[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
Sun Sep 5 15:02:45 EDT 2021

On 5 Sep 2021, at 1:05 PM, Owen DeLong <owen at delong.com<mailto:owen at delong.com>> wrote:

i.e. it was the presence of a transfer policy that enabled forward progress in the region, as absence of such would have led to a rather indeterminate state given the rapidly growing expectations in this regard.

Indeed, if I remember the history correctly, the board strong-armed the AC on the issue in question, making very strong suggestions that if we didn’t move such a policy forward, they would. Then, once we did move a policy forward, the board decided they didn’t like it and used the emergency process to create a significantly different one, leading to significant community outrage followed by some significant reforms to the emergency PDP in the region.

If you remember the history differently, feel free to correct me.

Owen -

The entire history is quite well-documented; it is just your characterization of events that is faulty.

My recollection is quite good on this topic, but if you wish a refresher you can read the full history here - Timeline - https://www.arin.net/vault/policy/proposals/2009_1.html
Board statement regarding the emergency policy - https://lists.arin.net/pipermail/arin-ppml/attachments/20090406/b8a75e31/attachment.pdf

In the case of transfer policy in the ARIN region, the Board saw an impeding major risk to ARIN’s mission and made sure to have policy in place well before it was needed

In short:  in 2007, the Board noted that a transfer policy was urgently needed to address upcoming market realities and the ARIN Advisory Council spent much of 2008 working with the community on it, but the result still contained significant limitations that would have precluded its use in many of the situations for which it was needed.  The ARIN Board did conditionally adopt it but noted that the transfer policy would not alleviate the impending risk to the organization; noting both possible changes and provided an alternative formulation.   The ARIN AC eventually adopted a transfer policy of its own making that was similar to the revised formulation provided by the Board.

While the Board delegates the administration of policy development routinely to the ARIN AC, but it retains ultimate authority commensurate with the responsibility that they must bear for the organization.

As such, the Board certainly could have changed the PDP to allow immediate and direct adoption of its preferred policy language, but it is worth noting that it instead worked with the ARIN AC and community for over a year to make it happen via the adopted PDP process – a process which includes the emergency policy provision that the Board used to propose its version.   The ARIN Policy Development Process functioned exactly as designed in this circumstance, as the ARIN Trustees ultimately have responsibility for making sure that ARIN manages risks so that its performance of mission is not impacted, and the ability to propose an emergency policy change helped galvanize the ARIN AC and community to adopt a functional transfer policy just in time for the market changes that were already underway.


John Curran
President and CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers

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