[arin-ppml] [EXT] Re: Open Petition for ARIN-prop-266: BGP Hijacking is an ARIN Policy Violation

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Thu May 2 05:23:26 EDT 2019

Speaking only for myself...

> On May 2, 2019, at 00:55 , JORDI PALET MARTINEZ via ARIN-PPML <arin-ppml at arin.net> wrote:
> Hi Owen,
> I think that the comparison with a property is not good, so I'm top posting to make it simple.
> ARIN is providing a registration service for unique and exclusive rights for resources, following a membership organization model.

What are these exclusive rights? What are these resources?

I know we refer to them as number resources, but in reality, a number is just a number until you put meaning to it.

Take, for example 5. Nobody has any particular exclusive rights to 5 in and of itself. Almost anyone can use it to count their digits on an appendage. 

On a private network or even an internet not connected to “the internet” (for however you define that), anyone is free to use 5 unless that network is governed by some organization or owner who exercises some control over such things.

On “the internet”, ARIN has no such control. ARIN nor any other RIR cannot control who uses a set of numbers for addressing their hosts. What ARIN can do is say that among cooperating entities, these numbers are registered to this entity. That’s what they do.

They don’t grant exclusive rights in those numbers other than the right to maintain the registry data and the right to transfer said registration to a third party in so far as the transfer complies with registry policy.

ARIN does not control (many) routers and any network that wishes to accept the advertisement of a particular prefix from someone other than the ARIN registered resource holder is under no legal obligation to respect the ARIN registration unless they’ve signed some form of contract to that effect.

> Let's take another similar "association membership model". Please, note that I'm not a lawyer and my reading from US laws may be different as what we have in Spain.

Neither of us is a lawyer, and I haven’t a clue about Spanish law.

> Let's suppose it is a sports club and you can request that at some time in the week, the tennis court is allocated to member A, at another time to B, and another time to X. Member X decides to ignore that allocation and uses the court. Even more, X is doing from time to time the same with the allocation to member B, and many others. This is clearly against the rules *and* repeatedly against the rights of other association members.

This is flawed… The sports club owns the tennis court. ARIN does not own the Internet.

If ARIN owned the Internet, then you’d have a valid example. Since ARIN doesn’t, you don’t.

It’s more like a bunch of people got together and agreed that they wanted to cooperate with a third party about scheduling the public tennis court down the street. So those people that are cooperating register their schedules with the SchedOrg they created and SchedOrg takes care of making sure everyone who is involved has a unique slot on the schedule. Along comes a third party who isn’t in a contract with SchedOrg who chooses to ignore the schedule and use the tennis courts on a first come first served basis.

Since they are public tennis courts not owned by SchedOrg, SchedOrg can’t really do much about it unless the city that actually owns the tennis courts chooses to identify SchedOrg as the authoritative scheduling platform.

In the case of ARIN, some cities (ISPs) have done so and will take down routes that don’t map to the originating entity in the ARIN database. Others won’t.

> The association clearly can tell X, we don't want you to be anymore a member. You've done this not just by mistake, it was a repetitive action in violation of our rules and not respecting other members rights.

Right, _IF_ X is a member and _IF_ the association in question owns the tennis courts in question.

In the case of much of the hijacking we see on a daily basis, X is not a member and ARIN most certainly doesn’t own the tennis courts (routers) X is using.

> You can find other examples, such a shared property. You have a right to use a property for a week, and if another member is usurping that right for other members "time", they don't follow the rules.

All of your other examples also involve either shared ownership of the property by the individual in question _OR_ ownership by the registering entity.

That doesn’t map into the situation as it exists here.

> One more example, in Spain there have been many cases of pick-pockets that the public transport authority (and confirmed by courts if they complain), has denied using the public transport, just because they have been caught once and again.

Once again, in this case, you have two things ARIN doesn’t have… 1. The public transit authority owns the public transit. (ARIN doesn’t own the routers). 2. The public transit authority is coupled with law enforcement as they are both agencies of the same government.

Governments have law enforcement powers. ARIN has no ability to enforce a contract against someone who never signed one.

> A more extreme example. You can have a property, let's say your home, and there are some common areas (for example a garden, a small summer swimming pool, etc.). You are a member of the neigbourhood, that of course has rules about how the garden and swiming pool can be used. If you act against those rules, or act against the rights of other neighbours, you can get cancelled your rights to use those common areas. Even more, in an extreme case, a judge will even tell you (this is not a theory, there have been many cases), you can't anymore use your home: find another one, and you can rent this to someone else, because you demonstrated that you don't know how to follow the rules.

Sure, but once again, the judge has law enforcement powers as a judiciary. The HOA has ownership of the common areas.

ARIN doesn’t own the routers and isn’t a judiciary body.

> In all those cases, the membership organization has the right to state (according to the bylaws), what are the rules. If the rules are accepted by the members, they must be followed and respected.

In all those cases the bad actor _IS_ a member of the organization and wouldn’t have any access if he were not.

In this case, many of the hijackers are _NOT_ members of the organization.

In all those cases, there’s an entirely different ownership model in that the organization actually owns the resources being used. ARIN does not own the IP addresses, because IP addresses aren’t property, they’re just numbers.

> I think it is obvious that the RIRs provide the unique and exclusive rights to members. I thinkk it is obvious *even* if we don't have such explicit rule, that a member can't act against those unique and exclusive rights granted to other members.

Yes, but use of a particular number in a router isn’t one of those rights…

Section 1.3 of the NRPM is quite clear on this matter…

1.3. Routability
The principle of routability guarantees that Internet number resources are managed in such a manner that they may be routed on the Internet in a scalable manner.

While routing scalability is necessary to ensure proper operation of Internet routing, allocation or assignment of Internet number resources by ARIN in no way guarantees that those addresses will be routed by any particular network operator.

