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Host to Host
1983 - ??
1996 - ??
A defining characteristic of being on a network is utilization of the network’s address space. On the public telephone network, the address space is telephone numbers set by the North American Numbering Plan. On the Internet, the address space is Internet Protocol Numbers set by IANA. [See Leonard Kleinrock, et. al., Realizing the Information Future: The Internet and Beyond, National Research Council 75 (1994) (comparing addressing on the PSTN and the Internet, stating "The current address spaces of the Internet and the telephone network are a low-level framework suited for naming network and telephone locations and delivering data and voice.")] [See also Will the Real Internet Please Stand Up (concluding that a network is defined by its address space)]
IP numbers are assigned to each Internet host (i.e., computer). The entire collection of IP numbers is managed by the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) under the authority of ICANN. IANA then delegates large blocks of numbers and assignment responsibilities to Regional Internet Registries (RIRs):
American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN), Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNic), Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre, (RIPE NCC) Latin American and Caribbean IP address Regional Registry (Lacnic), and AfriNIC.
[The RIRs collectively come together as the Number Resource Organization Letter from NRO to ICANN March 23, 2009 confirming NRO's commitment (recognizing) to ICANN; Letter from ICANN to NRO April 17 2009 confirming ICANN's commitment (recognizing) the RIRs]
ICANN works with the RIRs through the Address Supporting Organization
The RIRs then delegate large blocks of numbers to large networks such as Internet backbones, universities, or large corporate networks. Smaller networks or end users get IP numbers from their upstream network providers.
There were address blocks allocated prior to the current RIR system. These are known as the Legacy Blocks and generally are administered by ARIN, however, the block assignments may not be under ARIN's current contracts and agreements.
Joe gets his IP number for his computer from ACME ISP. ACME ISP gets its backbone connection and IP number block from BETA Backbone. Beta Backbone gets its number delegation from ARIN. ARIN gets its numbers from IANA.
A packet of data going through the Internet is addressed with the IP number of its destination. The routers through which the packet is transmitted look only at the address (have no regard for the content of the packet) and routes the packet using routing tables determining the best available route. To be visible, a device must be associated with an address; if a device is not associated with an address, it cannot be reached and is not “on network.”
Now consider that although devices on network are reachable using IP numbers, those numbers are largely known only to the network. Humans are all but unaware of IP numbers. Instead, recognizing years ago that the IP numbers are difficult for the humans to remember, the domain name system (DNS) was developed. A domain name is an alias for an IP number, that is both easier to remember and also can be reassigned from one IP number (one computer at one host) to another IP number (another computer at another host) without any interruption of service.
Partly out of a belief that the IPv4 set of available numbers is limited and becoming exhausted, IPv6 has been developed and is being deployed.
Derived From: GAO, Internet Protocol version 6, Federal Agencies Need to Plan for Transition and Manage Security Risks (May 2005)The two basic functions of IP include (1) addressing and (2) fragmentation of data, so that information can move across networks. An IP address consists of a fixed sequence of numbers. IPv4 uses a 32-bit address format, which provides approximately 4.3 billion unique IP addresses. Figure 1 provides a conceptual illustration of an IPv4 address.
By providing a numerical description of the location of networked computers, addresses distinguish one computer from another on the Internet. In some ways, an IP address is like a physical street address. For example, in the physical world, if a letter is going to be sent from one location to another, the contents of the letter must be placed in an envelope that contains addresses for the sender and receiver. Similarly, if data is going to be transmitted across the Internet from a source to a destination, IP addresses must be placed in an IP header. Figure 2 provides a simplified illustration of this concept. In addition to containing the addresses of sender and receiver, the header also contains a series of fields that provide information about what is being transmitted.
Routing Tables and CIDR
Derived From: Characteristics and Competitiveness of the Internet Backbone Market , GAO-02-16 p.34 (Oct. 2001).
