Keeping contacts current

By on 18 Jun 2015

Category: Policy

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In earlier posts we began looking at the issue of Point of Contact (POC) accuracy and the data in the APNIC Whois Database.

As a result of Ruri Hiromi’s proposal and the presentation by Aftab Siddiqui, the Policy SIG has resolved to review and possibly expand the Charter of the policy SIG to encompass database and registration issues that may not be directly implemented via policy, but could result in operational changes for the Secretariat.

In this post we will take a quick look at the programs running in the ARIN and the RIPE NCC regions.

In the RIPE NCC service region the Secretariat has a program running that is designed to maintain and improve the quality and accuracy of the registry.

Andrea Cima, Registration Services Manager at the RIPE NCC, spoke to the SIG during the APNIC 39 meeting and explained how the “assisted registry check” program works. With the aim of reaching out to every member once every three years, RIPE NCC staff personally contact members and check the accuracy of the recorded registry information, billing addresses, contact details, abuse details and so on.

“We look at overlaps, we even check with them on their RPKI related information, and we look at, for example, root and rDNS consistencies,” he said.

“Currently we are at the pace of 200 per month and we are increasing that steadily, and the idea is to do 3,000 to 4,000 a year as we have 12,000 members almost.”

Meanwhile, at ARIN, the policy requires the Secretariat to carry our POC Validation. This process is somewhat simpler and is automated via email responses. Einar Bohlin, Policy Analyst at ARIN explained to the APNIC SIG how the Secretariat sends around 20,000 emails per month to confirm every POC in the database. This includes people who are not members, but may have been appointed as a POC because they have a customer assignment from an ARIN member.

If the recipient fails to confirm the email is correct within 60 days the point of contact is marked as invalid.

“We can also do more research and try to reach folks in other ways. We can try to call them,” he said, “but there really isn’t anything that happens, other than the records being marked invalid. Maybe the shame of having your record marked “invalid” gets people to click.”

This process was recently under discussion on the ARIN policy mailing list after the Secretariat informed the community that dealing with queries resulting from the mass emails from the POC Validation Program caused a significant workload on the registration services department.

A similar policy was proposed in the APNIC region in 2010, however it failed to reach consensus when it was initially presented and the author abandoned the proposal before presenting a second draft.

In my final blog on this series, we will look at possible ways forward on this issue.

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