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Court Says Customers May Take IPs Away From ISP 802

Jeremy Kister writes "According to a post on the North American Network Operators Group mailing-list, The State of New Jersey has issued a temporary restraining order, allowing a former customer of Net Access Corporation (NAC) to take non-portable IP Address space (issued from ARIN), away from NAC." The post argues: "This is a matter is of great importance to the entire Internet community. This type of precedent is very dangerous. If this ruling is upheld it has the potential to disrupt routing throughout the Internet, and change practices of business for any Internet Service Provider."
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Court Says Customers May Take IPs Away From ISP

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  • OK. (Score:5, Informative)

    by gowen ( 141411 ) <> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:37AM (#9559926) Homepage Journal
    Hands up who understands the legal concept of a temporary restraining order?

    Answer : It's temporary, to make sure neither party suffers to greatly until the Actual Judgement gets made.

    Nothing to see here, move along.
  • Full article text (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:39AM (#9559950)
    Full article text - minus karma whoring.

    There has been a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by state court
    that customers may take non-portable IP space with them when they leave
    their provider. Important to realize: THIS TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER HAS

    This is a matter is of great importance to the entire Internet community.
    This type of precedent is very dangerous. If this ruling is upheld it has
    the potential to disrupt routing throughout the Internet, and change
    practices of business for any Internet Service Provider.

    In the TRO, the specific language that is enforced is as follows:

    "NAC shall permit CUSTOMER to continue utilization through any
    carrier or carriers of CUSTOMER's choice of any IP addresses that were
    utilized by, through or on behalf of CUSTOMER under the April 2003
    Agreement during the term thereof (the "Prior CUSTOMER Addresses") and
    shall not interfere in any way with the use of the Prior CUSTOMER
    Addresses, including, but not limited to:

    (i) by reassignment of IP address space to any customer;
    aggregation and/or BGP announcement modifications,

    (ii) by directly or indirectly causing the occurrence of
    superseding or conflicting BGP Global Routing Table entries; filters
    and/or access lists, and/or

    (iii) by directly or indirectly causing reduced prioritization or
    access to and/or from the Prior CUSTOMER Addresses, (c) provide CUSTOMER
    with a Letter of Authorization (LOA) within seven (7) days of CUSTOMER's
    written request for same to the email address/ticket system
    (, and (d) permit announcement of the Prior CUSTOMER
    Addresses to any carrier, IP transit or IP peering network."

    We believe this order to be in direct violation of ARIN policy and the
    standard contract that is signed by every entity that is given an
    allocation of IP space. The ARIN contract strictly states that the IP
    space is NOT property of the ISP and can not be sold or transferred. The
    IP blocks in question in this case are very clearly defined as
    non-portable space by ARIN.

    Section 9 of ARIN's standard Service Agreement clearly states:

    "9. NO PROPERTY RIGHTS. Applicant acknowledges and agrees that the
    numbering resources are not property (real, personal or intellectual) and
    that Applicant shall not acquire any property rights in or to any
    numbering resources by virtue of this Agreement or otherwise. Applicant
    further agrees that it will not attempt, directly or indirectly, to obtain
    or assert any trademark, service mark, copyright or any other form of
    property rights in any numbering resources in the United States or any
    other country."

    [ Full ARIN agreement ]

    Further, it is important to realize that this CUSTOMER has already gotten
    allocations from ARIN over 15 months ago, and has chosen not to renumber
    out of NAC IP space. They have asserted that ARIN did not supply them with
    IP space fast enough to allow them to renumber. Since they have gotten
    allocations from ARIN, we are confident they have signed ARIN's RSA as
    well, and are aware of the above point (9).

    If this ruling stands and a new precedent is set, any customer of any
    carrier would be allowed to take their IP space with them when they leave
    just because it is not convenient for them to renumber. That could be a
    single static IP address for a dial-up customer or many thousands of
    addresses for a web hosting company. This could mean that if you want to
    revoke the address space of a spammer customer, that the court could allow
    the customer to simply take the space with them and deny you as the
    carrier (and ARIN) their rights to control the space as you (and ARIN)
  • The 4-11 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:41AM (#9559983)

    Some information for you!
  • by B4RSK ( 626870 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:43AM (#9560010)
    Imagine how well the Post Office would work if everyone could take their street address with them when they move.

    Not just their house number... Their entire address, including State and Zip Code.

    Soon you'd have CA addresses in DC, DC in WA... Nothing would work.

    This is exactly the same thing.
  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:43AM (#9560018) Homepage

    This is NOT like moving the physical address of a house, its like transfering your cell-phone number from one supplier to another, the phone numbers is actually a virtual address there are network specific addresses that DON'T get transfered. Now part of the issue here is that DNS resolves as a hierachy based on the "."s in the addresses. This means that really the domain name is equivalent to the phone number. But the connection address is actually a MAC Address so maybe we should consider the IP address to be the virtual address that can be changed.