Devices known as "routers" send data packets from one network to another by examining the destination IP address of each packet. In its memory, the router contains a "routing table" which contains information specifying all of the IP addresses of other networks. The router compares a packet's destination IP address with the information contained in the routing table to determine the network to which the packet should be sent. In order to ensure that packets from one network can reach any other network, the router must include an entry for each possible network. As more and more network addresses come into use, there is concern about the growth in the number of routing tables entries.
Historically, IP addresses were organized into three commonly used classes-Classes A, B, and C. For Class A, there are 126 possible network addresses, each with nearly 17 million hosts. Slightly more than 16,000 networks may have a Class B address, each with over 65,000 hosts. Finally, there can be approximately 2 million networks with a Class C address, each with a maximum of 254 host addresses. As the Internet grew, engineers quickly identified the problems associated with exhaustion of class B addresses and the increasing number of Class C address entries in routing tables and developed a solution known as Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR). CIDR treats multiple contiguous Class C addresses as a single block that requires only one entry in a routing table. This method of IP address allocation was adopted for technical efficiency reasons-the number of IP addresses that must be maintained in each router for traffic routing purposes is substantially reduced. However, this method of IP address allocation presents unique problems for smaller ISPs and other entities. If an entity seeking IP addresses cannot utilize a large block of address issued by ARIN, the entity must obtain their addresses from among the allocations made by ARIN to their Internet backbone provider. ISPs and end users with whom we spoke expressed concern about method of IP address allocation.
[Karrenberg, Development of RIRs] In order to accommodate more address blocks, this was replaced by classless Inter-Domain Routing in 1993.
The fields in the header are important to the protocol’s second main function: fragmentation of data. IP fragments information by breaking it into manageable parts. Each part has its own header that contains the sender’s address, destination address, and other information that guides it through the Internet to its intended destination. When the various packets arrive at the final destination, they are put back together into their original form.
IPv4 Address Conservation
Networks seek to conserve IPv4 Addresses through the following techniques:
The use of Network Address Translation devices (NATs) which allow whole networks to be placed behind single IP addresses Classless Interdomain Routing; CIDR Reclaiming unused IPv4 address space
See IPv6 Number Migration. Recovering IPv4 Address Space , ICANN Blog (Feb. 6, 2008) ("With help from the Regional Internet Registries, three /8s were returned in 2007 and last month we recovered one more.")
- 2011 Feb. 3: Last IP Address Blocks handed down from IANA to RIRs
- 2000 the Department of Commerce entered into a contract with ICANN for ICANN to do the IANA function
- 1999 IANA function was transferred to ICANN
- Jon Postel dies
- Jon Postel redirects Root away from NetSol and to IANA. White House calls and tells him to stop. [Donelan] [Wikipedia]
- 1993: Classless Interdomain Routing
- 1991: "NIC transitioned to Government Systems Inc., who subcontracted the work to Network Solutions, Inc." [ISOC p 2]
- 1988 IANA (at ISI) was funded by DARPA. This contract expired in 1997.
- 1987: "the responsibility for the assignment of IP numbers and ASNs was assumed by the Hostmaster at the DDN Network Information Center." [ISOC p 2]
- 1983: Joyce Reynolds begins to assist with the IANA function
- 1977: Postel joins the staff of University of Southern California 's Information Sciences Institute
- 1969: Jon Postel volunteers to manage the networks names and numbers, what will become the IANA function. Postel, according to histories, kept track of network number assignments in a paper notebook.
IP Address Block Allocations and Transfers
Derived From: Potential Impacts on Communications from IPv4 Exhaustion & IPv6 Transition Robert Cannon, OSP, December 2010 Paper: Word | Acrobat |
IP address blocks have historically been allocated based on need. 1 The costs involved in receiving an allocation are nominal and are not generally a factor in considering whether to apply for an allocation. 2 The principle requirement has been the ability to demonstrate need for the IP addresses, pursuant to community developed RIR address policy. If an address block was not needed, it would (in theory) be returned; it could not be traded.
