[Community-Discuss] "Fighting Internet Shutdown" - Any Role for AFRINIC?

Noah noah at neo.co.tz
Thu Apr 20 14:21:37 UTC 2017

On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 4:39 PM, Mark Elkins <mje at posix.co.za> wrote:

> On 20/04/2017 14:28, Noah wrote:
> Hi Badru
> People are talking about targeting executive branches of governments not
> knowing that most of the shutdown that have happened in the past including
> the one in Cameroon has a lot to do with the local countries politics,
> policies and regulation. Some countries governments don't shutdown the
> internet but they have some crazy regulations that censor the cyber space
> that you would not even want to live there.
> For any organization to get number resources, the applicants are vetted by
> AFRINIC against their countries regulations (license of operation) which
> are a prerequisite for getting the IP resources from AFRINIC. This kind of
> relationship has existed between AFRINIC and all regulatory bodies in all
> countries that AFRINIC serve. What this basically mean is that if the
> country decided to deny an entity a license to operate, that entity cant
> access number resources from AFRINIC which means its only the local
> regulations that determine internet development, expansion and freedom and
> not AFRINIC.
> Ah - but this is not necessarily true. In South Africa, we were getting IP
> resources before there were ISP licenses. You also don't need an ISP
> license to do Web Hosting - and as I understand, neither the ZACR or DNS in
> South Africa have ISP licenses - but run the ccTLD between them.  Both
> organisations have their own address space. The same goes for JINX
> (CINX/DINX) the ISPAs exchange points. No licenses. Some people with their
> own infrastructure at Teraco (data warehouse) - no licenses - but they have
> address space. Universities don't have licenses either. That probably holds
> true for all African countries. I'd guess End users generally fall into
> this category. I guess governments do too.
> AFRINIC staff  use there best ability to decide on the requirements. a
> License is a reasonably easy criteria to ask for but I believe that if
> AFRINIC was aware that the government was not playing fair - then licenses
> would not be a criteria to getting address space. However, if you apply as
> an ISP and need a license but can't operate in that country - then I guess
> you wouldn't need address space.
> I am sure if you have a college and apply to AFRINIC - you'll be able to
> get address space.

So let me be specific. ISP's and Telecom as far as I know, require a
license from their respective communications regulators to operate Internet
services.  This are the guys who the government targets  first for internet
shutdowns not universities, IXP's, Hosting providers etc... though this
group also can be targeted.

I am not sure if AFRINIC has ever issued resources to entities who didn't
present some sort of license or local business registration of a sort. This
is how I tie the relationship between the Government and AFRINIC.

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