    Transfering IP addresses is a matter of DNS configuration, what this would require is old ISPs to contain references to the new ISP for the old IDs. Is that really so technically difficult ? There are many unanswered questions here but I'm not sure there is anything that is as significant an impact as is claimed.

    It is NOT like moving a house address, because that is a physical address in a physical network, like MAC. IP and DNS are VIRTUAL addresses on a virtual network.

    If phone companies do it, why shouldn't ISPs ?

    And think about this when the world goes IPv6, no worry about running out of numbers, but do you want to re-programme your internal house network when you move ?
  • Re:OK. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Bob(TM) ( 104510 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:47AM (#9560063)
    Yes, it is not a final judgement. However, it is enforceable, pending final judgement. One of the references quotes the TRO:

    "NAC shall permit CUSTOMER to continue utilization through any carrier or carriers of CUSTOMER's choice of any IP addresses that were utilized by, through or on behalf of CUSTOMER under the April 2003 Agreement during the term thereof (the "Prior CUSTOMER Addresses") and shall not interfere in any way with the use of the Prior CUSTOMER Addresses, including, but not limited to:

    (i) by reassignment of IP address space to any customer; aggregation and/or BGP announcement modifications,

    (ii) by directly or indirectly causing the occurrence of superseding or conflicting BGP Global Routing Table entries; filters and/or access lists, and/or

    (iii) by directly or indirectly causing reduced prioritization or access to and/or from the Prior CUSTOMER Addresses, (c) provide CUSTOMER with a Letter of Authorization (LOA) within seven (7) days of CUSTOMER's written request for same to the email address/ticket system (, and (d) permit announcement of the Prior CUSTOMER Addresses to any carrier, IP transit or IP peering network."

    This is a lot of disruption ... even if temporary.
  • If you had IP portability, even on blocks no smaller than 24 bits (x.x.x.y, where y changes) the size of routing tables would spiral upward and out of control almost immediately. Put simply the number of routes goes up to the point where not only can most routers not even handle it, but everything slows to a virtual halt as zillions of routes are processed.

    It is not impossible, few things are, but it would require a significant investment in time, money, and new software for every backbone provider.

  • by dougmc ( 70836 ) <> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:49AM (#9560106) Homepage
    IP's are NOT portable and should not be interchanged like phone numbers.
    Actually, IPs are portable, just like phone numbers are. [But read on]
    Oh the hell this would unleash.
    It used to be that you took your IP addresses with you wherever you went, even a class C, and your ISP would make it work.

    However, this became a big problem as the Internet grew and grew, and the BGP tables grew and grew, so finally companies stopped doing this, and now IP ranges are considered to be not portable unless they're a certain size. `CIDRize or die' was the saying ... and people chose not to die.

    The court needs a clue though. As does the customer who asked for the TRO -- they'll find that many (most?) ISPs will not route to their IP range at their new ISP, in spite of what the court said. I guess their old ISP could set up a VPN for them, but I'm guessing they won't.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:52AM (#9560149)
    This is not an issue, this is simply wrong. As many posters have already said, that's what DNS (not WWW address) is for.

    There are already enough issues with the scalability of BGP due to IP address space fragmentation. What if everybody starts moving around ? What will routers do if they cannot aggregate IP addresses ?

    This is insane.
  • BGP (Score:2, Informative)

    by bertboerland ( 31938 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:54AM (#9560192) Homepage
    This is absurd. It undermines the basic principles that led the internet grow up to the currect scale. Those who understand BGP and AS-es as well as Provider Independent [] and Provider Aggregatable Ip space [], know this is the end. And the BGP tables are growing faster [] than most routers can hold anyway. No more soft inbound [] I quess... ;-) So whats next? I would like to have the .com domain structure... or what the heck, give me the root (.)
  • by wo1verin3 ( 473094 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:54AM (#9560198) Homepage
    >> No, judges are not simply ignorant

    Definition: Ignorant []

    1. Lacking education or knowledge.
    2. Showing or arising from a lack of education or knowledge: an ignorant mistake.
    3. Unaware or uninformed.

    Well looky here, the judge IS ignorant. He could have done some research before throwing something like this out, but he choose not to.

  • by fgodfrey ( 116175 ) <> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:59AM (#9560255) Homepage
    Not exactly. If I want to send you to my web site, I don't give you my IP address, I give you my host name. However, if I want you to call my cell, I have to give you my cell phone number. Therefore, in order to change cell phone numbers, I would have to contact people outside my control. If I have a sane network, I control the assignment of hostnames to IP addresses. That means that I can switch IP's "easily" but can't switch cell phones easily.
  • by Rik van Riel ( 4968 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:59AM (#9560258) Homepage
    I'm afraid it rather is like taking your home address (or zip code) with you.

    The reason is that the internet core routers already have over 100.000 entries in the IPv4 routing table. When routing millions of packets a second, the router needs to do millions of route lookups a second.

