Network Working Group                                            V. Cerf
Request for Comments:  1174                                         CNRI
                                                             August 1990

 IAB Recommended Policy on Distributing Internet Identifier Assignment
      IAB Recommended Policy Change to Internet "Connected" Status

Status of this Memo

   This informational RFC represents the official view of the Internet
   Activities Board (IAB), and describes the recommended policies and
   procedures on distributing Internet identifier assignments and
   dropping the connected status requirement.  This RFC does not specify
   a standard.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Table of Contents

   Status of this Memo...............................................  1
   Overview..........................................................  1
   1.  Recommendation about Internet Identifiers.....................  2
   1.1.  Summary.....................................................  2
   1.2.  Introduction................................................  2
   1.3.  Proposed Method of Operation................................  2
   2.  Recommendation about Connected Status.........................  3
   2.1.  Summary.....................................................  3
   2.2.  Introduction................................................  3
   2.3.  Recommendations.............................................  4
   2.a.1.  Attachment 1..............................................  4
   2.a.1.1.  Summary.................................................  4
   2.a.1.2.  Background..............................................  4
   2.a.1.3.  Recommendation..........................................  6
   2.a.1.4.  Discussion..............................................  7
   2.a.2.  Attachment 2..............................................  8
   Security Considerations...........................................  8
   Author's Address..................................................  9


   This RFC includes two recommendations from the IAB to the FNC.  The
   first is a "Recommended Policy on Distributing Internet Identifier
   Assignment", that is, a suggestion to distribute the function of
   assigning network and autonomous system numbers.  The second is a
   "Recommended Policy Change to Internet 'Connected' Status", that is,
   a suggestion to drop the notion of connected status in favor of
   recording the acceptable use policy and traffic access policy for
   each network.  Included in this second recommendation is the explict

Cerf                                                            [Page 1]

RFC 1174       Identifier Assignment and Connected Status    August 1990

   suggestion that any registered network may be entered into the DNS
   database without regard to connected status.

1.  Recommendation about Internet Identifiers

   To: Chairman, Federal Networking Council
   From: Chairman, Internet Activities Board
   Subject: Recommended Policy on Distributing Internet
            Identifier Assignment

1.1.  Summary

   This document recommends procedures for distributing assignment of
   Internet identifiers (network and autonomous system numbers).

1.2.  Introduction

   Throughout its entire history, the Internet system has employed a
   central Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for the allocation
   and assignment of various numeric identifiers needed for the
   operation of the Internet.  The IANA function is performed by USC
   Information Sciences Institute.  The IANA has the discretionary
   authority to delegate portions of this responsibility and, with
   respect to numeric network and autonomous system identifiers, has
   lodged this responsibility with an Internet Registry (IR).  This
   function is performed by SRI International at its Network Information
   Center (DDN-NIC).

   With the rapid escalation of the number of networks in the Internet
   and its concurrent internationalization, it is timely to consider
   further delegation of assignment and registration authority on an
   international basis.  It is also essential to take into consideration
   that such identifiers, particularly network identifiers of class A
   and B type, will become an increasingly scarce commodity whose
   allocation must be handled with thoughtful care.

1.3.  Proposed Method of Operation

   It is proposed to retain the centralized IANA and IR functions.

   The IR would continue to be the principal registry for all network
   and autonomous system numbers.  It would also continue to maintain
   the list of root Domain Name System servers and a database of
   registered nets and autonomous systems.

   In addition, however, the IR would also allocate to organizations
   approved by the Coordinating Committee for Intercontinental Research

Cerf                                                            [Page 2]

RFC 1174       Identifier Assignment and Connected Status    August 1990

   Networking (CCIRN) blocks of network and autonomous system numbers,
   as needed, and delegate to them further assignment authority.

   It is recommended that, at least initially, the IR serve as the
   default registry in cases where no delegated registration authority
   has been identified.

   Copies of the aggregate Internet registration database(s) should be
   maintained by the IR and copies provided to each delegated registry
   to improve redundancy and access to this information.  Updates to the
   database, however, would still be centralized at the IR with complete
   copies redistributed by file transfer or other means on a timely

   It is recommended that candidate delegated registries meet with the
   IANA and IR to review operational procedures and requirements and to
   produce documentation to be issued as RFCs describing the details of
   the proposed distributed mode of operation.

   It is recommended that host Domain Name registration continue in its
   present form which already accommodates distribution of this

2.  Recommendation about Connected Status

   To: Chairman, Federal Networking Council (FNC)
   From: Chairman, Internet Activities Board
   Subject: Recommended Policy Change to Internet "Connected" Status

2.1.  Summary

   This memorandum recommends a change in the current policy for
   associating "connected" status to a subset of networks which have
   been assigned an Internet identifier.

2.2.  Introduction

   In the following, the term Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA)
   refers to the organization which has primary authority to allocate
   and assign numeric identifiers required for operation of the
   Internet.  This function is presently performed by USC Information
   Sciences Institute.  The term Internet Registry (IR) refers to the
   organization which has the responsibility for gathering and
   registering information about networks to which identifiers (network
   numbers, autonomous system numbers) have been assigned by the IR.  At
   present, SRI International serves as the IR.

