[arin-ppml] ARIN public participation

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Sat Jun 11 07:07:44 EDT 2022

> On 10 Jun 2022, at 8:30 PM, William Herrin <bill at herrin.us> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 10, 2022 at 5:11 PM Fernando Frediani <fhfrediani at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Internet Governance topic that concerns
>> not only members but Community in general.
> Hi Fernando,
> To be clear, I think John -wants- participation by as many folks as
> are willing. I think he just temporarily forgot that the community and
> the membership are not the same thing and it is the -community- (not
> merely the members) which provides ARIN its bottom-up foundation of
> legitimacy. You can't structurally discourage community participation
> and then claim to be a bottom-up function of that community. Well, I
> mean you can claim anything but it would no longer be true.

Bill - 

ARIN is an extremely open organization, and yes, our processes have been setup to welcome input from absolutely all parties who adhere to some modest rules of decorum. 

For example, ARIN’s policy development process (and the associated arin-ppml mailing list) allow input from anyone, regardless of whether they are a member, have resources, are located in region or out of region, etc.   I’ve often said that if there’s dogs, alien life forms or artificial intelligent life forms, then they’re welcome to participate.   Note that this openness is quite intentional, as there are affected parties who don’t necessary have number resources (e.g. network researchers, governments/LEA, etc.) who are affected by the policies that the “ARIN Community” establishes, and thus it is only appropriate that they are part of that community.  

Similarly, we have consultations on suggestions submitted by the community and on significant operational changes raised by ARIN staff.   These likewise are open to all, with an accompanying mailing list, and do not require membership or resources in the ARIN registry, etc.  

However, this is openness still has decorum - some people don’t participate in arin-ppml and some don’t participate in arin-discuss, and that is their choice.  We direct people to the appropriate process and mailing list, and lightly administer the AUP so that people see the type of discussions that they wish.   This doesn’t reduce ARIN’s “openness”, but simply shows respect for what people expect see in their inbox based on their subscriptions. 

Now we have a third significant mailing list, and that is less open - it’s the general-members list, and it’s so that ARIN members can have deliberations on matters for which they jointly share responsibility such as ARIN’s elections, strategic direction, programs and fees.   It is true that this is a departure from our previously total open stance, but it’s one with a fairly low threshold and provides equity for those who actually are ARIN members. 


John Curran
President and CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers

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