    This still works (barely) because the number of entries in the routing table (think of them as zip codes) can be looked up easily. If the postal service had portable, personal zip codes, the zip code system would also be completely useless...

    Beyond a certain point, there is simply no physical way that you could fit all the routing table entries in a cache that can be accessed fast enough to look up the routing table entries as fast as the packets come in.

    I'm sure the state of New Jersey will legislate a higher speed of light to get around this problem, but that's not going to fix it for the rest of us...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @10:59AM (#9560262)
    Unlike the whole "keep your cell-phone number" jiberjoo (Local Number Portability = LNP)

    Who says the phone system was designed to allow for number portability. I work in the industry and can tell you first hand that number portability is about as difficult in the telephone world as IP portability will be in the internet world. The only reason Slashdot is agaist this judges ruling is because they have some clue about what it will take to implement it. Most people here have no idea what kind of kludge is behind LNP. Those that did have a clue protested at the top of their lungs. It didn't stop the technically clueless from mandating the change.

    Have you ever noticed how the hive mentality on Slashdot says that the cell phone companies are evil for adding the cost of supporting local number portability as a line item on each bill? Maybe this example will make the situation seem a little clearer. When a very expensive and kludgy mandate is placed on a service provider it makes sense to alert consumers to the fact that they are paying a significant amount of money to support it.

  • by davew ( 820 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:00AM (#9560277) Journal
    The problem is that if IP addresses are well aggregated, all a BGP-speaking router (that's the big ones in the core) needs to know is "for this very large block of addresses, use interface A; for that very large block of addresses, use interface B; for this other very large block of addresses, use interface A again." That is your routing table, it takes processor time to traverse for every packet, and it's growing; and if sizeof(routing table)*sizeof(traffic throughput) grows faster than Moore's law, it gets rather troublesome for the internet.

    If you route geographically or per end-user or (shudder) per person, the number of entries that your core router has to potentially traverse explodes. This is the essence of CIDR, and we have separate naming (i.e. DNS) and routing (i.e. IP addresses) specifically so that end users may have a portable name irrespective of the routing infrastructure.

    In the phone system, where naming and addressing are both conflated into your phone number, it's a lot more painful. (All of a sudden there isn't a simple programmatic way of mapping a three-digit prefix to to the operator that will handle the call.)

    The problem of routing table size remains regardless of the size of the IP space - IPv6 will solve a lot of problems, but this isn't one of them.
  • by mopslik ( 688435 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:01AM (#9560287) looks like they may have actually tried. D'oh! Didn't see that little paragraph in there.

    Though the claim about the Alabama state legislature is pure nonsense, it is similar to an event that happened more than a century ago. In 1897 the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously passed a measure redefining the area of a circle and the value of pi. (House Bill no. 246, introduced by Rep. Taylor I. Record.) The bill died in the state Senate.

  • by bwalling ( 195998 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:02AM (#9560296) Homepage
    If they've configured things such that they're dependent on a certain IP, they obviously have very incompetent system s staff.

    You know, there are things that won't accept a DNS name and require an IP address. Some VPN clients are this way.
  • by LordPixie ( 780943 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:06AM (#9560343) Journal
    I spent half my day yesterday reading the NANOG thread related to this. Knew I should have submitted it. =)

    Anyways, the customer wanted to avoid renumbering their network computers. Their argument was that there is a significant amount of inconvenience involved in renumbering their network. (Yes, we all know how easy it would be to use a NAT. The judge obviously does not.) The original NANOG discussion started here [].

    I think they were also leveraging a supposed anti-competitiveness nature to non-portable IP space. Yes, that's right. One of a bajillion ISP's is hurting competition by following the globally accepted rules of the Internet that is the foundation of CIDR.

  • by jcenters ( 570494 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:06AM (#9560345) Homepage
    As far as I know, the FCC can only regulate the airwaves. Until everything goes wireless, they don't have much internet authority.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:10AM (#9560382)
    The Plaintiff isn't trying to get class Cs from the ISP. The ISP allegedly imposed unreasonable payment terms and is threatening to cut off the plaintiff's access to the IPs. The plaintiff is fighting for the right to have uninterrupted access to that IP range while he moves his servers from said ISP to a new physical location and new IP range.
  • by Lew Pitcher ( 68631 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:11AM (#9560400) Homepage


    IP addresses are physical addresses. They are not resolved by DNS, and do not represent 'virtual' addresses. They provide the same functionality to TCP/IP as MAC addresses provide to Ethernet. IP addresses are evaluated at each point in the network path, in order to determine where to send the data next. This evaluation follows the fixed hierarchy of IP addresses, subnets and networks, and removing an IP address from it's proper place in the network and placing it in an unrelated network place is not an option.

