Get as much IP space as you ever dreamed of, was: Re: Looking to buy IPv4 addresses from class C swamp

Michael.Dillon at Michael.Dillon at
Tue Apr 29 09:11:05 UTC 2003

>Thus spake "Daniel Golding" <dgold at FDFNet.Net>
>> ARIN needs to repo any space that has [not] been advertised for a
>> reasonable length of time, and reissue it.

>So you're claiming that ARIN should revoke any allocations, including 
>made before it came into existence, simply because the addresses aren't 
>the global tables?

Life's not that simple. 

First of all, there is a long-standing agreement that one can legitimately 
receive IPv4 address allocations even if the addresses are not to be used 
on the public Internet. Therefore it is unreasonable to use the fact that 
an address block is not announced to justify revocation. IPv4 addresses 
are allocated to organization who need to use globally unique IPv4 

On the other hand, if an RIR is unable to verify contact information for 
an allocated netblock, then they should remove the existing bad contact 
information and tag the block in some standard way in the whois directory 
that they publish. Those who wish to may use this standard tag to add a 
block to their filters and disallow its use on their network. Of course, 
this would be easier if the RIRs would all publish their whois directories 
using the IETF standard directory protocol (LDAP) because then anyone 
could query for all blocks with this standard tag without having to suck 
down a copy of all of the RIR databases and parse it themselves.

I really don't think it is productive to look at this as a revocation 
issue. It's really an issue of the RIRs maintaining an accurate database 
of contact information and then providing full disclosure of that 
information. Currently, if the RIRs are unable to contact an netblock 
holder, nobody knows about it. We don't even know if they have tried 
because the antiquated whois directory systems in place today make it hard 
for them to add additional attributes and hard for us to query additional 

The fact is that when an RIR allocates address space, there is a transfer 
of responsibility over the use of that address space. The public has a 
right to know who is taking responsibility for use of every block of IPv4 
addresses. ISPs can then make their own routing and filtering decisions 
using that data if they choose to. This doesn't mean that the RIRs or ISPs 
should publish contact information about every DSL customer using a /30. 
In fact, the RIRs and ISPs should be publishing less information in their 
public whois directories, not more. The key factor here is responsibility. 
Sometimes when a block of IP space is allocated or assigned, the recipient 
is willing and *ABLE* to take public responsibility for the use and abuse 
of that space. In that case, their contact info should go in the public 
whois directory. But when the responsibility is not delegated to the 
recipient then there should be nothing in the public whois directory.

If we had a clean and complete directory mapping the organizations 
repsonsible for every part of the IPv4 address space then things like 
revocation would simply be a non-issue because ISPs would have the 
information that they need to make their own independent decisions about 
routing and filtering. The RIRs should never be an enforcement agency 
however they should pay more attention to being an authoritative source of 
accurate and complete data.

The whole RIR system today is mired in the past. They need to pull their 
socks up, cooperate more, clean their databases up, put the right 
information in their databases, and use the standard protocols that the 
IETF has already designed for directory service rather than wasting time 
on reinventing the wheel again.

--Michael Dillon

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