EST 2019

In message <39f01673-b743-7358-b41a-bc7ea93500aa at arin.net>, 
ARIN <info at arin.net> wrote:

>Draft Policy ARIN-2019-2: Waiting List Block Size Restriction
>Problem Statement:
>A substantial amount of misuse of the waiting list is suspected by ARIN 
>The problem is serious enough that the ARIN Board of Trustees has 
>suspended issuance of number resources while a solution to this problem 
>is found...

Although I heartily applaud any and all efforts by ARIN to reduce either
the opportunities for, or the incentivies for "gaming the system", I have
to say that it is my feeling that it is not exactly fair to ask the
community to pass judgement, one way or the other, on a proposal which
is based on some rather startling claims AND where absolutely -zero-
factual documentation is provided to back up those claims.  I quote:

    The problem is serious enough that the ARIN Board of Trustees has
    suspended issuance of number resources while a solution to this
    problem is found...

So, the ARIN community is being asked to take on faith the assertion
that there are vast unseen hoards of entities that are, and that have
been, gaming the system in the manner described, even though not a
single one of these is identified by name.  Have I misunderstood?

I, for one, have no doubts that there are indeed plenty of rational
actors (in the economic sense) who would most certainly seek to work
within the outer limits of existing policies, and seek their own
private economic advantage without regard for such niceties as respect
for the intent of existing policies or for the reasonable stewardship
of number resourcs in the general interest of all.  But who are these
allegedy greedy actors in this specific instance?  And how many of
them are there, actually?

To the extent that whoever is bringing this proposal forward is
deliberately avoiding transparency about who is doing the things claimed,
that person or persons is/are doing a disservice to this proposal, to
their own objectives in putting it forward, and to the ARIN community
generally, which is now being asked to pass on a resolution in the
utter absence of any evidence at all to support its underlying premise.

I hope that this point, i.e. the utter lack of supporting evidence
for this proposal, will not go unnoticed, especially as it is
illustrative of an even larger and an even more longstanding problem.

To put in bluntly, ARIN has a problem, and has had, for a very long
time now.  On the one hand, it seeks to hold itself up as a good
shepard of the number resources in its porfolio, acting in an always
even handed manner for the benefit of the community as a whole, while
on the other hand, as evidenced by the total lack of supporting
documentation for this proposal, it also still tries to act like some
old-school old boy's club, conveniently hiding the dirty laundry away
whenever out-of-town guests arrive.  These two goals are, I would argue,
fundamentally incompatible.

There are two opposite poles here.  There is transparancy and the public
good, and then there is secrecy, skulduggery and subterfuge.  Anyone who
has been closely following the headlines of late should know that by now.

My only wish is that ARIN would pick one or the other of these poles
and then own it.  I understand that there exists this long tradition
of trying to straddle both, of pretending to be acting in the interests
of the General Good while still keeping utterly confidential all of the
dirty little secrets of ARIN's constituent commercial entities, but it
really is getting old and tiresome.  And it does not serve the common

I seriously doubt that anything I say here will result in any sudden
new blossming of transparanecy on the part of ARIN, and I do not
seriously anticipate that any of the people who know the actual facts
with respect to the alleged "gaming" are ever going to actually or
publicly out any of the alleged swarm of Bad Actors that, we are told,
are doing this gaming in large numbers.  But I can and do hope, at least,
that the people on this list will forgive me this indelicate outburst,
and try to understand that I felt compelled to make it.

I see rampant abuse of the Internet, day in and day out, every bit of which
involves number resources, said resources having been obtained, by hook or
by crook, and virtually all of this online evil that I see is the proverbial
"riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma", apparently because the
Good Stewards of the address space wanted it that way.  Therefore, my friends,
please do not begrudge me for asking for a little transparency from time
to time, even if I know ahead of time that I'm totally unlikely to get it.
Call me old-fashioned if you like, but I'd just like to know, every once
and awhile, who exactly is screwing me and/or all of us.  That alone would
be a most refreshing change.


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