ARIN legacy block transfer process

William Herrin bill at
Mon Oct 3 20:06:42 UTC 2016

On Sun, Oct 2, 2016 at 6:18 PM, John Curran <jcurran at> wrote:
> The agency with actual authority in these matters (NTIA)
> subsequently issued a
> statement of the the US Government’s Internet Protocol
> Numbering Principles,
> which noted that “the American Registry for Internet Numbers
> (ARIN) is the RIR
> for Canada, many Caribbean and North Atlantic islands, and
> the United States
> and furthermore that the USG “participates in the development
> of and is supportive
> of the policies, processes, and procedures agreed upon by the
> Internet technical community through ARIN.”
> <>
> i.e. ARIN continues to enforce the community-developed policies
> on all resources in the registry, and including legal undertakings
> where necessary to that end.


In the interest of making the question just about as clear as mud, I
would point out several things:

1. The NTIA does not claim to be a source of authority for the
management of IP addresses. The things written above are essentially
accurate but take care not to read more than was said.

2. No act of congress authorizes the NTIA nor any other branch of the
U.S. government to act as a source of authority with respect to IP
addresses. \

DARPA had clear authority to control what IP addresses were used on
the ARPAnet. NSF had clear authority to control what IP addresses were
used on the NSFnet backbone only. Neither claimed any authority over
the use of IP addresses on any other network.

3. In it's 20-year history, ARIN has taken no actions whatsoever
against legacy address holders inconsistent with legacy address blocks
being common law property, save this: ARIN has not consistently
updated the registry to reflect a new registrant for an address block
unless the new registrant has signed a registration services
agreement. Note that ARIN has updated the registrant for legacy
registrations without service agreements, just not consistently.

ARIN asserts they've taken no action because community developed
policy instructs them not to.  That is a half-truth. The whole truth
is that ARIN has bent over backwards to avoid testing in court whether
they have the lawful authority to enforce any policies against legacy
address holders, even to the extent of bending or breaking their own
policies when settling a court case. For example, Microsoft was
permitted to register the Nortel addresses under the weaker Legacy
Registration Services Agreement when the plain language of the
then-extant policies required the use of the primary RSA.

4. No statute, regulation or judicial finding either confirms or
refutes ARIN's ability to lawfully refuse such updates. All relevant
cases have either been settled prior to a judicial finding, or
resulted in the registration's termination for other reasons
(generally fraud of some sort).

5. Regardless of the content's of ARIN's registry, ARIN claims no
authority over whether and on whose behalf any specific IP addresses
are routed on the Internet, save for those addresses ARIN uses
directly for its own purposes.

Pragmatically, if you want to buy an address block, the path of least
resistance is: register with ARIN.

>From a purist "what are my rights" standpoint: John Curran's comments
notwithstanding, that's not so clear.

Bill Herrin

William Herrin ................ herrin at  bill at
Owner, Dirtside Systems ......... Web: <>

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