Policy 2003-5: Distributed Information Server Use Requirements

Status: Adopted - NRPM Section 3.2

Tracking Information

Discussion Tracking

Mailing List:

Formal introduction on PPML on 6 March 2003

Introduced in accordance with IRPEP version 1 April 2001 and adopted in accordance with IRPEP version 22 January 2004. Public Policy Mailing List

ARIN Public Policy Meeting:


ARIN Advisory Council:

27 March 2003
8 April 2003
8 May 2003
17 July 2003
23 October 2003
18 December 2003
15 January 2004
26 February 2004
20 April 2004

ARIN Board of Trustees:

22 December 2003
10 June 2004


View previous versions


2 July 2004


Mark Kosters

The proposed minimal requirements for an organization to setup a distributed information service to advertise reassignment information are:

The distributed information service must be operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to both the general public and ARIN staff. The service is allowed reasonable downtime for server maintenance according to generally accepted community standards.

The distributed information service must allow public access to reassignment information. The service may restrict the number of queries allowed per time interval from a host or subnet to defend against DDOS attacks, remote mirroring attempts, and other nefarious acts.

The distributed information service must return reassignment information for the IP address queried. The service may allow for privacy protections for customers. For residential users, the service may follow ARIN's residential privacy policy that includes displaying only the city, state, zip code, and country. For all other reassignments, the service shall follow ARIN's privacy policy for publishing data in a public forum.

The distributed information service may return results for non-IP queries.

The distributed information service must respond to a query with the minimal set of attributes per object as defined by ARIN staff.

The distributed information service may include optional attributes per object that are defined locally.

The distributed information service must return results that are up-to-date on reassignment information.

RWhois, a distributed lookup service, was created in part to allow ISPs to locally operate and control their own reassignment information. The purpose of placing this data in a RWhois server was two-fold:

  1. Allow RIR staff to examine reassignment utilization
  2. Allow access to the general public on reassignment information.

Many ISPs have opted to use RWhois servers for their reassignment information over sending SWIPs to ARIN. But some of the ISPs who have selected to use RWhois servers for their reassignment information have not kept the servers operational 24x7, contents of the database up to-date, or are restricting access only to ARIN staff.

This lack of a uniform set of operations of RWhois servers has resulted in confusion for end-users and ARIN staff. This policy proposal will describe the set of minimal requirements of operating a RWhois server for those ISPs who decide to use RWhois to manage their IP reassignment information.

In the future, there may be other distributed lookup services that ARIN may allow ISPs to use. These new services must be approved by ARIN before being allowed to serve as a repository for reassignment information.

Timetable for implementation: This policy should be applied immediately, contingent upon final approval by the Board.