[arin-ppml] Reclamation of Number Resources

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at tristatelogic.com
Fri Jul 15 00:39:28 EDT 2022

In message <13E37DAC-8488-41CF-8157-4DDFBB856112 at arin.net>, 
John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:

>> On 14 Jul 2022, at 9:15 AM, Ronald F. Guilmette <rfg at tristatelogic.com> wrote:
>> ...
>> What evidence, if any, have you got to the contrary?  Why are you attempting
>> to shift blame to this member when it seems altogether apparent that the
>> fault lies only and entirely with ARIN staff?
>Ronald - If you have a case where you believe that resources were issued
>incorrectly, please report it. 

I would be happy to, however... and please forgive me if you think that I am
being too fastidious or too persnickety about terminology here... the problem
from my perspective is that ARIN provides a form for reporting "fraud".  That's
mervelous, however I have neither any evidence nor any clear reason to either
believe or to assert that there has been anything even remotely like "fraud"
(which is a term of art with a clear legal definition) in this case.

So let's just say, for the sake of argument. that I were to use ARIN's fraud
reporting form to report the facts of this case.  And let's also say, again
just for the sake of argument, that ARIN reviews this case in detail and
that at the end of the day ARIN determines that there has been no "fraud"
as defined by applicable law.  Would not the member in question then have
a reasonable basis for suing me, most likely in U.S. federal court ($$$),
for defamation, based on the claim that I had reported this member for "fraud"
when in point of fact they had committed no fraud whatsoever, and had merely
been inappropriately granted membership by ARIN staff, in contravention of
ARIN policy?

It is easy enough for you to encourage me to file a formal "fraud" report on
this case.  You are not the one whose neck may wind up in the noose of an
expensive federal lawsuit if the member has, as I have repeatedly suggested,
committed no actual "fraud".

I believe that there is a readily understandable disconnect here between
your attitude on all this and my attitude on all this.  I think you may be
failing to fully appreciate what I, a perfectly ordinary slob and member
of the unwashed public can know about this case, and what you know, or can
easily know about this case.  *You* can easily consult all internal ARIN
records and can thus determine rather easily if this member committed any
kind of "fraud".  In contrast, for me the situation is quite analogous to
the famous example from the world of physics of Schrodinger's cat.  I cannot
see inside the box.  Therefore I cannot know, apriori, if the cat is alive
or dead, i.e. if this member has comitted some fraud or not.  You can know
this, but no mere member of the public can know this, and certainly not to
a sufficient level of certainty to risk one's bank account on an educated
guess about it.

As I have already made clear, I do not pre-judge the situation, although I
do think that the evident facts of this case make it more likely than not
that the fault here lies with ARIN staff, i.e. in failing to consistantly
enforce policy, rather than with the member.  On that basis I am, I think,
reasonably reluctant to shout "Fraud!" in the direction of this member,
especially given that doing so could land me on the businss end of an
expensive defamation laswuit.

Perhaps the solution here is merely for ARIN to rename its current "fraud"
reporting form and change all associated documentation so as to remove all
mention of the word "fraud"... a word which has clear legal implications,
not only for the party being reported, but also, potentially, for the party
doing the reporting.  Perhaps the title of the form and all associated
documentation could simply be edited so as to make the following simple
text substitution globally:

      "fraud"  => "membership related irregularities"

That would certain be enough to assuage my own reasonable concerns about the
possible legal implications of using the reporting form/process as it now

>> ...
>> You're dodging the questions John.  I have mostly asked a number of very
>> generalized questions which have nothing specifically to do with this
>> specific member or with this specific case, to wit:
>>  *)  Has ARIN avoided enforcement of policy against some members out of fear,
>>      warranted or otherwise, of litigation?
>That's an easy one - No, ARIN does not avoid policy enforcement our of concern
>of litigation. 
>Many in the community would likely find that question amusing, as it is fairly
>well-known that ARIN is both quite familiar with litigation and has a proven
>track record of success. 

I also am aware that ARIN has prevailed in court, e.g. on the Micfo case, and
also on the more recently concluded Amobee/Adconian case.  But those were
cases of rather outright and blatant fraud.  I am entirely less familiar with
any public track record that ARIN may have with respect to the revocation
of either memberships or resources where the predicate sin was simply a
failure of the member to conform to ARIN policies.  But I would be delighted
to have you educate me with respect to any and all instances where ARIN has
moved agressively to revoke either memberships or resources in cases involving
only policy violations.  I confess that I personally am aware of exactly
zero such cases.

>>      If not, then please specify how many members have had their memberships
>>      revoked OTHER THAN in cases of non-payment of fees and/or cases of
>>      outright, blatant, and legally actionable fraud (e.g. Micfo)?
>I do not believe that there are a significant number cases of resource
>revocation for reasons other than non-payment, dissolution, or Internet
>number resource fraud.

That is a very carefully chosen answer John.  Might the value zero (0) qualify
under the heading of "not a significant number of cases"?

>>  *)  How many more memberships are currently sitting on ARIN's books that,
>>      as in this case, obviously should never have been there, and what
>>      effort, if any, will ARIN now expend to find them and to terminate
>>      the memberships involved?
>None that I am aware of - please let us know if you are aware of any such

That would seem to be my lot in life, given that, as the evidence I have
presented suggests, ARIN itself is not particularly motivated to find such
cases, or to disturb the slumber of any currently sleeping dogs.

>>  *)  In light of the facts of this case, what will ARIN now do to strengthen
>>      the vetting process, going forward, for new memberships?
>We have no "facts of this case" because there is not report of any Internet
>number resource fraud occurring. 

See above regarding my reasonable reluctance to file a formal "fraud" report
in relation to this case.

In any case, you are again quite clearly dodging.  You have not only read but
also responded to my recent postings here.  So formal "fraud" report or not,
ARIN is now unambiguously aware that there is a whole lot that doesn't add up
in relation to SL-206.  And I think that you must also appreciate that any
mere ousider who is not privy to ARIN internal documents must reasonably
keep open the possibility that ARIN simply failed to vet this member
application with anything approaching the level of due diligence that it
obviously deserved.  (I mean seriously...  mailing address is just the P.O.
box of what is quite evidently a dubious "offshore" incorporation shop in
Nevis, the MOST lawsuit-poof jurisdiction in the entire known universe??
And connected to a man who did prison time in Sweden for doing naughty
things with other people's property on the Internet??  This whole thing is
literally covered in red flags.)

>You seem to simultaneous allege policy violations in the issuance but also
>decline to make a report so that we can investigate. 

See above.  I decline to put my neck in the noose by reporting this member
for "fraud" when as far as I can tell (from my position OUTSIDE of the
Schrodinger's box that is ARIN confidentality), the member committed no

Change your "fraud" reporting form to a "membership related irregularities"
reporting form and I will be happy to submit a full report... provided of
course that you also give me your assurances that I will be informed in a
timely manner of the outcome of ARIN's subsequent investigation.

I don't need ANY confidential details.  I just want and expect either a
"thumbs up" or a "thumbs down" at the conclusion of the investigation.
(Of course, I also hope that your folks would be honest enough to fess up
and tell me if this membership was approved due to their mistake.)

But ARIN isn't willing to give me even that tiny recognition or compensation
for my considerable research efforts, is it?

Seems to be a bit of a one-sided bargain to me, if you'll excuse me for
saying so.


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