[arin-ppml] Of interest?

Larry Ash lar at mwtcorp.net
Sun May 19 15:30:23 EDT 2019


please give us a break. If you think you can devise a method to prevent fraud go to Law School and make your fortune. For the rest of us its only necessary to make sure that the  fraudster has crossed from civil to criminal code and let the criminal courts do their thing. 
Congrats to ARIN for having procedures in place that did exactly that.

Larry Ash
Mountain West Telephone

> On May 19, 2019, at 4:38 AM, Ronald F. Guilmette <rfg at tristatelogic.com> wrote:
> In message <BEEB33F0-D800-4099-B5A7-8AD232DC8B5F at arin.net>, 
> John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:
>> On May 18, 2019, at 5:06 PM, Ronald F. Guilmette <rfg at tristatelogic.com> wr=
>> ote:
>>> And as I have already asserted, ARIN would have done well... and done
>>> better than it has done... to have at least made itself aware of these
>>> facts.  If it had done so, then perhaps appropriate questions could
>>> have been raised about all of this much much earlier, at the outset,
>>> some 4+ years ago.
>> Ronald -
>> However, it is quite likely that the state registration issue would have
>> been promptly corrected once raised, at which point we would have ended up
>> with the same outcome.
> It's an arguably valid point, but I disagree, for the following reasons.
> It's one thing to try to run a fraud against a non-governmental private
> non-profit organization, like ARIN, which has both a strong incentive
> never to litigate and also a strong and widely-known history of vitrually
> never doing so.  It is quite another thing entirely to commit a fraud
> where the gateway requirement to begin the scam is to perpetrate at least
> a portion of the fraud against one or more of these United States.
> State attorneys general have rather more financial backing than does ARIN,
> and they are, I think, rather entirely less likely to just let stuff
> slide, e.g. for fear of being bankrupted as a side-effect of litigation.
> Additionally, there are a number of fundamental principals involved here,
> and these should not be overlooked.  I'm talking about longstanding
> principals of both law and commerce that should never be violated under
> any circumstances.
> Wherever you are, within the ARIN region, just look down the street at
> you local bookshop, your local corner drug store, or your local hair salon.
> These businesses are all formally registered to do business in your state,
> you province, or your country.  Why then should *any* Internet business
> which also and likewise maintains a physical nexus to your state be somehow
> magically immune from fufilling this normative legal requirement that
> everyone else has to satisfy?  (In fact, under law, they aren't.  All
> businesses with a physical nexus must register.  No exceptions.)
> More to the point, why should ARIN ever be, in effect, materially aiding
> and abetting -any- business in illegally skirting that business' state tax
> liability?  And likewise, why should ARIN be, in effect, materially aiding
> and abetting any business as it skirts its home state's reasonable state
> business regulations?  (You know, the ones that the voters of a given state
> have, through their legislatures, adopted for the common good.)
> The answer, I think, is that it shouldn't.  ARIN should not be aiding and
> abetting tax evasion, money laundering or any of the other myriad crimes
> and misdemeanors that the people of your state, or my state, have, in their
> wisdom, deemed either criminal or actionable.
> A lot of people seem to still be operating under this popular delusion that
> "Internet businesses" can and do somehow float freely, somehere in the
> intangible ether, totally unmoored from the legal realities that we poor
> mere mortals, living here on terra firma, have to contend with every day
> of our professional lives.  But through the courts, and largely thanks
> to Amazon, we have already had this question asked and answered.  The
> answer is no, if you have a physical nexus in a state, you *cannot* simply
> or unilaterally elect to *not* register in that state, and likewise you
> *cannot* simply duck out on you state tax liability.  (You also have to
> obey state labor laws and so forth.)  Using the word "Internet" is not a
> magic get-out-of-jail-free card that absolves you from state taxes or
> state regulation.
> So now, how many dollars did Oppobox pay in state taxes to the state of
> Ohio during its alleged four year tenure in that state?  The answer is
> self-evidently zero.  But the company did apparently make a good deal of
> revenue, over those same four years, from the large chunks of IP address
> space that were issued to it.  So it is reasonable to ask: Issued by whom?
> Who granted this fiction of an "Ohio" company a nice profitable concession,
> from which they made plenty of dough even while never paying a dime in
> state taxes?
> One type of business that quite certainly does float freely, unmoored,