IPv4 conservation has dampened the pace of IPv4 exhaustion. In the early days of the Internet when the US dominated Internet use, some US firms received large IPv4 block allocations; some of these entities have returned unused IPv4 address resources to Internet number registries. 3 While these conservation efforts have helped, they have merely delayed IPv4 exhaustion without solving the long-term problem. 4
One proposal has been to allow transfers and trade of IP blocks (instead of returning unused resources to the RIRs). 5 This could create an incentive for holders of underutilized IP address blocks to sell them to parties that would put them to more productive use. 6 Transferring IPv4 number allocations would enable new entrants to acquire assignments of IP number resources that are not subordinate to a legacy stakeholder. 7 It would also take pressure off during the transition period, permitting networks to continue to expand, and allowing those engaged in the transition additional time to resolve any transition issues encountered. 8 Two RIRs have policies that permit transfers of IP address block assignments under certain conditions. 9
The addresses transferred are just numbers. For them to be valuable, they must be routable. The routability of the numbers could be unstable if an RIR does not authenticate the transfer, if conflicting claims to the numbers arise, or if there is any other corruption in the integrity of a unique number assignment to network. 10
Unauthorized transfers could create an issue of the RIR not having a direct relationship with, and knowledge of, the transferee, and thus be unable to maintain accurate address assignment records along with associated contact information. 11
There is concern that the scarcity of IPv4 numbers will result in IPv4 number hijacking where addresses are utilized by someone other than the assignee of record. 12
Hijacking IP addresses for purposes of spam may be a violation of federal law. According to 18 USC 1037(a)(5): " Whoever, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly-... (5) falsely represents oneself to be the registrant or the legitimate successor in interest to the registrant of 5 or more Internet Protocol addresses, and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from such addresses, .... or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b)." See Can Spam Act.
Ray Plzak, IP Address Hijacking: An ARIN Perspective (Nov. 2003) (PDF)
The resulting lack of accurate address information also has significant implications for law enforcement and global anti-cybercrime efforts.
Finally, there is also concern about the impact of address transfers on the routing table and fragmentation.
1 Geoff Huston, IPv4 Address Report.
2See ARIN Number Resource Policy Manual, Sec. 4.2 Allocation to ISPs (Jan. 13, 2010).
3 Lljitsch van Beinjnum, Everything You Need to Know About IPv6, Ars Technica (Mar. 7, 2007) ("For instance, IBM, Xerox, HP, DEC, Apple and MIT all received "class A" address blocks of nearly 17 million addresses. (So HP, which acquired DEC, has more than 33 million addresses.)"); Geoff Huston, IPv4 Address Report ("Unneeded addresses are to be passed back to the registry. "); Recovering IPv4 Address Space, ICANN Blog (Feb. 6, 2008) ("With help from the Regional Internet Registries, three /8s were returned in 2007 and last month we recovered one more.")
4 Lljitsch van Beinjnum, Everything You Need to Know About IPv6, Ars Technica (Mar. 7, 2007) (such efforts only buys us a few more years).
5See Milton Mueller, Scarcity in IPv4 Addresses: IPv4 Address Transfer Markets and the Regional Internet Address Registries, IGP (July 20, 2008); OECD Study: Economic considerations in the management of IPv4 and in the deployment of IPv6, p. 26 (May 2008); Huston, G., IPv4 address transfers, proposed to APNIC on 26 July 2007 ; Titley, N. and van Mook, R., Enabling methods for reallocation of IPv4 resources, (Oct. 23, 2007); Dan Campbell, Comments on an IP Address Trading Market , CIRCLEID (Feb. 15, 2008).
6See Next Generation Internet: IPv4 Address Exhaustion, Mitigation Strategies and Implications for the US, IEEE-USA White Paper, p. 11 (2009); Communication From the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Advancing the Internet: Action Plan for the Deployment of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) in Europe, p. 4 (May 27, 2008). See RIPE NCC IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region, Sec. 5.5 Feb. 2010.
