Transfer markets and the battle to come over IP address Whois

Network World writes that IPv4 depletion is happening faster than expected and that a black market might form to allow companies who need IPv4 addresses to get them. ARIN's CIO Richard Jimmerson notes that the ARIN community has been proactive in addressing this, “providing at least limited address transfer opportunities to mitigate that problem.” (other RIRs have similar policies)

For me, the emergence of transfer markets always seemed inevitable. The most important, and least talked about, aspect of the policies creating those markets is highlighted by Jimmerson in the article:

“There may still be black market activity, but with this policy, it's more likely that people will transfer numbers out in the open,” says Jimmerson. “The important thing is that IPv4 registration records accurately identify the registrant who has authority over each allocation.”

If the RIR transfer policies result in registration records being cleaned up and maintained, to what use it will be put is going to be the major policy debate going forward. Obviously, the RIRs see it as necessary data for maintaining their inventory of critical internet identifiers. But LEAs, cybersecurity, IP, and national security interests are also chomping at the bit to leverage this data to fight cybercrime, copyright violations, and protect national interests.

Some of the RIR's leadership seem to be rightly worried about this. Just today, RIPE members Rob Blokzijl and Daniel Karrenberg have floated a discussion document to the RIPE community, “Principles for Number Resource Registration Policies.” It sets out the principles for IPv4 address registration after the unallocated pool of addresses has run out.

Specifically, they suggest what the registry operated by RIPE should not be. The registry “[does] not constitute a directory of ISPs, neither does it license ISPs.” Furthermore, “the registry is not the instrument to implement policies concerning access to, and routing over the Internet.”

4 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Telcos are now TAKING (without asking?) 192.168.0.1 for DNS.
    RFC 1918 specs 192.168/16 for private use.
    Many consumer CPE devices use 192.168.1.0/24
    As “luck” would have it, in most cases the default
    route sends the Telco's 192.168.1/24 upstream.
    Luck is not the way to engineer networks.
    ICANN (IANA) does not seem to be paying
    attention to what the Telcos deploy. FCC is
    clueless.

  2. Anonymous

    CORRECTION
    As “luck” would have it, in most cases the default
    route sends the Telco's 192.168.1/24 upstream.
    As “luck” would have it, in most cases the default
    route sends the Telco's 192.168.0/24 upstream.

  3. Anonymous

    The ICANN (IANA) “domainers” are clueless.
    The FCC (and NIST?) and Telcos & Cablecos &
    other major carriers will have to step in to sort
    out how 192.168/16 is going to be divided between
    the CPE & core network.
    Gear vendors like CISCO also could publish a
    spec. They should also publish the TLDs they are
    wiring into their systems. .LAN is one example.