ARIN has posted a set of letters and links in response to a letter from the general counsel of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) that was circulated widely on the Internet in the fall of 2012. This letter was previously written about in a blog entry here and the on Internet Governance Project website.
John Curran, the CEO of ARIN, wrote a letter to the general counsel of the NSF in response to the leaked private letter. In the letter, Mr. Curran requested that the NSF revoke its previous letter or clarify the early IP address assignment context of the letter. The letter also goes on the state ARIN’s case for why it believes it should be the registry of record for these legacy IP resource records and why they should be subject to the same community driven stakeholder policy process as IP address assignments made today by the RIRs.
In a letter, dated November 7th, 2012, the general counsel of the NSF responded to Mr. Curran’s letter and stepped back from some of the statements made previously in the earlier private letter. Specifically noting that the NSF does not speak for the USG on the issue of Internet governance, the NTIA is the appropriate government agency to represent the USG in this area, and that the previous letter was a private letter observation on the NSF’s historical role in the development of the Internet.
This response now seems to erode the idea, that some members of the Internet community have posited, the NSF letter endorsed that legacy IP address assignments should be treated more like property rather than a resource licensed for a specific use.
ARIN’s website on their legacy address information page also now notes the following:
On December 3, 2012, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) formally commented on the USG’s Internet protocol numbering principles, including that it recognizes ARIN as the RIR for this region. This NTIA guidance is a clear response to the issues raised by an earlier letter from National Science Foundation General Counsel (NSF GC).
NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling posted a blog entry on the US Department of Commerce’s NTIA website clarifying the NTIA’s approach to IP addressing in the US. In the blog entry, Mr. Strickling specifically notes that the USG supports the existing multistakeholder model for development of Internet technical standards and processes, that the RIRs “are responsible for developing policies for the use of IP numbers within their respective specific geographic regions,” ARIN is the RIR for the United States, and that the “USG believes that all IP numbers are allocated for use on a needs basis and should be returned to the numbering pool when no longer needed.”
For those, who still believe that legacy IP addresses should be outside of existing RIR framework and not subject the the needs based policies which have been supported by the Internet community for more than a decade, this series of events only appears to further strengthen the case that the legacy IP address assignments should fall under ARIN’s role as the registry of record and that the USG appears prepared to defend that position in the United States.