The APNIC Policy SIG (Special Interest Group) met three times during the recent APNIC 42 Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Two sessions contained informational presentations and discussions about the APNIC Whois Database and resource management statistics including free pool status. The final session was an Open Policy Meeting and considered one Policy Proposal; prop-116: Prohibit to transfer IPv4 addresses in the final /8 block. There was also a joint siting of all APNIC SIGs to consider a proposal to change the APNIC SIG Guidelines, which are the operational procedures for all three groups.
The first Policy SIG session continued the community discussion about APNIC Whois Database Accuracy. APNIC Services Director, George Kuo, and Dhammika Priyantha of the Sri Lanka National Police, were joined by remote presenters from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Zealand Police. Following their presentations, the community took the opportunity to put forward their own views and to ask questions clarifying the goals of Law Enforcement with regard to the whois data.
During the discussion, APNIC’s Director General, Paul Wilson, approached the floor microphone and confirmed his understanding of the level of data LEAs seek access to. In response to another comment about confidential information, he noted that APNIC has a large amount of private and commercially sensitive data which is quite separate from the public data of the APNIC Whois Database. This confidential data would not be disclosed by APNIC without legally binding court enforcement, but the public data, published in the whois, is another matter.
“I will say further, my understanding is that of course law enforcement and public safety are often pursuing, as are engineers and researchers and others, are often pursuing the holder of an IP address for various reasons, but if the user of an IP address is up to something no good, if they are up to some nefarious purpose, then we probably don’t expect them to be operating from a registered residential or business address with a phone number and their full identity,” he said.
“Not many hackers and cyber criminals are that silly. We are not talking about the completeness of the record to that end-user level in the expectation we will somehow magically find the culprits. What is found is that it is actually because of the chain of assignment and sub-assignment that can happen between the allocation and the end user, that the chain has to be accurate otherwise the process of finding that end user can be several steps long.
“I think my understanding is that the interest here of this proposal is to have accurate registration not just of allocation itself but all the way to the service provider that is providing the connectivity to the end user. That can all be public information. I think we are not being asked to provide confidential information, but actually to follow the principles of accurate public Whois data at least to that level of the service provider and to the end customer.”
Transfers and delegation of the Final /8
The second session of the Policy SIG meeting was slightly shorter because some time was taken up for the NRO NC (Number Resource Organization Number Council) election process. In the remaining time, APNIC Secretariat staff delivered a series of presentations to inform the community of the status of local and global resource pools including trends for the APNIC region’s final /8 and IPv4 transfers statistics.
In his presentation on Final /8 delegations, Registration Services Manager, Guangliang Pan, noted that less than half the 103/8 block remained and that some 31% of NIR and direct APNIC Members had not yet received an allocation from that pool.
APNIC manages two free pools of IPv4, with the second pool consisting of returned resources and those delegated from the IANA under the Global Policy for Post Exhaustion IPv4 Allocation Mechanisms by the IANA. This second pool is currently empty and a waiting list now operates for those seeking a delegation from the pool.
APNIC Internet Resource Analyst, Tuan Nguyen, presented some statistics on transfers, particularly of Final /8 blocks within and outside the APNIC region.
He noted that a total of 175 Members have managed to accumulate more than the /22 IPv4 allowed under the policy, either through transfer or merger and acquisition. Most of these hold twice that amount, but a small number have amassed considerably more.
Should 103/8 transfers be disallowed?
These presentations provided a good background to the discussions in the third session of the Policy SIG meeting which included a proposal to block the transfer of 103/8 blocks once delegated to APNIC and NIR Members.
Discussion of this proposal was interesting in that while there was some support for the objective to protect the Final /8 pool for newcomers, there was little support for the approach of blocking transfer of these resources. While other approaches were suggested by the community participants, it is not clear whether any solution would be acceptable enough to reach a consensus decision.
Sumon Sabir, Chair of the meeting, asked the proposer to consider the proposal further and agreed the community could discuss the proposal again if he submitted a new version for the next meeting at APNIC 43.
The proposal author, Tomohiro Fujisaki, agreed and concluded: “Actually, thank you so much for your valuable comments and valuable suggestions. I believe many people support the original intention of this proposal, but not the proposed solution. I would like to revise this proposal and please join the discussion on the mailing list. Thank you so much.”
Chair Election procedure under review
In the final part of the Policy SIG session, the focus changed to a matter of interest to all SIGs, so a joint session of the Cooperation SIG, the NIR SIG, and the Policy SIG was Chaired by a Chair of each SIG.
The Policy SIG Chair, Masato Yamanishi, did not participate in the Chairing as he was the proposer of the review under discussion.
The core of Masato’s proposal was to place some controls and restrictions on who is eligible to participate as a voter in the SIG elections. Currently any person in the room is able to be counted and Masato proposed that only people registered to be at the Conference should be allowed.
The other matter under discussion was to find some mechanism to ensure that Chair and Co-Chair terms are aligned, or deliberately staggered, in the event that a Chair or Co-Chair steps down or is removed.
APNIC General Council, Craig Ng, spoke during the discussion and reflected on the importance of this discussion with respect to the IANA oversight changes that had occurred just days before.
“As APNIC staff, of course I take no position in this discussion,” he began, “I am, however, very glad that you are having this discussion. The APNIC community are the stewards of the Internet community in this region. We have a very important role to play, particularly at the conclusion of the US government’s oversight, we now assume stewardship of the Internet in our region.
“We make decisions that affect all the Internet users in this region. Whatever decisions are made need to have legitimacy. Whatever election processes that take place in this economy need to reflect the will and intent of the community. So any attempts to interfere with a free and fair election, I think, is totally unacceptable,” he said.
Irrespective of the details of the procedures put in place, he stressed that the outcomes need to reflect the “will of the community, however that is defined”.
Although the discussion was productive, no consensus could be reached on the way forward, with some even questioning the need for change. The Chairs did not feel the community had reached consensus either way on the proposal, but there seemed enough agreement that the discussion should continue, particularly on the matter of the Chair terms.
It is anticipated that the proposer will return with a new proposal to review the election process, but the Chair of the meeting opened the floor and welcomed proposals from others as well, before the next meeting.
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