[PDB-gov] [PDB-announce] PeeringDB survey with regard to the future of PeeringDB

Dave Temkin dave at temk.in
Thu Aug 6 17:34:08 PDT 2015

This is a real concern.
What happens when Cogent sues over being banned? Where will the tens of thousands in legal fees and then the millions, should they win, come from?
Companies will not donate money to pay legal bills to defend against capricious lawsuits. It sounds like a noble cause, but at the end of the day, there's no tangible value. 
Dan is right. This belongs in a well funded org that derives their income elsewhere.

On Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 5:29 PM -0700, "Daniel Golding" <dgolding at google.com> wrote:

See inline...

On Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 8:13 PM, Chris Caputo <ccaputo at alt.net> wrote:
I think everyone involved is trying to work from a place of logic and


Some things to ponder...

Who are the PeeringDB stakeholders?

  - admins?

  - individual users?

  - organizational users?  (networks? IXes? datacenters?)

  - donors?

  - ???

I suspect networks, IXs, datacenters are the primary stakeholders and will likely be the largest donors. 

Who should be the Members (the group that elects the Board) of PeeringDB?

  - admins?

  - individual users?

  - organizational users?  (networks? IXes? datacenters?)

  - donors?

  - ???

This is tough and there needs to be input from the community. Does membership tie into financing? Are people willing to pay another membership fee? Is there a huge risk by just requiring people to sign up and not pay anything?

How is Membership determined?

  - free?

  - fee?

  - service?

  - qualifications?

  - ???

 "Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?" /s
If part of another organization, how would the interests of the

stakeholders be maintained?

Either the stakeholders would have to be confident in the organization or there would have to be a mechanism to ensure that its constituency has a strong voice. I think different organizations have managed to pull this off. 
Would donors who have a problem with or are not a member of a parent

organization be dissuaded from donating to a sub-account devoted to


Earmarking funds is a common mechanism. Of course, picking a parent organization that is not particularly controversial would be important.  
How would a parent organization deal with and absorb the potential

liability that comes from operating PeeringDB? An example of that

liability being when a spammer harvests from the PeeringDB database and

gets shut out, they could sue the organization. Or even if they don't sue,

will they withdraw support from the parent organization or cause problems.

How will that impact future decision making in the interests of PeeringDB

versus the parent organization?

This is actually the benefit of being part of a larger organization. Its trivial to sue a PeeringDB-Inc with minimal assets - almost anyone could do it and you would just need to outspend PeeringDB-Inc. The reason why other organizations like ARIN have large warchests is to forestall this - those large pockets might look attractive, but they hire lawyers. Professional staff is also important - a lawsuit against volunteers is pretty easy, but when you have dedicated staff its easier to defend yourself.

The answers to the above are challenging. It is thought by some

stakeholders that organizing into an independent organization is a clear

solution, and that there are enough financial supporters out there who

have expressed support and agree, to make it worthwhile. Obviously, there

are others who disagree.

Is there a list of those who have pledged support with amounts? If the commits are "hard" and the list is long and trustworthy, then you will have answered one of the important questions without any real debate. 

Re Membership questions posed above: At present there is no good answer.

There's a desire to avoid membership fees. There's a desire for

representation of both users and admins. The thought by folks working on

independent organization effort, so far, was to have an initial membership

consisting of the initial Board of Directors. The idea being that these

individuals (*) are trusted enough by the PeeringDB community to steward

PeeringDB from its present state to one of being legally organized and on

a path toward tax-exempt status. The initial Board can then revise the

Bylaws to be more inclusive.

Why avoid membership fees? A nominal fee can be a very handy tool against trolls infiltrating the organization. 
It could be this should be re-examined in the interest of transparency,

legitimacy, and securing a mandate. Maybe PeeringDB voting Membership

could be defined simply as those subscribed to the pdb-gov

(http://lists.peeringdb.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/pdb-gov) mailing list

with active PeeringDB accounts. From there, drafts of Articles & Bylaws

can be evolved, along with nominations of initial Board members to be

listed on the Articles. I think all of the proposed Board members are

happy to step aside in favor of those who receive greater support from the

community, myself included.