Unique registration and the limited ability to transfer that registration in certain circumstances are the exclusive rights provided by an RIR. There may be others, but those are the primary ones.

> Our policies are there, some times, to state in an explicit way, what it may be considered obvious. This is what our policy proposal is tryint to do.

IMHO, it utterly fails to do that because it is built on a flawed theory that RIRs are capable of granting rights of exclusive use of numbers on the internet.

> A resource hijack, is violating other member rights, and is also violating the rules about how the resources should be *correctly* registered, even if this hijack is violating the rules only during a few minutes or hours, it is still violating the rules.

Agreed… HOWEVER, those rights are a civil contract matter in this case and you can’t expect to enforce contractual obligations against a party that never signed a contract.

> There is some wording in the RSA that talks about some relevant aspects to this discussion (coping only some of the text):
> (1) The exclusive right to be the registrant of the Included Number Resources within the ARIN database;
> (2) The right to use the Included Number Resources within the ARIN database;

Yes… note that both of those rights are constrained to what happens within the ARIN database. They don’t talk about use of the numbers on the global internet.

> However, I'm mising a more clear "unique and exlusive right to use" in 2.

You’re not missing it, it doesn’t and cannot exist because ARIN has no power to grant or enforce such a rite.

> Also:
> (d) Prohibited Conduct By Holder. In using any of the Services, Holder shall not: (i) disrupt or interfere with the security or use of any of the Services; (ii) violate any applicable laws, statutes, rules, or regulations; or (iii) assist any third party in engaging in any activity prohibited by any Service Terms.

Sure, but that provision is only binding on those that have signed the RSA. Most hijackers haven’t. Also, all of this is in the RSA which is not the purview of the PDP, so you’re kind of making the case for out of scope even if you could get the changes you want in the RSA.

> Policies can increase that wording and make it more obvious and facilitate both the organization and the members to take actions if those are not accidental and if they become repetitive.

Policies cannot change the wording of the RSA, actually. The Board has to do that and your best path to getting the board to do so would be through the ACSP.

> I believe bylaws are not clear on this, but it may be because it is clearly illegal to act against the membership rights of other members, so you don't need to re-state it in bylaws, but making it clear in policies it is definitively a good thing.

You are conflating illegal (actually against the law) with against policy (which does not have the force of law).

> Policies are easier to adapt to the community needs, by means of the PDP, which may change with the time, evolution of protocols, etc. While the bylaws and RSA aren't so easy to modify, but they clearly state that the policies are part of the rules to be followed by members.

The RSA is quite easy to modify. You only need to convince a majority of the members of the board. Changing policies means 10 of the 15 members of the AC have to believe there is community consensus for the policy and that it is in scope, technically sound, fair and equitable number resource policy.

The bylaws are more difficult, but not immutable.


> Regards,
> Jordi
> El 2/5/19 8:59, "ARIN-PPML en nombre de Owen DeLong" <arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net en nombre de owen at delong.com> escribió:
>> On May 1, 2019, at 18:08 , Fernando Frediani <fhfrediani at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 01/05/2019 17:17, Joe Provo wrote:
>>> "Distribution function" is indeed merely agreeing that the data
>>> recorded in the registry is accurate. There's no dibursement of
>>> anything. When we bought our house and land, the registry of
>>> deeds was similar only involved in verifying that the transfer
>>> from the previous holders to us was a valid contract within the
>>> scope of its operations (the state in which we live). When a
>>> neighbor was doing a construction project and we had to go block
>>> their heavy equipment, the registrar of deeds sure didn't come
>>> and settle the dispute. We went down, got the county map and
>>> they agreed. if they hadn't, law enforcement and courts would
>>> have been the next step.
>>> This, like all Internet analogies, is poor; my thrust is that rfg's
>>> is worse. To parallel ARIN with a transportation agency's "line
>>> drawing" and officials embued with law enforcement is wildly off
>>> track.
>> That's not that same thing unfortunately. Your house and land belong to you until you sell it, the resources the RIR assign to people **never** belong to them, they are not a property. Instead they remain under their responsibility and they may unassigned if misused or for other reasons.
>    The following is strictly my opinion. It may well deviate from the legal theories under which the RIRs currently operate.
>    The county can revoke your deed if you don’t pay your property taxes.
>    ARIN can revoke your registration if you don’t pay your ARIN fees.
>    The county can revoke your deed if they find that it was recorded under fraudulent pretense.
>    ARIN can revoke your resources if they find  your registration was obtained under fraudulent pretense.
>    The only difference is in what is being registered/recorded by the different registries. The property registry in the various counties registers property.
>    ARIN registers numbers to guarantee uniqueness among cooperating parties.
>    As has been repeatedly stated in this debate, ARIN has no control or authority over non-cooperating parties that have not signed a contract with ARIN.
>    An entity which has no contract with the RIRs really can use any integers they want in any way they want to the extent that others are willing to accept that use.
>    If someone wants to claim as a public address and route it on the internet, the RIRs cannot do anything to stop them unless it violates an RIR contract that said entity is a party to.
>    If they can find enough ISPs willing to route that on their behalf, then de facto, that address range will be theirs and it really doesn’t matter what the RIRs have to say about it.
>    The internet works because the vast majority of networks choose to cooperate with the RIR system and work within the system to preserve uniqueness.
>    There’s no law that prevents this from becoming balkanized and disintegrating into competing non-unique uses of address space. I hope that doesn’t happen and fortunately, there’s enough financial interest in the process to make sure the majority of ISPs continue to not want it as well.
>    Nonetheless, it is important to understand just how fragile this ecosystem actually is and just how limited the power of the RIRs actually is.
>    Owen
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