    At the current level of technology, moving an IP address with you is exactly the same as moving your house address with you when you move. It is exactly the same as, in 1960, moving your area code and telephone number with you when you move. It cannot be done with current technology without a severe detrimental impact on the structure of the network. IP addresses represent 'hardwired' (via routing) addresses (in the 1960 telephone analogy, think pulse dialing and crossbar switches and banks and banks of wires connecting each phone to each central office to each trunk line).

    On the other hand, DNS names are transportable. They represent the 'virtual network' that you are blathering on about.

  • About Zip Codes (Score:3, Informative)

    by BenFranske ( 646563 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:12AM (#9560410) Homepage
    From the Wikipedia []:
    In 1983, the Postal Service began using an expanded ZIP Code system called "ZIP+4," which are often called "plus-four codes." A ZIP+4 code uses of the basic 5-digit ZIP plus an additional 4-digits to identify a geographic segment within the 5-digit delivery area, such as a city block or a group of apartments or an individual high-volume receiver of mail, or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery. Use of the plus-four code is not required, but it helps the Postal Service direct mail more efficiently and accurately because it reduces handling and significantly decreases the potential for human error and possibility of misdelivery. An additional two digits are usually used to indicate the exact delivery point, so that every single mailable point in the country has its own 11-digit number. These two digits are usually the last two of the street address or box number, though non-numeric points with names or letters are assigned DP numbers by the local post office.
    So it actually takes 11 digits to get to a single address. Has anyone ever tried sending a letter with only 11 digits as the address?
  • Indiana (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:13AM (#9560429)
    Amazingly enough, the Indiana House Of Representatives voted [] pi=3... but it died in the Senate.
  • Details of the case: (Score:5, Informative)

    by davidu ( 18 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:16AM (#9560450) Homepage Journal

    NAC Case []

    The company in question is Pegasus Web Technology [] run by a Mr. Jason Silvergate.

  • by kryptkpr ( 180196 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:16AM (#9560452) Homepage
    Interesting paralell.. lets fix it up, and it'll be usable.

    IP is not a phone number. It's an address. Such as "123 Baker St, State, Country". IPv4 can be thought of as being of the form Country.State.Street.Number (except with numbers from 1-255 for each field).

    IRL, Hostname is like a name in a guide to the city, like "Joe's pizzaria", that you want to get to. On the net, it's a website like "" that you want to get to.

    IRL, a DNS server would be an addressbook. It tells you Joe's pizzaria is at 123 Baker St. If Joe's pizzaria moves, the addressbook can be updated, and can tell subsequent users that Joe's pizzaria is at 456 Main St. Likewise, it will tell you that "" is at

    With the above descriptions, even the n00bs can feel smart, and think they understand the whole interweb thing.. :)
  • To use your analogy (Score:3, Informative)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:16AM (#9560453) Journal
    If you want to compare it to having a phone, it's like moving from the southern US with a landline phone number of (233) 123-2321, and wanting to keep it in an area that is not serviced by 233.

    Actually, moreso it's like moving to China, but still wanting to have your number be the exact same (country code and all).... after all, it too can be routed, nevermind that doing so for too many people will be incredibly slow/stupid/etc
  • All I've seen is a message NAC posted to a message board and very little else. Chances are NAC submitted it to Slashdot as well.

    Unless there's a gag order (not mentioned, and if there was they probably couldn't publicize it as much as they have) there's no reason not to link to the actual court order and other details.

    For all we know someone set us up the bomb by giving very specific, but obviously lacking breadth, information and letting us come to the obvious conclusion.

    This is basic marketting (astroturfing) to try and get the outcome changed by technical people (who think they know what's going on) who the court might listen to.

    It's in our best interest to completely vet out the case before running off half cocked. I wish I knew enough to find the TRO or the customer's side of the story.

    The facts seem clear enough, but the presentation is muddy at best.

  • by Rik van Riel ( 4968 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:24AM (#9560537) Homepage
    If the FCC suddenly said one day ok, people have to be able to take their IPs with them. ISPs would be pissed, but they'd probably all move to IP6 where its much more possible.

    Please read RFC 2772 []. Having portable IP addresses the way you describe is explicitly forbidden with IPv6, for good technical reasons!
  • by Grizzletooth ( 245582 ) * on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:26AM (#9560560) Homepage

    After reading the thread on NANOG you should have read the scanned case papers []. Reads like a divorce proceeding. Lots of screaming and pointing out the other's failings.

    From reading those, it is clear that the judge was making his decision not upon the technical merits/problems of portable IP space, but upon the claim by the customer that the ISP was trying to steal/wreck their business.

  • by raphae1 ( 695666 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:34AM (#9560653)
    In my experience this happens particularly often if, when changing DNS records and TTLs, one forgets to increase the serial number - which tells the querying server that something *has* changed.
    I'd expect a caching server to disregard a short TTL as it would defy the purpose.
  • by Tmack ( 593755 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:35AM (#9560658) Homepage Journal
    No, a phone number is much like an IP address, in that to move the number to a different localized network requires an announcement to the rest of the networks. For phones, this is done via NPAC (national Number Portability Administration Center) and NeuStar services, for IP's its BGP. Phone numbers can only be re-located within the same Rate Center, as changing the rate center would change the billing and routing of the line. IPs can be re-located only within a network that already has an assignment for those IPs parent network, otherwise special case routing and probably billing would have to be added.