But the first question is, do we organize independently? Hence the survey.


*: Aaron Hughes, Matt Griswold, Patrick W. Gilmore, Richard A Steenbergen,

and myself.

Disclosure: In 2014, Patrick retained me to help get PeeringDB organized

into a non-profit U.S. IRS 501(c)(6) due to my experience with the SIX

(Seattle IX). He asked me to do so by being a Board Member and

Secretary/Treasurer of the proposed organization. Not expecting this

process to take so long or be divisive, I put those positions on my

Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. I hope doing so did not cause additional

confusion or appearance of presumption. They have now been removed.

On Thu, 6 Aug 2015, Daniel Golding wrote:

> Peering DB Community,


> Just to provide some additional color from one of those who believes more

> transparency and logic should be applied to the situation....


> A number of us in the community are skeptical of the need for yet another

> organization with resulting overhead (which is significant). In addition,

> there is concern regarding the initial makeup of any proposed PeeringDB

> board - namely, that it may not be representative of the largest user

> groups and potential contributors to PeeringDB. There is concern about the

> degree of transparency to this point - that most decisions are being made

> on a closed "admin-only" list.


> PeeringDB will be funded, theoretically, by contributions or memberships.

> For this reason, its vital that the Board be representative of the

> potential contributor base, as well as absolutely free of potential

> conflicts of interest.


> Of course, one way to avoid these unpleasant issues is to associate with

> another, better funded organization, to operate in a semi-autonomous

> manner.


> Thanks,

> Daniel Golding


> Disclosures: I work for Google and we have a vested interest in the success

> of PeeringDB. I am Chair of NANOG, and NANOG is one of the choices on the

> Survey, but I'd be just as happy to see this activity under OpenIX or the

> Internet Society.



> On Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 12:05 PM, Aaron Hughes <aaronh at tcp0.com> wrote:


> > Fellow PeeringDB Community,

> >

> > It has come to our attention that several community members believe more

> > transparency and logic could have been applied to the initial survey

> > regarding where PeeringDB functions should live. We respectfully request a

> > poll from the community with a more formal survey in order to keep with the

> > spirit of PeeringDB transparency and bottom up.

> >

> > PeeringDB has been operating for years with no official corporate umbrella

> > or liability protection. There has been much discussion in recent months

> > about officially organizing into an IRS non-profit, so that users may

> > contribute funding and be assured that their contributions will best serve

> > PeeringDB's evolution.

> >

> > Please review and complete the following survey:

> >

> > https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZDM6RNK

> >

> > This survey will close on 15, Aug 2015 2359h UTC

> >

> > Sincerely,

> >

> > PeeringDB Admins

> >

> > --

> >

> > Aaron Hughes

> > aaronh at tcp0.com

> > +1-703-244-0427

> > PGP Public Key ID: 0xF6B1DEC2

> > Key fingerprint = 6486 43A5 1692 502C DCFC  8446 C714 E317 F6B1 DEC2

> > http://www.tcp0.com/

> >

> > Request a meeting with me: https://doodle.com/aaronh

> >

> > _______________________________________________

> > Pdb-announce mailing list

> > Pdb-announce at lists.peeringdb.com

> > http://lists.peeringdb.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/pdb-announce

> >

> >



> --

> Dan Golding | Data Center Strategy | Global Network Acquisition |

> dgolding at google.com |  +1 202-370-5916

Dan Golding | Infrastructure Engineering and Strategy | dgolding at google.com |  +1 202-370-5916 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.peeringdb.com/pipermail/pdb-gov/attachments/20150807/94fed369/attachment.html>

More information about the Pdb-gov mailing list