Accurate and validated information in the RIPE Database is essential to establish a trusted and transparent environment in which all network operators can operate and do business safely. It also helps with Internet troubleshooting and supports the attribution of malicious online activities.
The goal of the proposal is for the RIPE NCC to publish the validated legal postal address information of holders of Internet number resources (in addition to the other information that is already published there). The RIPE NCC already collects this legal postal address information as part of its existing processes.
While not mandatory, the proposal also recommends that LIRs publish the legal address of their customers that have administrative responsibility for Internet number resources.
Current postal address information in the RIPE Database is not validated and often refers to where the network engineers are based. This proposal fixes an issue where, for multiple reasons such as tax, costs or regulations, a company might be legally registered at one location while its engineers are in another (or even in a different country).
The publication of a validated legal address in the RIPE Database would allow anyone who needs to engage with a company for business or other purposes to check whether the company actually exists, or if the person they are engaging with is actually an authorised signatory, and would also help with other cross-border legal enquiries.
This proposal is essential for improving legal certainty, public accountability and transparency. It represents a push for greater accuracy in the database that will benefit everyone – especially those who do not have the powers guaranteed to an emissary of the state.
For members, independent resource holders, and legacy resource holders with a contractual relationship, the RIPE NCC already has company registration papers, which will usually include the legal address. It will be possible to get these legal addresses without action being required from the resource holder, though it will require some work by the RIPE NCC to go through all the paperwork manually.
The RIPE Database was developed long time ago, when only network engineers would use it to contact one another when technical issues arose. However, the world is changing and today we need to quickly identify resource holders for other purposes as well, whether it’s resolving incidents, attribution or legal issues. This is a chance for us to collectively improve the accuracy of the RIPE Database and ensure it remains useful in this changing environment.
2.0 Policy Text
The RIPE Database is used for providing accurate registration information about Internet number resources. Providing an accurate legal address complements the accuracy of this registration information. Objects in the RIPE Database must reflect the current state of the resources they describe.
The RIPE NCC will publish the validated legal address of organisations which hold Internet number resources, in addition to the rest of the information already published in the RIPE Database.
This policy should also apply to legacy holders if they have a contractual relationship with the RIPE NCC or a sponsoring LIR.
It is recommended and encouraged that LIRs also publish the legal address of any customers that have administrative responsibility for Internet number resources.
This document is developed by the RIPE community.