    DNS, otoh, is more like CallerID or an entry in a phone book. You can have one name assigned to many phone numbers, and if you have to change your number, you can keep your name no matter what. The process used to implement caller ID is very similar to DNS as well. Your phone company looks up the name associated with the inbound number in via DIPS, basically a database lookup, similar to dns lookup.


  • ipv6 doesn't help (Score:5, Informative)

    by DreadSpoon ( 653424 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:39AM (#9560687) Journal
    No, it won't help. With either IPv6 or IPv4, you still need the global routing table entries. That's where the problem is. The global routers will say something like are routed to some network equipment in New Jersey. With this ruling, those same global tables in all those routers need to add another entry for a particular IP address in that range to instead go to some other providor. Now imagine if everyone kept their own personal IP address. Those tables wouldn't be able to cleanly route chunks of the IP address space to the ISPs using them, but instead must be filled with tons and tons of rules for individual addresses.

    IPv6 works in a very similar fashion. The only difference between IPv6 and IPv4 in terms of the routing is that the address ranges/chunks are much more abundant and much larger. If anything, IPv6 will make it flat out impossible for the Internet to work if people keep personal IP addresses, because there is no possible way the routers could handle the mapping tables.

    Ranges need to be kept to individual ISPs as they are now. AT&T leases a big chunk of several billion IPv6 addresses and then assigns those as they see fit to their customers and internal network equipment. All the global routers need to know then is that any address in that chunk AT&T leases just gets routed along to AT&T's network. If a customer leaves AT&T, they need to get an IP address in the range of their new ISP. Otherwise, the new ISP needs to add tons of special routing rules to their equipment, AT&T needs to add tons of special routing rules to their equipment, the backbones and global routers need special rules, anyone that has any rules regarding AT&T and/or the new ISP would need special rules added, etc.
  • by klagermkii ( 791101 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:46AM (#9560756)
    Cellphone number portability works fine in an environment where there is a big central routing database, and the short delay while performing a number->network look up at the beginning of a call is not a problem.

    However, in a decentralized network like the Internet where every router must be able to store in its own memory sufficient data to route an incoming packet to any other IP address in the world, and where the actual components of the IP address now gives you no clue as to where it must go, you're going to have a big problem. (Bye bye subnets!)

    Not looking forward to the day when my packet (which has to make 12 hops to get to slashdot) has to wait at each router while the router checks its 3GB+ list of all live IP addresses on the Internet to work out where to send it to next.
  • Not quite clear-cut? (Score:2, Informative)

    by BlueFox ( 108031 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:50AM (#9560802)
    Here's the affidavits [] stating the plaintif's claims in the case. Clearly this story involves more than just "some idiot wanting to keep his IP addresses".

    UCI (the plaintiff) is a web-hosting company that has resold IP-space to its customeres. They don't seem to be looking to take the addresses permanently. They want to continue use of the address space at their new provider until they've finished migrating all of thier customers.

    The plaintiff claims that once they rebuffed suggestions of a takeover from NAC (the ISP), the ISP started applying pressure on the plaintiff. Examples include claims that prices were raised (e.g., electricity charges are 60% higher than what the new ISP will charge), and payment terms were unilaterally changed.

    This doesn't seem to be the slippery-slope case that will result in home users taking their IP addresses with them as they change ISPs.
  • by Steepe ( 114037 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:52AM (#9560828) Homepage
    I just love people who have no idea what they are talking about trying real hard.

    Everything these days is done with DNS. anyone sutpid enough to go to a site via IP address is brainless and should get a nice web page telling them connection refused. Heck, I even have auto updating DDNS to my home cable modem line, I don't even type in an IP address to hit my home machine. In addition to that, would you buy something from a company that says Cheap cd's.. come to our website at ? Nope, you wouldn't.

    These ISP's are contractually assigned these addresses by ARIN, they do not have any ownership of the addresses. Depending on the size of the block of addresses, and their colo setup they could have to disrupt the address range much longer than a simple changing of IP addresses and a TTL expiration on a DNS server.

    There are a ton of technical reasons this is a very bad idea(tm) if it gets as bad as people taking individual addresses with them you will never be able to get anywhere becuase BGP tables will become so huge current routers won't hold them.

  • by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) * <> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:56AM (#9560868) Journal
    dig a cached entry out of an AOL nameserver sometime ...
  • by zymurgyboy ( 532799 ) <zymurgyboy AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:14PM (#9561050)
    Do you have any idea what you're asking for here? Just what the court system needs, "expert" judges for every imaginable archane body of knowledge. Who wants an "Apple-zealot iJudge, or a "pro-GNU/Linux judge," the "Judge who's an expert at configuring Sendmail on your Debian box," or some such nosense. All anyone needs a judge for is impartial rendering of justice and managing your court experience.

