Special Meeting of the ARIN Board of Trustees - 4 March 2021

via Teleconference


  • Paul Andersen, Chair
  • Nancy Carter, Treasurer
  • John Curran, President & CEO
  • Peter Harrison, Board Trustee
  • Catherine Middleton, Board Trustee
  • Tina Morris, Board Trustee
  • Bill Sandiford, Vice Chair

ARIN Staff

  • Michael Abejuela, General Counsel, Board Secretary
  • Anne-Rachel Inné, Sr. V.P, Government Affairs
  • Richard Jimmerson, COO
  • Stephen M. Ryan, Counsel
  • Therese Simcox, Sr. E.A., Scribe
  • John Sweeting, CCO

ARIN Advisory Council (AC) Members

  • Leif Sawyer, AC Chair
  • Kat Hunter, AC Vice Chair

1. Welcome & Agenda Review

The Chair called the meeting to order at 3:35 p.m. ET. The presence of a quorum was noted. He noted that this was a Special Meeting of the ARIN Board, duly constituted.

He called for any conflicts of interest before beginning the meeting. Ms. Morris stated that she was the Chair of the ARIN AC when this policy was developed and that she had voted on it in two separate AC meetings during her tenure on AC. She stated that she would be participating in the discussion but would be abstaining from the vote in this meeting.

The Chair acknowledged and welcomed the Chair and Vice Chair of the AC to the meeting and stated that their comments and considerations were welcome during the discussion.

(Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, Exhibit D)

The ARIN Board is to consider adoption of petitioned Recommended Draft Policy ARIN 2020-2: “Reinstatement of Organizations Removed from Waitlist by Implementation of ARIN-2019-16”. The Chair outlined the meeting: It was noted that background documents had been circulated and would be tabled as read. The Chair would provide a brief overview of the situation, the policy in question and the key points of the Policy history that brought it to the Board. General Counsel would be asked to highlight options available, and the President to provide staff’s notes. The Chair and Vice Chair of the AC will then provide comments and answer any questions of the Board, then leave the meeting. The General Counsel will then provide an attorney-client privileged briefing to the Board on the matter for the Board’s discussion. The Chair asked for any concerns with the process, and none were raised.

The Chair provided background stating this meeting is for the Board to consider the successfully petitioned ARIN 2020-2. Any member can initiate a petition if dissatisfied with the AC’s action or inaction, per the ARIN Policy Development Process (PDP). Policy ARIN 2020-2 requests that certain organizations be reinstated to the ARIN IPv4 waitlist and receive an IPv4 block up to a /22 in size. The policy went through ARIN’s PDP, and there was nothing unusual until the last call period. The AC discussed the policy at length after last call in an attempt to take action on the policy but were unable to reach a consensus. As a result of the AC neither advancing nor abandoning it within 60 days the community had the option of a petition. There was a successful petition and now it is before the Board for consideration.

General Counsel then reviewed the three options available to the Board. He stated that after petition, the policy is currently in ‘recommended draft policy’ status for recommendation of adoption by the ARIN Board. The Board can: 1) adopt the policy as-written; 2) reject the policy; or, 3) remand the policy to the AC for additional work.

The President noted this situation is the result of an oversight on his part in the formulation of ARIN’s PDP. While the PDP has functioned extremely well for ARIN over the years, the challenge posed by this policy occurred during the last call period when the level of support became less certain. The specified measure of community support in the PDP is the poll taken after a dedicated session during the ARIN Public Policy Meeting, and it is far more difficult to determine the overall level of community support from ad-hoc discussion during last call. The President said that the PDP should make clear that the last call period is to call out any specific technical or process concerns that have not been previously addressed – to make sure that no important concerns have been missed or misunderstood – rather than rehash the policy discussion that already occurred.