> most of the time anyway, from terra firma is an airline.  So if, for example,
> Southwest Airlines applies for landing rights at the Cincinnati airport,
> would airport authorities be acting properly if they didn't even check to
> see if Southwest Airlines was or was not even registered to do business
> in Ohio?  No, they would not.  And in fact Southwest Airlines *is* properly
> registered in the State of Ohio, as it should be and as it must be.  If
> Southwest had landed even a single plane at the Cincinnati airport before
> the company's Ohio corporate registration was in place, then somebody on
> the airport commission would be out of a job by now.
> I see no reason why the normal and normative longstanding rules of commerce
> and law should be either ignored or flaunted by ARIN.  Before granting a
> commercially valuable concession to any arbitrary commercial entity X,
> alleged to be located in state Y, it is both normal practice and entirely
> appropriate to check that X really is registered to do business in state Y.
> The fact that ARIN apparently *isn't* doing these simple checks makes ARIN
> an outlier and an anomaly... a quirky bizzare misfit among all of the
> eminently reasonable governmental and non-profit entities that have been
> doing these simple and appropriate checks, day and and day out, for decades.
> Now, in this present Micfo case, the whole thing has blown up in a rather
> spectacular fashion.  We have Grand Jury indictments, federal marshals,
> the works.  It's certainly an excellent show, and I look forward to the
> video(s).  But what about all of the *other* stuff that's still quietly
> hiding in the cracks and crevices, even as we speak?  What about all of the
> "Internet" businesses that *aren't* suing ARIN and that *aren't* defrauding
> ARIN and that are only just off in some quiet corner of ARIN-land someplace,
> quietly and only defrauding their home states of tax revenue, even as they
> are making money, hand over fist, by reselling various bits of what ARIN
> has bequeathed to them?
> I know what people here will say.  They will say "ARIN isn't the state tax
> police and we adamantly do not *want* ARIN to be the state tax police."
> It's an old refrain and I know it well.  But it utterly misses one vital
> nunace.
> Nobody wants ARIN to enforce state laws of any kind... tax... labor...
> whatever.  Least of all me.  But there's a material difference between
> actually being a state attorney general, and doing, or not doing, what
> that job demands and, in contrast, doing what ARIN does, i.e. routinely
> handing out millions of dollars worth of commercially valuable concessions
> to entities that, if you were not deliberately turning a blind eye, could
> be seen to be self-evident tax cheats.  (Checking this is free and takes
> about five seconds, so the usual excuses of it being either too costly
> or too time consuming don't apply.)
> To be clear, it is my contention that what ARIN does... or rather, what it
> does not do... in the way of vetting is in no sense "normal", and it is
> arguably enabling tax fraud.  ARIN may not be driving the getaway car on
> these crimes, but I'm not sure that that the distinction is sufficiently
> large, in practice, to quibble about.
> So, the question is just this:  Why should ARIN be exempt from normal and
> ordinary vetting procedures that are routine and commonplace everywhere
> else?  If the Cincinnati Airport Authority can do it and does do it, and
> if the department within the State of California that awards the concession
> for the lemonaid stand in Yosemite Park can do it and does do it, then
> what makes ARIN so special that it has to NOT do it?  And wouldn't it be
> better, all around, if it did do this minimal checking?  Wouldn't it be
> better for both society as a whole and also for the ARIN membership if
> ARIN did not let the really really obvious tax cheats into the club in the
> first place?
> This isn't "policing".  It's just reasonable and minimal club roster hygiene.
> And based on this Micfo case, I think that the benefits should by now be
> apparent to all.
> Regards,
> rfg
> P.S.  For the benfit of anyone who thinks that I am just spouting pure
> hyperbole when I assert that ARIN could be viewed as being in some sense
> complicit with tax fraud, if anyone asks I'll be happy to try to get my
> old friend Suresh in here.  Then I'll let him tell the story... and provide
> the links for... the time when law enforcement descended on RIPE headquarters
> in Europe, fully prepared, apparently, to arrest someone for RIPE's apparent
> role in money laundering.  Fortunately, it did not actually come to that, in
> the end, but the story, which is 100% true, may perhaps illuminate the fact
> that I may not be totally alone in attributing some level of culpability to
> these RIRs which think themselves too good or too special to fully check
> the bona fides of the various people and entities that they allow into their
> respective clubrooms.
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