7 OECD Study: Economic considerations in the management of IPv4 and in the deployment of IPv6, p. 27 (May 2008).
8 Milton Mueller, Scarcity in IPv4 Addresses: IPv4 Address Transfer Markets and the Regional Internet Address Registries, IGP p. 17 (July 20, 2008) ( " The transition could turn out to be more complicated, costly and difficult than anticipated, and we don't know how long it will last. If we try to use an address shortage to force ISPs into making the transition before they are ready, we could develop damaging gaps in connectivity due to shortages of address resources and compatibility problems. " ).
9See ARIN Number Resource Policy Manual, Sec. 4.2.3 Reassigning Address Space to Customers (Sept. 2010); IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for RIPE NCC Service Region, Sec. 5.5 Transfers of Allocations (Oct. 2010).
10See OECD Study: Economic considerations in the management of IPv4 and in the deployment of IPv6, p. 27 (May 2008); Ray Plzak, IP Address Hijacking: An ARIN Perspective (Nov. 2003) (PDF).
11 See Dan Campbell, Comments on an IP Address Trading Market, CIRCLEID (Feb. 15, 2008); IPv6 in Canada: Final Report and Recommendations of the ISACC IPv6 Task Group (IITG), IITG Final Report to ISACC, ISACC-10-42200, p. 16 (Mar. 16, 2010) (" Unclear ownership of some IPv4 addresses plus a lack of tools to block wrong addresses could lead to instability of the routing system ") .
12 Ray Plzak, IP Address Hijacking: An ARIN Perspective (Nov. 2003).
"Stanford University , which was originally allocated nearly 17 million IP addresses , restructured its network in 2000 and gave back a Class A address block equal to approximately 16 million IP addresses. See Carolyn Marsan, “Stanford Move Rekindles ‘Net Address Debate,’” NWFusion (Jan. 24, 2000), NTIA Report: Technical and Economic Assessment of IPv6, p. 12 n 47 July 2004
Notes :: IP Numbers as Property
- The contracts between RIR's and IP address blocks generally states that IP blocks are not property.
- ARIN Number Resource Policy Manual Sec. 6.4.1 IP Numbers Are Not Property
- Sec. 8.3 Transfers to Specified Recipients
- This is a contractual agreement between parties and may not be binding on third parties
- There are however some legacy blocks that were allocated before the current RIR scheme.
- Recently a bankruptcy court approved the transfer of Nortel's IPv4 address block to Microsoft. Implicit in this decision is that the IPv4 addresses are property.
- Legacy Registration Services Agreement April 30, 2011 "Effective immediately, the transferor of legacy address space is not required to have the resources under a current registration services agreement with ARIN. In the absence of a Legacy RSA or RSA, transfer requests may take longer than expected and/or not be completed at all, because the address holder must be verified and confirmed to be a valid transferor via the vetting process."
- The FCC's policy is that telephone numbers are not property.
- NANOG Panel: The IPv4 Secondary Market Feb. 6, 2012 "Panel with a RIR with runout, a RIR facing runout, a "broker" who operates in the grey market, and someone who's helping others figure out ways to do more with less."
- Stern v. The Islamic Republic of Iran, Civil No. 00-2602 (DCDC Nov. 10, 2014).
- There is little authority on the question of whether Internet domain names may be attached in satisfaction of a judgment. Indeed, no reported decision of any American court appears to have decided the specific issue of whether a ccTLD may be attached. The Virginia Supreme Court's discussion of these issues in Network Solutions Inc. v. Umbro Int'l, Inc., 529 SE2d 80 (VA. 2000) is helpful in illuminating the questions presented. There, the court held that a domain name could not be garnished by a judgment creditor under the relevant Virginia statute because it was "inextricably bound" to the domain name services provided by the registry operator. Id. At 86. The court elaborated: "[W]hatever contractual rights the judgment debtor has in the domain names at issue in this appeal, those rights do not exist separate and apart from [the registry] services that make the domain names operational Internet addresses." Id. The court further observed that allowing garnishment of a registry's services as part of garnishing a right to a domain name would mean that "practically any service would be garnishable." Id. At 86-87.