The President went on to note that the policy before the Board proposes to rectify a perceived inequity from previous policy ARIN-2019-16 that was quickly developed and adopted via a special policy action process with limited time for community input. It is true that a petition to bring ARIN 2020-2 to the Board like this may be unusual, but so is the special policy action that resulted in the previous policy now being corrected – hence why moving ahead with ARIN 2020-2 does not establish a precedent with respect to normal policy development.

Ms. Hunter, AC Vice Chair, noted that the community was fairly split on this policy, as was the AC. She noted that some AC members voted one way, then changed their vote. As the policy progressed through the process, additional AC members were against it. She noted that sending it back to the AC may not be fruitful; however, with new people now seated on the AC, that may make a difference. She believed that the policy went through the proper process.

Mr. Sawyer, AC Chair, stated that this policy poses a ‘slippery slope’ argument. There is no equitable cut off, and that is why it is so contentious. Mr. Sawyer stated there were challenging emails placing blame on AC members who voted against this policy. Ms. Hunter added that the emails were targeted at individual AC members in a harsh way.

Ms. Morris stated that AC knew at the time of development that 2019-16 would remove organizations from the waitlist – including businesses not engaging in fraudulent activity. It was a risk, and the AC knew that it was a risk. In the end, Ms. Morris voted against this policy (ARIN-2020-2), believing it to be bad policy as it affected a small subset of organizations for a short amount of time.

The President pointed to Ms. Morris’ comments and agreed with her. This proposed policy was not correcting 2019-16 per se, as that policy specifically noted that it would apply to the entities already on the waitlist. The authors positioned 2020-2 as correcting a policy choice that was too quickly adopted and did not have adequate time for community discussion. The community knew that 2019-16 was established by a very abbreviated process which did not allow the typical time for consideration by the community. The authors suggested that different policy text would have resulted if there was more time and community consideration.

The Chair called for questions from the Board. The Chair asked the AC Chairs that if the Board were to remand the policy to the AC, did the AC Chairs believe that the AC could come to a definitive conclusion? Mr. Sawyer noted that the policy would very likely continue to be contested within AC and further that work by the AC is likely not to gain consensus.

The Chair called for any further questions for the AC Chair or Vice Chair. There were no further questions. The Chair thanked them for their time. The AC Chair and Vice Chair left the meeting.

General Counsel provided an attorney-client privileged briefing on legal implications to the Board at this time.

After discussion, the Chair called for further questions or views.

A question was raised whether the Board had full awareness of the impact on the waitlist at the time 2019-16 was adopted – i.e., was it discussed at the Board level. The Chair responded that after seeing abuse and suspending issuance from the waiting list, the AC spent many days coming up with 2019-16 per following the PDP.

The President stated that the waitlist suspension and subsequent development of policy 2019-16 were very well-considered and done in accordance with ARIN’s Policy Development Process. The Board deeply considered the need for the waitlist suspension and did not do it lightly. The AC then developed the policy to reopen issuance and discussed it at length for safe resumption. It is true that we suspended the waitlist very quickly, and developed policy ARIN 2019-16 to reopen the waitlist in a very short time, compared to the regular process which would have had far more opportunity for community input.

It was moved by John Curran, and seconded by Bill Sandiford, that:

“The ARIN Board of Trustees adopts Recommended Draft Policy ARIN 2020-2: “Reinstatement of Organizations Removed from Waitlist by Implementation of ARIN-2019-16”

The Chair called for discussion.

The Chair stated that under normal circumstances his inclination was that the AC move policy forward, and for the Board to stay within their traditional role of observing adherence to the policy process and measuring risk of a policy towards ARIN. He stated that given the comments made, remanding the policy to the AC would not appear to produce that result and introduce further unnecessary delay. The Chair supported moving this policy forward.

Mr. Sandiford stated that it was important to understand how the policy got to this point, and to consider its merits and impacts. He stated that staff has provided a good report, and that he supported moving the policy forward.

The Chair called the roll call vote. The motion carried with 6 in favor, and one abstention (Tina Morris).

3. Adjournment

The Chair entertained a motion to adjourn at 4:15 p.m. ET. The meeting adjourned with no objections.