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[rpd] RPD Digest, Vol 135, Issue 58

Lu Heng at
Thu Dec 21 09:03:15 UTC 2017

Hi Owen

There are a few points I would like to address regarding your arguments,
please see below:

 1.      Territorial exclusivity vs regional internet facilitator.

It has been a long debating subject whether RIR is a territorially
exclusive governing body or a regional internet facilitator. So far,
regional exclusive policy has not been passed in any of the five RIR,
although it has been proposed in certain regions.

I regard myself as a follower of Rob and the idea of “one internet”.

 2.       Ownership, rights to use, Integer.

This is a very complicated issue. To make myself clear, I would like to
split it into three different parts.

The first part is the ownership issue. Undeniably, there is a certain
degree of consensus that number resource is a public resource and integer
are publically available. However, no uniqueness is attached to any integer
nor does any of them contain any value. This naturally makes it improper to
call number 4 “a public resource”.

A thing is regarded as a resource when we assume it has an owner.

In this case, IANA is the owner – as people mostly agree that IANA owns all
the numbers, as it is the one who assigns us the rights to use them.

This links to the second part that I would like to discuss: rights to use.
In fact, these rights assigned by IANA contain a market tradeable value,

The registration of integers forms the unique use of a particular network
within a co-operating system registries (as you have pointed that out), and
because such uniqueness in the registry is generally recognized, this
creates a market value for the exclusive rights to modify those integers
inside the system.

This is the reason why a number four itself does not have any market value,
but a number four in a center registry with a uniqueness agreed by all has

It is true that IPs are public resources. However, this is not entirely the
case when we consider the notion of “identifier” – in order to let the very
definition for “identifier” to work, a unique right must be assigned to use

This unique right is what ISPs has on those number and the reason why
multi-national co-operations spend hundreds millions dollars on them.

To make things easier to understand, I put it in the following way:

*1. It is an identifier*

*2. Identifiers need to be unique to be used by its very definition.*

*3. The unique rights to use the specific identifier in a center registry
is a private right that has been assigned to ISPs.*

*3. These rights contain a market tradeable value because of its

*The critical point here is that although RIRs were created to assign these
rights (as stated in the documents), they were not created to re-distribute
or to own them. *This is the core problem of the review policy proposal, as
an RIR does not own any of the identifiers; it is simply made to assign
them to end-users fairly.

The biggest misunderstanding in the review policy is the idea that RIR can
claim back these rights, as they are assumed to “own” them. However, from
the above it is clearly that this is not the case, as these rights were
designed to be private and unique from day one; RIR do not own any of them.

An example for this is that despite how much space each RIR has, it cannot
use any of them in their inventory.

 On the other hand, ISP use the space from the moment they get them.

In this sense, it is fair to view RIR as a mere distribution channel for
the rights to use the identifiers, which do so according to the policies
created by the community. As I mentioned above, these rights were never
theirs in the very first place. Once distribution is done, these rights
turn into private rights of each ISPs. Thus, an open market is needed (or a
center redistribution hub). but what you can not have, *is an open market
and an center redistribution hub at same time--they are conflicting each
other by definition.*

3. Communist vs capitalist

 As one who live in one of the biggest communist countries, my
understanding for the problem with "communist" is rather simple. When you
have a center government that controls all the resources in a society,
dictatorship and corruption naturally follow up as a result. Because the
government owns everything, private enterprises and properties do not
exist. The society has only one voice – the government’s voice. This
absolute authority of the government results in monarchy and Fascism(so
those are the results of communist rather than the reason)

Communist ideology emphasizes the idea that government ownership is equal
to “people owning everything” which, I suspect, is the reason why it gets
popular in the first place. However, history proofs that the above is
terribly wrong. Under communist governance, the government is the only
state holder and interested party in the game. It thus only represents the
interest of those parts of it instead of the people.

This is similar to the logic when we think that by allowing AFRINIC to own
all the numbers, it is the same with African people owning them. History
already told us this is not the case – ultimately only the interests of
certain parties are represented instead of that of the people.