    This is why judges get to grant temporary orders. So both sides can get expert witnesses and other types of evidence and testimorny in order so they can make a reasonably informed descision (assuming the judge actually decides this, i.e. bench trial as opposed to jury trial) if it even comes to that before being thrown out. Judges usually aren't idiots. They aren't perfect either, but an armada of expert judges won't improve the situation.

    No thanks, I'd rather have judges stick to legal expertise and leave the convincing him/her one way or the other stuff to the people bringing these (stupid) lawsuits.

    My prediction: This will get thrown out.

  • by Old Uncle Bill ( 574524 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:16PM (#9561069) Journal
    Agreed. I have seen this especially on AOL. I guess that is the price you have to pay for having probably the worst ISP out there. I also noticed this from people running OLD versions of Microsoft proxy server. You would think after all of these years AOL would get a clue about how DNS really works. I can understand caching it for a day or two, but weeks? One solution would be to leave a server or two at the old address, and that is what I have done in the past. Not feasible for everyone, but if you are worried about the few...
  • by mpk ( 10222 ) <> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:18PM (#9561098) Homepage
    Haven't seen this mentioned here already, but a small update is that according to a later NANOG post, ARIN's legal eagles will be taking up this case [].

    This is good news.
  • by mangu ( 126918 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:23PM (#9561166)
    It can be done easily. My broadband provider has a stupid authentication scheme, based on the MAC address. When it was installed, I gave my notebook MAC. Now, when I want to use the desktop, I do a

    ifconfig eth0 -hw ether xx:xx:xx:xx:xx

  • by CelloJake ( 564999 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:47PM (#9561485)
    From the FCC Website:
    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency, directly responsible to Congress. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by
    radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.
    (Emphasis Mine) -Jacob
  • Re:Cool! (Score:4, Informative)

    by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [0791uhcsm]> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:57PM (#9561607)
    ... and now is flooded with pings from slashdot users curious to see if its IP really is

    (It's not) :(
  • by EtherMonkey ( 705611 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:57PM (#9561613)

    Phone number portability is limited. For example, if I move from NY to CA I cannot port my NY phone number to my new CA address, because the phone system can't handle the routing. You can only port a number when switching from one carrier to another at the same location. Cell phones have different rules because they have an entirely different routing system.

    As IP routing works today, IP address portability would cause an eventual breakdown of the system. And, from a practical standpoint, how much value is there in a particular IP address? Services are accessed by hostname and DNS not by IP address. Maybe some specialized application required the use of real IP's on the LAN, (instead of private RFC1918 addresses and NAT, as is now common practice), and so some pain would be incurred in changing static IP assignments on servers. But no way does this balance out the potential problems such a precedent would cause for the entire Internet as it works today.
  • by perlchild ( 582235 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:00PM (#9561642)
    IANAL, but
    1) the article seems to say a different thing than the actual TRO
    2) I'll explain why if the court had ruled like the article said, we'd be in deep shit, and second, I'll document my understand of the TRO

    The main difference is that your cell phone company can't lose your cell phone number without a major cause. ARIN can decide to remove any number at its wish, meaning that someone could go to court, trying to block an ARIN reassignment from Provider ISP, even if they are the CAUSE of that reassignment. Say if client is not using 80% of its space, and ARIN, who granted that space(ARIN may grant space in many forms, but most ISPs prefer contiguous blocks, for routing reasons.), then when the Provider notifies the client that they messed up, asking for too large a block from them, the client could try to sue, thereby interfering with the priorly business-as-usual motions of ARIN-Provider-Client.

    IP addresses are assigned to your provider by ARIN/RIPE/APNIC and may be taken away from them at a moment's notice. They are also organized in network topologies, meaning that if the ruling stands, the entire routing of the Internet has to be re-thought.
    Well ok, just migrating everyone to IPv6, and using v6-to-v4 tunnels might do the trick, Provided the judge doesn't make the claim you own your v4 address too, which with dynamic addresses, would get messy even faster.

    Also, for that matter, what about static dhcp addresses, addresses that are assigned by a dynamic method, but keep up coming to the same value for a specific client, does the ruling say the client own them? If they do, I can imagine a whole bunch of dsl providers going "no we don't offer static ips anymore".
    And that's because the ISP, which is responsible for routing, and for making sure the routing is coherent, and router-friendly, and that their own AS is reachable, is no longer involved in the assignment of those ips.

    The only people who actually use ip addresses, and who have trouble with numbers, are people who operate nameservers, since their job is to offer address to name translation, so having their address be static is a requirement of the job, so they can be found. Now some of those are assigned in /32 increments, and indeed, a naive reading of the article might indicate that if I assign a client, and that client sues, the routing table of the internet might soon have 2^32 routes, and most routers crash.