The Court finds this reasoning persuasive as applied to District of Columbia [where this suit was filed] attachment law as well. The ccTLDs exist only as they are made operational by the ccTLD managers that administer the registries of second level domain names within them and by the parties that cause the ccTLDs to be listed on the root zone file. A ccTLD, like a domain name, cannot be conceptualized apart from the services provided by these parties. The Court cannot order plaintiffs' insertion into this arrangement. Cf. United States ex rel. Global Bldg. Supply, Inc. v. Harkins Builders, Inc., 45 F.3d 830, 833 (4th Cir. 1995) (holding that "where the property is in the form of a contract right, the judgment creditor does not 'step into the shoes' of the judgment debtor and become a party to the contract, but merely has the right to hold the garnishee liable for the value of that contract right").
While interpretations of the DC Code are sparse, they tend to support this understanding of ccTLDs. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has held that "money payable upon a contingency or condition is not subject to garnishment until the contingency has happened or the condition has been fulfilled." Cummings Gen. Tire Co. v. Volpe Constr. Co., 230 A.2d 712, 713 (DC 1967). Thus, payments under a contract that are conditioned upon completion of the work contracted for are not subject to garnishment because the "existence and amount" of the debt is "contingent and uncertain." Id. While this suit does not squarely fit within the rule articulated by the court in Cummings General Tire, that rule does illuminate the fact that courts may not, through garnishment proceedings, insert a judgment creditor into an ongoing contractual arrangement that necessarily requires continued work or service to have value. Here, the ccTLDs only have value because they are operated by ccTLD managers and because they are connected to computers around the world through the root zone. DC law does not allow their attachment.
- ICANN's legal filings.
- A U.S. federal court has agreed with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that the country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) are not property subject to attachment. ICANN Nov. 12, 2014 A U.S. federal court has agreed with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that the country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) are not property subject to attachment.
Ripe NCC, “Global Distribution of IP-Addresses,”. RIPE NCC IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region, Sec. 5.5 Feb. 2010 Depository Inc. Internet Registry
Internet Control Message Protocol: runs on top of IP. in parallel with TCP and UDP. Triggered when packets encounters errors, such as time exceeded or destination unreachable. ICMP packet sent to source IP address with error message information.
IP Number Under the current Internet Protocol system, each machine connected to an Internet Protocol ("IP") network is addressed using a 32 bit number, the IP address. these addresses are usually written in "dotted quad" notation, as a series of four 8 bit numbers, written in decimal and separated by periods. for example, an IP address might appear as 184.108.40.206. Many machines have more than one IP address. For example, a machine hosting multiple websites often has an IP address for each website it hosts. Other times, a pool of IP addresses is shared between a number of machines e.g. on a dynamic IP dialup connection such as the Prodigy Internet Service, a subscriber's machine will be allocated a different IP address each time the subscriber connects. -- British Telecom v. Prodigy, OO Civ 9451, Memorandum and Order Granting Summary Judgment (SDNY August 22, 2002) (citations omitted).
Public IP Address Space: This term is not formally defined (that I know of). It is the address space that is not the reserved private IP address space (in other words, defined as what it is not). Public IP addresses are routable on the Internet. Unlike private addresses, public addresses are globally unique. [Microsoft Public and Private Addresses]
Private IP Address Space: An allocation of IP addresses intended to be utilized on a private network for internal routing and not to be announced or routed to the public Internet. Since the address block is not announced and routed, it can be re-used over and over inside networks without creating an addressing conflict (something like PBX in the telephony world). Private addresses are used behind NATs.
- IETF RFC 1918, Address Allocation for Private Internets (February 1996) ("This document describes address allocation for private internets. The allocation permits full network layer connectivity among all hosts inside an enterprise as well as among all public hosts of different enterprises.");
- IETF RFC 4193, Unique Local IPv6 Unicast Addresses (October 2005) ("This document defines an IPv6 unicast address format that is globally unique and is intended for local communications, usually inside of a site. These addresses are not expected to be routable on the global Internet.")