 On the other hand, free economy and free enterprises represent a
diversified interest amounted to many smaller stakeholders, because every
party owns fiction of the resources. In this case, everyone has his or her
own voice (albeit how small it is) in the society. In other words,* it
represents universal interest. This is supported by data – the biggest
AFRINIC member owns 5% or less of AFRINIC total managed resources. *

On 12 December 2017 at 02:39, Owen DeLong <owen at> wrote:

> On Dec 9, 2017, at 15:53 , Lu Heng < at> wrote:
>  Hi
> 1. All IPs belong to IANA
> No, this is simply not true and reflects a gross misunderstanding of the
> structure.
> IPs are integers. One simply cannot own an integer. Try it out for size to
> see just how ridiculous it would be. Imagine telling all of your friends
> that you own “four” and that they need your permission to use it.
> What we are talking about when we talk about “owning” IPs is actually not
> ownership at all (or at least not tangible ownership of integers). It’s
> registration of integers for the unique use of a particular network within
> a cooperating system of registries. That system of registries is made up of
> IANA (operated by ICANN currently under the IANA functions contract on
> behalf of the empowered community) and 5 regional internet registries. The
> IANA performs its registry related duties (namely distributing IPv4
> addresses, IPv6 addresses, and Autonomous System Numbers) according to
> global policies developed by the Global PDP (which includes passing
> identical policy proposals through the PDP of each of the existing RIRs
> (currently 5) followed by ratification by the ASO AC/NRO NC and then the
> ICANN Board.
> There is precedent for the ownership and transfer of some of these
> registrations.

> 2.African internet community is not a virtual entity, for it does not own
> anything. It is simply a group of people who are interested in the region’s
> internet.
> I think you meant “is a virtual entity”.
> 3. RIR was created to facilitate local internet development, instead of a
> territorial exclusive governing body—at least that was Rob—founder of the
> system believes.
> Actually, territorial exclusivity is one of the principles defined in
> ICP-2, so while there is some variability to what that should mean, there
> is at least some intent towards territorial exclusivity enshrined in the
> documents under which AfriNIC was created.

> 4. On the contrary to what many believe, the resource assigned to AFRINIC
> was not given to Africa. In fact, those resources still belong to
> IANA--just like any other RIR's resource.
> No. This really isn’t true. Once a resource is delegated from IANA to an
> RIR, the only way it comes back to IANA is if the RIR chooses to return it
> or if the RIR issues it to someone who chooses to return it to IANA.
> 5. While IP remains a public resource,  the usage rights of IP resource is
> a private right. At today's market, those rights worth millions.
> This is an interesting way to characterize things. Let’s say that I (and
> the RIR) agree that I have the rights to What legal
> barrier is there that prevents you from using that address range on your
> network?
> At least in most jurisdictions, the answer is “None, so long as I don’t
> engage in tortious interference.”
> Even in a case of tortious interference, it’s a somewhat grey area.
> The reality is that for all practical purposes, this works on the basis of
> cooperation. The internet works because ISPs cooperate about number
> uniqueness and hijacking of numbers is generally shut down rather promptly
> by ISPs in most cases.
> 6. While market economy might not be the best solution, it is the only
> solution we know that works as centre planning and redistribution of
> resource(the basic ideology of communism) do not work, hundreds of millions
> of lives which lost in the 20th century proves this.
> I’m not sure you can blame all of that loss of life on the differences
> between capitalism and communism. Rather I think it’s more about the
> difference between facism (which usually accompanied socialism) and
> democracy or at least benevolent monarchy (universally available wherever
> capitalism has flourished).
> 7. Voting is rejected in the first sentence of RFC7282,
> .  Thus, "it would be necessary to
> resort to the vote" will never happen in the current process.
> Nor should it. Voting is a sure path to tyranny. Whether it be the tyranny
> of the majority over a minority as is the more common case or the tyranny
> of those best able to manipulate the process (as is often the case in
> western elections and parliamentary bodies).
> 8. And if you look at the issue realistically, the real minority here
> might be those non-profit organizations and academics that supports the
> policy, both in terms of the number of people and the amount of resources
> held. I believe those ISP are way out number NGOs in this contest by far,
> just they did't pay as much as attention to the process as some of the NGO
> do. I would rather call them "*silence majority*".
> 9. Just to stress again,* since we do not apply any soft landing space,
> therefore me and my cooperation have no views on this soft landing policy,*
> our only stand here is to correct the policy development process in which
> is currently broken.
> Well… That’s not entirely true unless you are also saying that your
> organization has no plans or desire to obtain additional space of any form
> other than through transfers. Since the proposed soft landing bis policy
> would curtail many future registrations.
> And if I may add, the RIR system, both the book keeper ideology as well as
> consensus-based decision making, is a brilliant idea that protects the
> system by far, the more I think about it, the more I appreciate it.
> Agreed.
> Owen

Kind regards.
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