[#135346] Unauthorized BGP Announcements (follow up to Hijacked Networks)

David Conrad drc at virtualized.org
Wed Feb 1 20:10:00 UTC 2012

On Feb 1, 2012, at 10:16 AM, George Bonser wrote:

>>>> "We have a contractual relationship with our customer to announce
>>>> that space.  We have neither a contractual relationship (in this
>>>> context) with the RIR nor the RIR's customer.  The RIR and/or the RIR's
>>>> customer should resolve this issue with our customer."
>>> Contracts are generally not a valid reason to be breaking laws.
>> Which law?
> Let's say I had a business in space in a building I was leasing at 100 Main Street, Podunk, USA.

I'm told IP addresses aren't property.

> Or let's say I operated a TV station

As I understand it, radio frequencies are subject to international treaties. In signatory countries, laws can be enacted to enforce the provisions of those treaties. As far as I'm aware, there are no treaties dealing with IP addresses or how those addresses are announced.

> It might be civil rather than criminal but the rightful owner of the resource would have a good case.


Long ago, Mitch Kapor (I believe) described the Internet addressing system working because of the "Tinkerbelle Effect", that is (to paraphase), it works because everyone believes it is in their best interests that it works.  However, as we've seen when push comes to shove, the Tinkerbelle Effect can break down.  Thus, you get perfectly justifiable arguments for stuff like RPKI/BGPSEC and the equivalent of the Protocol Police.  This does have the potential for unintended (and intended) consequences...


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