Cerf                                                            [Page 3]

RFC 1174       Identifier Assignment and Connected Status    August 1990

   Attachments (1) and (2) outline the rationale for and implications of
   changing the current policy for associating "connected" status with
   only a subset of networks which have been assigned Internet

2.3.  Recommendations

   The following actions are recommended:

      1. The Internet Registry should be instructed to drop all
      reference to "connected" status in its databases and in its forms
      for Internet network and autonomous system registration.

      2. The Internet Registry should be instructed to request brief
      statements of acceptable network usage, access and transit policy
      for external traffic (i.e., traffic entering from or exiting to
      other networks) from each applicant for a network or autonomous
      system identifier.  For example, some networks conform to the
      National Science Foundation acceptable use guidelines; other
      networks will carry any traffic (e.g., common carriers); others
      may prohibit transit use.  Retrospective statements should be
      gathered by the IR for networks already registered.  Such
      statements should be made available on-line and widely publicized.

      3. The Internet Registry should be instructed to allow any
      registered networks to be entered into the Domain Name Server
      database without regard to "connected" status.

   Attachment: (1) Recommendation for replacement of "Connected" Status
               (2) Recommendation on DNS and Connectivity

2.a.1.  Attachment 1

Recommendation for Replacement of "Connected" Status

2.a.1.1.  Summary

   A revision of the current Internet procedures controlling connection
   to the Internet is recommended to solve urgent problems caused by
   Internet growth both in the US and internationally.  The
   recommendation involves relaxation of the present "connected" status
   rule and the creation of a policy database to guide network

2.a.1.2.  Background

   With the demise of the ARPANET and the growth of a global Internet,
   the administration and registration of Internet network numbers has

Cerf                                                            [Page 4]

RFC 1174       Identifier Assignment and Connected Status    August 1990

   outgrown its initially conceived client base: military, government
   and government-sponsored research organizations.  Since the
   international growth has extended the Internet community to industry
   and a broad range of academic and research institutions, we must re-
   evaluate some of the criteria for assignment and use of Internet
   network numbers.

   In the early phases of the Internet research project, numbers were
   assigned only to networks of organizations that were participating in
   the research effort.  Later, as the system became more stable and
   expanded into a widespread infrastructure, other organizations with
   networks were assigned network numbers and allowed to interconnect if
   they were parts of the U.S. Government or sponsored by a Government
   organization.  To ensure global uniqueness, a single Internet
   Registry (IR) was designated: the Defense Data Net Network
   Information Center (DDN-NIC) at SRI International.

   As the Internet protocols became popular in the commercial
   marketplace, many organizations purchased and installed private
   networks that needed network number assignments but were not intended
   to be connected to the federally-sponsored system.  The IR adopted a
   policy of assigning network numbers to all who requested them, while
   distinguishing networks permitted to link to the global Internet by
   assigning them "connected" status.  Essentially, this meant that the
   network to which the number was assigned had the sanction of a U.S.
   Government sponsoring organization to link to the Internet.

   The present day Internet encompasses networks that serve as
   intermediaries to access the federally-sponsored backbones.  Many of
   these intermediate networks were initiated under the sponsorship of
   the National Science Foundation.  Some have been founded without
   federal assistance as consortia of using organizations.  The
   Government has expressed a desire that all such networks be self-
   supporting, without the need for federal subsidy.  To achieve this
   goal, it has been essential for the intermediate networks to support
   an increasingly varied range of users.  A great many industrial
   participants can be found on the intermediate level networks.  Their
   use of the federally-sponsored backbones is premised on the basis
   that the traffic is in support of academic, scholarly or other
   research work.  The criteria for use of the intermediate level
   networks alone is sometimes more relaxed and, in the cases of the
   newly-formed commercial networks, there are no restrictions at all.

   In essence, each network needs to be able to determine, on the basis
   of its own criteria, with which networks it will interconnect and for
   which networks it will support transit service.  There is no longer a
   simple binary correlation between "connected" status and acceptable
   use policy.  The matter becomes even more complex as we contemplate

Cerf                                                            [Page 5]

RFC 1174       Identifier Assignment and Connected Status    August 1990

   the large and growing number of non-U.S. networks joining the global
   Internet.  It is inappropriate to require that all of these networks
   adhere to U.S. access and use criteria; rather, it can only be
   required that the traffic they send through the federally-sponsored
   networks be consistent with the federal criteria.

2.a.1.3.  Recommendation

   Since the concept of a single, global "connected" status is no longer
   meaningful, it is recommended that it be retired and to define new
   characteristics that could be used by networks within the Internet to
   determine a specific network's eligibility to communicate with other

   Some attributes which might be useful to track and could be used as
   criteria to determine the acceptability of Internet traffic for
   routing purposes include:

       1) Country codes

       2) Conformance to acceptable use policy for:
             NSFNET, MILNET, NSI, ESnet, NORDUnet, ...

