[arin-ppml] Change of Use and ARIN (was: Re: AFRINIC And The Stability Of The Internet Number Registry System)

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Sat Sep 4 16:32:23 EDT 2021

On 4 Sep 2021, at 3:13 PM, William Herrin <bill at herrin.us> wrote:
> ...
> One critically important part of setting a regulation is
> enforceability. If it's impractical to enforce a rule you're better
> off not having it. Instead, rework the rule to the closest thing you
> can enforce without creating an arbitrary and unfair rule. And if
> there isn't a sensible rule to be written, then don't.
> A prohibition on leasing addresses is not enforceable. The LIR can
> simply provide a low-data rate transit service along with the
> addresses, fully understanding that it won't be used because the
> customer has acquired other transit. The expense to the LIR is as
> close to zero as makes no difference.
> Try to restrict that to "primary" network service and you end up with
> a nasty mess where ordinary users aren't free to use second and third
> ISPs for fear of fouling the address contract. It just doesn't work
> out.
> Yes, this means that when you write the rule you have to think like
> the people who intend to break it and figure out how they're going to
> get around it.

So I personally believe that ARIN performs its mission much better with clear & objective policy, and to that extent I strongly agree with your suggestion that the community “should think like the people who intend to break it “ and carefully consider the clarity and implementability of proposed policy language.   

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that ARIN does not actually operate as an automaton, but rather already has policy language that requires that we exercise substantial judgement in administration of number resources.  Some example of policy language exemplifying the need for staff judgement includes NRPM 3.6.4, NRPM 4.10, NRPM 6.3.8, NRPM 12, etc.   Hence why “requiring subjective evaluation” does not equate to “arbitrary” or “unfair”; it simply takes more effort to perform. 

As such, your statement "A prohibition on leasing addresses is not enforceable.” looks to be far more definitive than might be the case.  For example, it would be fairly straightforward to prohibit planned “leasing” of address space as justification for a larger IPv4 waiting list request, or for any allocation from the dedicated blocks for IPv6 or critical infrastructure, etc.  ARIN is quite capable of reviewing and evaluating bona fide connectivity provision if indeed the community were to adopt policy requiring such.  More importantly, however, is the need for the community to carefully consider the downside of adding more policy language that requires subjective evaluation compared to any potential benefit that might result. 


John Curran
President and CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers

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