    Ruling that they own that ip address, considering the contracts between Arin and suppliers, means all those contracts have been invalidated. If I was ARIN, I'd be very very afraid right now. If you can own a block, what will you do if ARIN takes a block back for lack of use? Sue them of course, it's what the court just indicated by rendering your lease of those ips unenforceable, by virtue of saying you could own your ip numbers.

    Now, I'm not sure why, but the article makes no mention that the the court issued a temporary restraining order, until migration is complete.
    That means NAC has to offer ip forwarding for a limited time, to help migration, especially since the client applied to own ips at ARIN directly already.
    The restraining order also looks(But IANAL) written in such as way as to prevent guerilla action on the part of NAC against the client, more than anything.
    I do find it interesting that (I've done a lot of moves for my clients in similar situations, although perhaps smaller than this particular client) the client preferred to go to court, instead of putting pressure on NAC to renew at current prices, while preparing it's migration. 45 days is certainly not a lot of time for a truly large network, but just how many days did they win by going to court, including the TRO and the remand to higher court?

    Although, maybe they just wanted some insurance, considering the penalties that NAC would incur if the client was down without "due cause". The amount in dollars for an 8-hour or more outage would certainly help with migra
  • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:00PM (#9561647) Homepage
    IP addresses are like phone numbers.

    Actually, IP addresses are like what phone numbers used to be. Back in Ye Olden Days, you phone number essentially described the physical location of the wire pair that delivered your dialtone. A phone number of 471-1234 meant your pair was out of Central Office 47, sub area 1, pair 1234. You could change your last 4 digits, but not your 3 digit prefix, as the prefix designated the physical building where the 10,000 pairs serving your area lived. This is still the case for landlines in many areas (my boss had his shop in 471, but moved a half mile south and Verizon made him change to 477). Portability is possible with wireless phones because (by definition) they aren't tied to any particular physical location. Since a certain degree of soft routing already has to happen to get the call to the cell nearest you, it's not much of a leap to allow routing to other providers.

    IP addresses aren't like that, though. They were never designed to be soft routed. That's what DNS is for. They IP address, in the end, is a number pinpointing the exact location of a physical circuit. There is no system below the IP address level to perform the necessary redirection. You can forward traffic from the old IP address to the new, but you can't take the old IP address with you.

  • by the_demiurge ( 26115 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:06PM (#9561731) Homepage
    affidavit 1 []
    affidavit 2 []
    affidavit 3 []
    remand []
    restraining order []

    It looks like the judge belived that NAC was screwing UCI pretty hard and trying to make them go under. Since UCI is a webhosting company, if they didn't have control of the IP addresses for the time it takes them to get set up at through a different net provider, they would break contract with third parties through no fault of their own. This is a pretty tough case and I think this is less about UCI wanting to have "portable" IP addresses than wanting to keep their buisiness from being shut down as they transition.
  • Re:Cool! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:26PM (#9561971)
    ping? Why would you use ping just to lookup an IP address?

    # host has address

    It appears that is unassigned (or at least no assignment is recorded) space allocated to the RIPE registry (For those no aware, tts like ARIN, but handles Europe)

    inetnum: -
    netname: EU-ZZ-86
    descr: RIPE NCC
    descr: European Regional Registry
    country: EU
  • Re:Magic roundabout (Score:2, Informative)

    by Dave2 Wickham ( 600202 ) * on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:29PM (#9562004) Journal
    Have an actual photo [] of it...
  • by brunson ( 91995 ) * on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:32PM (#9562039) Homepage
    Number portablility requires that the ported number or block of numbers be added to a database.

    Normally NPA-NXX's (303-575, e.g) are assigned to a carrier and all you need to know is that first 6 digits of the phone number to identify the carrier, then you make a routing decision do decide how to most advantagiously deliver it to that carrier. This is much like CIDR route-aggregation.

    Some blocks are tagged in the NANPA database as being 'portable' which means your switch is required to query another database and ask who really is the carrier for the full 10 digit routing number, whereupon you make your routing decisions.

    However, you can still only port the number to a carrier with a presence in the same LATA and you certainly can't port numbers out of their area code. This is where the similiarity to route-aggregation makes it technologically infeasible for every jackass on the planet to have their own ip address which they take whereever they go.

    That's why we have DNS.

    Clearly the judge is suffering from a severe juxtaposition of cranium and anus.
  • by ameoba ( 173803 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:37PM (#9562097)
    Well, if you read the court documents [], you'll see that the guy suing the ISP is in a bad position; he's selling webhosting to people who sell webhosting to others on servers coloed at the ISP. He's a useless middleman in the deal & has refused attempts at being bought out by the ISP already.

    The basis of his case is that he is completely dependant upon the ISP to do his business & they're rasing his rates to a point where he can't keep his business going, possibly in order to force him to sell. I'm not going to say that the ISP is being nice, but they're not entirely out of line.