   To implement this idea, the IR would update the current Internet-
   Number-Template to query applicants for the necessary information.
   This information would then be collected in a database containing,
   for instance, a matrix of network numbers over policies.  Note that
   the policies might be presented in narrative form.  In addition, the
   usage policies of the various networks must be publicly available so
   that applicants and other interested parties can be advised of policy
   issues as they relate to various networks.

   Under this proposal, the IR would be charged with the registration
   and administration of the Internet number space but not with the
   enforcement of policy.  The IR should collect enough information to
   permit network administrators to make intelligent decisions as to the
   acceptability of traffic destined to or from each and every
   legitimate Internet number.  Enforcement of policies is discussed

   At a later step, we anticipate that it will be desirable to
   distribute the IR function among multiple centers, e.g., with centers
   on different continents.  This should be straight-forward once the IR
   function is divorced from policy enforcement.

Cerf                                                            [Page 6]

RFC 1174       Identifier Assignment and Connected Status    August 1990

2.a.1.4.  Discussion

   It is already true in the current Internet that there are
   restrictions on certain traffic on particular networks.  For example,
   two intermediate level networks that are willing to carry arbitrary
   traffic can link with each other but are barred from passing
   commercial traffic or any other traffic that is not for academic or
   scholarly purposes across the federally-sponsored backbones.

   Routing of traffic based upon acceptable-use policies requires a
   technical ability known as "policy-based routing" (PBR).  At the
   present time, the PBR mechanism available in the Internet operates as
   the level of an entire network; all users and hosts on a network are
   subject to the same routes for a given destination.  Using this PBR
   mechanism, a network maintains routes (and provides transit services)
   only for networks with compatible use policies.  For an intermediate
   level network, for example, the routing decisions must be made on the
   basis of the network numbers assigned to the organizations; some
   might be considered to have traffic conformant with federal use
   policies and some might not.

   Although it is much more fine-grained than the current "on or off"
   rule of connected status, the use of PBR based on networks is still a
   very coarse measure of control.  Since the decision on acceptability
   is made at the network level, one has to assign a set of
   characteristics to all traffic emanating from or entering into a
   given network to make this access control strategy work.  Strict
   application of such controls could prevent a commercial organization
   from legitimately sending research or scholarly data across the
   federal backbone (e.g., IBM needs to communicate with MCI and MERIT
   about NSFNET, but other parts of IBM may need to communicate on
   commercial matters). Organizations with a variety of uses might have
   to artificially define several networks with which to associate
   different use policies.

   The practical result is that in order to support desirable usage
   patterns, government-sponsored networks will sometimes have to depend
   upon self-policing by traffic sources, rather than upon strict
   mechanical enforcement of acceptable use policies.  Higher certainty
   on usage will have a cost in terms of limiting desirable access.

   An important project now underway in the Internet Engineering Task
   Force (IETF) is developing a more general mechanism for PBR that will
   allow control at the level of individual hosts and possibly even
   user.  It will give an end host or user the ability to select routes,
   taking into consideration issues such as cost, performance and
   reliability of the transit networks.

Cerf                                                            [Page 7]

RFC 1174       Identifier Assignment and Connected Status    August 1990

2.a.2.  Attachment 2

IAB Policy Recommendation on DNS and Connectivity

   The Internet Domain Name system (DNS) is an essential part of the
   networking infrastructure.  It establishes a global distributed
   database for mapping host names into IP addresses and for delivering
   electronic mail.  Its efficient and reliable functioning is vital to
   nearly all Internet users.

   Some DNS operations depend upon the existence of a complete database
   at certain "root" servers, in particular at the Internet Registry
   (IP) located at the Defense Data Net Network Information Center at
   SRI International (DDN-NIC).  The past policy has been to tie
   inclusion in this database to approval of Internet interconnection by
   a U.S. Government agency.  This "connected" status restriction is no
   longer viable, and recommendations for its replacement have been put

   In any case, we believe that the DNS database is not the proper
   architectural level for enforcement of administrative access
   restrictions, e.g., controls over the announcement of networks in the
   routing protocols.

   The Internet Activities Board (IAB) therefore strongly endorses the
   following recommendation from the Federal Engineering Planning Group
   to the Federal Networking Council, to provide DNS service regardless
   of access control policies:

      "There has been a great deal of discussion about domain
      nameservers, the IN-ADDR domain, and "connected" status as the
      Internet has grown to include many more nations than just the
      United States.  As we move to a more global Internet, it seems
      like it would be a good idea to re-evaluate some of the rules that
      have governed the naming and registration policies that exist.

      The naming and routing should be completely decoupled.  In
      particular, it should be possible to register both a name/domain,
      as well as address servers within the IN-ADDR domain, independent
      of whether the client has "connected" status or not.  This should
      be implemented immediately by the IR at the DDN-NIC.  No U.S.
      Government sponsor should be required for domain name/address

Security Considerations

   Security issues are not addressed in this memo.

Cerf                                                            [Page 8]

RFC 1174       Identifier Assignment and Connected Status    August 1990

Author's Address

   Vinton G. Cerf
   Corporation for National Research Initiatives
   1895 Preston White Drive, Suite 100
   Reston, VA 22091

   Phone: (703) 620-8990


Cerf                                                            [Page 9]