arin representation

John Curran jcurran at
Tue Mar 25 02:28:40 UTC 2014

On Mar 25, 2014, at 9:25 AM, Randy Bush <randy at> wrote:

> john:
> i appreciate the numbers.  thanks!  and, btw, it has always been a
> pleasure to work with arin staff.

Thanks (we do work for you, member or not, if you hold resources in the region.)

> ...
> the arin membership consists of 17% of the address holding organizations
> in the region (plus a few folk who buy membership), and they hold 42% of
> the address space.


> so the 17% (give or take) elect the board [0], and the board, through a
> complex inside-controlled process [1], sets policy for the other
> unrepresented 83%.

To be perfectly clear, it is even lower in practice... 17% _could_ elect 
the ARIN Board and the ARIN Advisory Council (ARIN AC), but that would be
presuming 100% participation.  

Actual election participation is actually fairly high for an association;
we had approx 15% participation (~ 600 organizations) in 2013 elections -

> ...and the board and policy wonks set policy and
> contracts, among other things the lrsa and rsa, which place serious
> barriers to becoming a member, such as clauses with arin being able to
> unilaterally change ts&cs arbitrarily. [2] [3]

You might want to tease those two statements apart - 

  The ARIN Board provides organization oversight, and this includes 
  fees, services, contracts and related terms and conditions.

  The ARIN AC administers the policy process, and this includes
  incorporating edits to draft policies based on the community 

> and i know the "anyone can partiipate" theory.  but in fact extremely
> few participate, and arin pays many of the policy wonks to fly around
> the world business class and spread the arin regulatory religion.  no
> other rir does this.

I do not know if the other RIRs send their equivalent community "policy 
working group" folks to other RIR meetings; we do - the purpose is not 
evangelism but to bring back information on ongoing policy developments 
in other regions.

> and this is a representative bottom up organization claiming legitimacy
> in the global arena?  i would be interested in similar numbers for other
> rirs, and whether their service agreements are similarly onerous.  (and
> i believe that ripe is actively tearing down barriers to participation).

It is true that we have an abundance of resource holders who received
resources prior to ARIN, and that is going to skew the numbers for this
region significantly. 

I know that you don't believe that we've been tearing down barriers to 
participation, but one of the reasons that the legacy service agreement
was updated (again) recently was specifically to be more explicit about
rights for the address holder.  We specifically lay these out now, note
that revocation will not occur based on utilization, and provide a fee
schedule that is favorable compared to those issued resources after 
ARIN's formation. There does remain one very significant difference 
between some in the community and ARIN - that is on the applicability 
of community-developed policy to legacy holders, and this is a fairly 
fundamental issue that has definitely reduced interest in folks signing 
an LRSA and participating as members. 

FYI - I'm going to comment on your footnotes, since you use terminology 
below which is factually incorrect.

> [0] as you know, there has been at least one occasion where the board
>    election has been rigged.  at your encouragement, i once submitted
>    the whole nomination rig-a-marole to the nomcom.  my name did not
>    appear on the ballot, which i found out only when the ballot came
>    out, and was never even viven a reason.

ARIN has a nomination committee (like many other Internet organizations
such as IETF, ISOC, ICANN) and its deliberations are private.  I do not
sit on it, so there is not much I can add, but I would definitely welcome
suggestions for improvements to the nomination and election process.
A NomCom (composed of a selection of Board, AC, and at large members) 
which deliberates privately does not equate to "rigged" by any means, 
although I will agree it does raise reasonable questions of transparency.
Note that anyone can make it onto the ballot via petition, and that is 
a mechanism that has been used successfully in the past.

> [1] an outsider can not make a proposal that is not modifiably by an
>    'advisory' committee.  and most are revised.  [smell same problem
>    as nomcom?]

While the ARIN AC does hold the editors pen (and from what I am told
does a good job of reflecting discussions), there has always been (and
remains today) a simple petition process available at each stage if you 
think that they have somehow failed and want your original text to go 
to the ARIN Public policy meeting and the ARIN Board.  

> [2] who would sign such an agreement except under threat of not having
>    the resources necessary to run their business?  see

Membership organizations set terms and conditions for their services,
and ARIN is no different.  The answer is, of course, to participate in 
the election process; as you have already noted, if even a fraction of a 
percent of the community (30 to 50 folks) felt strongly there was a major
issue, they could put candidates in each election which were assured of 
being elected, and could in short order significantly alter practices
to better match their expectations.  That would be a case of improved
community representation, and therefore the most appropriate outcome.

I appreciate your note, Randy - far better to express these concerns 
and get folks thinking about them than to have them go unstated... 


John Curran
President and CEO

p.s. Discussion of improvements to ARIN election process would probably
     be best send over to ARIN-discuss or PPML (for sake of those here
     who lack interest) but I'll leave that to this list to decide. I 
     would also recommend (for folks who have suggestions they'd like to
     send privately) to send them to me, and I'll get them to the ARIN

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