    Even with the network being temporarily re-routed, this guy is fucked; he has a single supplier for what he's selling & his supplier wants to start selling directly to his customers. If he was smart, he'd have set up his own datacenter by now.
  • by knightrdr ( 685033 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:41PM (#9562164) Homepage
    As a few people have noted: this is only a TEMPORARY restrainging order. After looking at PDF's of the clients claims they are basically saying that they used colocation service from this company. The business grew and has 15-20 people on staff. As the business grew, the defendent expressed interest in purchasing the company and hiring the owner. The owner didn't want this. The defendent went on to strong arm the client, charge fees above and beyond what their contract stipulated. They changed the agreement multiple times in an effort to cause trouble for the business owner. The owner has built a data facility to host his 1500 (if I recall correctly) servers himself. He has tried to work out a deal where he leases a minimum amount of service from the colocation facility and retains all the IP addresses while all of his servers are moved. Due to the possibility of losing business if there is extended down time, he has tried REPEATEDLY to structure an equitable deal. He isn't trying to take the IP addresses. He is trying to make sure the IP addresses aren't taken away so that services can be redirected to the new facility. He is and has been willing to pay for all services, moving fees, bandwidth, electrical usage, storage space, and so on THE ENTIRE TIME. Let me be clear about this: the client isn't trying to steal IP addresses. He has his own million+ dollar facility with addresses given to him by ARIN. He is simply trying to ensure a smooth transition which will not cause a loss of business -- something which he claims that the defendent has done the entire time. People need to stop freaking out. Mucho thanks to the person who posted the actual affadavits so we can see what is being blown out of proportion.
  • Re:OK. (Score:2, Informative)

    by gnu-generation-one ( 717590 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:07PM (#9562483) Homepage
    "Right. So, rather sensibly, they've imposed the status quo as a temporary measure, and the judge will use that time to find out the background to the case"

    and in the meantime their old ISP shoulders legal responsibility for a network they have no control over, they are forced to break their IANA contract, and the customer will probably get their IP space blackholed by most networks, that's if their new ISP even agrees to announce it. As you say, they're only temporary causing chaos, nothing to see here, move along...

    Until the ISP either gets sued by IANA for transferring the block, or gets done by the court for not transferring the block, or until the customer sues everyone in sight when their network becomes unreachable.

    NANOG discussion said it best -- the best solution would be to charge the customer for actual costs, which would be ridiculously high, and the customer can't complain because they asked the court to order that it be so.
  • by Grotus ( 137676 ) <rlmoser&earthlink,net> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @03:05PM (#9563176) Homepage
    If you actually read the TRO, you'll see that the plaintiff just wants the addresses for a limited time (ie, until he is done transitioning to the new IPs). And we aren't talking about a small chunk of addresses either, the plaintiff is a web-hosting company with around 400,000 IPs to transition.

    The short version is that according to the plaintiff, the defendant got greedy, which prompted the plaintiff to attempt to take his business elsewhere. Again according to the plaintiff, the defendant made threats to hinder the transfer, which prompted this suit.

    Not quite a cut-and-dried example of judicial idiocy.
  • by DonGar ( 204570 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @03:07PM (#9563194) Homepage
    Use emacs to edit your zone files (as long as they are named with a .zone extention). The default zone mode auto-updates the serial number using the date/version convention.

    It just works and leaves one less thing to worry about.
  • by anticypher ( 48312 ) <> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @03:47PM (#9563645) Homepage
    After reading the details from actual court documents, it looks like a business relationship turned sour. NAC is making Imminent Death of the Internet announcements in NANOG, and /. picked up the meme. Nasty business, that, considering how clued in the NANOG people generally are (as opposed to how flamebating /. trolls are) It looks like NANOG is starting to realize they were trolled by NAC before the facts were known. Thats the nice thing about public records is that anybody can go pick up a copy and inform the world.

    What Pegasus/UCI/Jason somebody wants from the court order is a temporary window where NAC will not poison the routes to his old IP addresses for the next two months while he completes his migration. This is NOT a permanent breaking of the ARIN hierarchy, and is allowed, but not required, by ARIN rules for customer migration on a temporary basis.

    Damn, and I had a good rant brewing until I RTFAffadavit. But this is /., I should post it anyways and get a +5 informative, instead of languishing here with a -2 accidentally RTFA.

    the AC
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @03:59PM (#9563784)
    Yes, they are so stupid because they are the most effecient intersection design there is. It is only a problem when dumb ass, blue-haired drivers get to them. Are you one of those drivers?
  • Re:Cool! (Score:3, Informative)

    by NaDrew ( 561847 ) <> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @05:42PM (#9565027) Journal
    nslookup [] has been part of NT since at least 4.0. It works as you'd expect: given a host, it returns the IP address. Given an IP address, it tries to return a host.

    Non-authoritative answer:


    *** can't find Non-existent domain


    Non-authoritative answer:


    Next time, instead of the mindless flame, how about checking your facts?

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.