- Milton Mueller and Brenden Kuerbis, Regional Address Registries, Governance and Internet Freedom (November 26, 2008). Internet Governance Project. Paper IGP08-005.
- Kim Davies, An Introduction to IANA, September 28, 2008
- Stephen M Ryan, Raymond A Ptzak, John Curran, Legal and Policy Aspects of Internet Number Resources, Santa Clara Computer & High Tech Journal Vol 24 Issue 2 Page 335
- IPv4 WHOIS Map, CAIDA 10/10/2007
- Development of the RIRs, IP Journal (Dec. 2001)
- S. Romano, M Stahl, RFC 1020, Internet Numbers (Nov. 1997) ("The responsibility for the assignment of IP numbers and ASNs has been assumed by Hostmaster at the DDN Network Information Center (NIC). The Hostmaster staff are indebted to Dr. Jon Postel and Ms. Joyce Reynolds of the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California for their ongoing assistance.")
- 3COM: Understanding IP Addressing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know PDF
- Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE-NCC; Gerard Ross, APNIC; Paul Wilson, APNIC; Leslie Nobile, ARIN, Development of the Regional Internet Registry System (December 2001)
- Internet Society, A Fine Balance: Internet Number Resource Distribution and DeCentralisation [ISOC]
- B. Carpenter, IAB, F. Baker, IETF, M. Roberts, ICANN, RFC #2860, Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Technical Work of the Internet Assigned Number Authority (June 2000)
- IETF RFC 2050: Goals and Guidelines of RIRs
- J Reynolds, J Postel, IETF RFC 1700, Assigned Numbers (Oct 1994) ("The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the central coordinator for the assignment of unique parameter values for Internet protocols. The IANA is chartered by the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Federal Network Council (FNC) to act as the clearinghouse to assign and coordinate the use of numerous Internet protocol parameters.")
- J. Reynolds, J. Postel, RFC #1060, Assigned Numbers (Mar. 1990)
- Postel, J., "Assigned Numbers," RFC 790, September 1981
- RFC 791, Internet Protocol: DARPA Internet Program Protocol Specification , (Sept 1981) ("This document specifies the DoD Standard Internet Protocol. This document is based on six earlier editions of the ARPA Internet Protocol Specification, and the present text draws heavily from them.")
- RFC 760, DOD Standard: Internet Protocol (Jan. 1980) ("This document specifies the DoD Standard Internet Protocol.")
- V. Cerf, J. Postel, RFC #322, Well Known Socket Numbers (Mar. 26, 1972)
- IP Number Hijacking
- Ray Plzak, IP Address Hijacking: An ARIN Perspective (Nov. 2003) (PDF)
- How Prevalent is Prefix HiJakcing on the Internet, NANOG Feb. 2006 (attributing significant number of misconfigs to fat-fingers).
- Regional Internet Registries Statistics and Activities, NANOG 3/26/2004
- American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN <www.arin.net>),
- Internet Moves Toward Privatization, NSF Press Release 97-046 (June 24, 1997)
- Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNic <www.apnic.net>),
- RIPE Network Coordination Centre <www.ripe.net>,
- Latin American and Caribbean IP address Regional Registry (Lacnic <www.lacnic.net>), and
- AfriNIC <www.afrinic.net>.
- PanAfrica: Africa's Own Net Registry On Track, AllAfrica 6/1/200
- See ICANN and RIR Relationship Agreement 2002
- Number Resource Organization
- Internet Number Resource Report, Number Resource Organization (March 2014). This data is updated quarterly and is available at NRO Statistics.
IANA IPv4 Address Space Allocations IPv6 Top Level Aggregation Identifier Assignments ASNs Autonomous System Numbers Geoff Huston :: IPv4 Report :: IPv6 Report :: USG :: NIST :: CSD :: IPSec Project
Liability Based on IP Numbers