[Community-Discuss] FW: For attention of the NRO and the boards of the respective RIR's

Andrew Alston Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com
Sat Apr 21 19:52:55 UTC 2018

Forwarding this because it got blocked because of to many mail recipients.

Please note: the majority of these email addresses are open to direct emails and do not require subscription – so those who choose to do so can email their support to the recipients


From: Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com>
Date: Saturday, 21 April 2018 at 21:49
To: "eb at ripe.net" <eb at ripe.net>
Cc: AFRINIC Board of Directors' List <board at afrinic.net>, "paul at arin.net" <paul at arin.net>, "gaurab at lahai.com" <gaurab at lahai.com>, "exec-secretary at nro.net" <exec-secretary at nro.net>, "jcurran at arin.net" <jcurran at arin.net>, "comunicaciones at lacnic.net" <comunicaciones at lacnic.net>, Discussions of AFRINIC <community-discuss at afrinic.net>, "members-discuss at afrinic.net" <members-discuss at afrinic.net>, "board at arin.net" <board at arin.net>, "aaron at arin.net" <aaron at arin.net>, "german at nro.net" <german at nro.net>
Subject: For attention of the NRO and the boards of the respective RIR's


The RIPE Board,
The ARIN Board,
The APNIC Board,
The LACNIC Board,
The Number Resource Organisation

CC: The AFRINIC Board of Directors
The AFRINIC Community Discussion list
The AFRINIC Members Discussion list

Dear RIR Members and the Number Resource Organisation,

I am writing this as an open letter to you – and I am copying the membership base and the community discussion list for AFRINIC so that they can choose to add their voices of support to what follows should they choose to do so.

In recent times, a full member of AFRINIC chose to table a vote of no confidence in the board of AFRINIC, to be heard at the upcoming AGMM meeting.  Now, irrespective of the reasons for the vote, it is my belief that any elected body should submit themselves to the will of the members and should a member choose to table such a vote, the board of an RIR should be willing to allow the vote to proceed – and to honor the outcome.  Failure to do this is a direct violation of the bottom up approach agreed to when an RIR is formed and agrees to the contents of ICP-2.

It needs to also be stated – that the resolution of no confidence was not only acknowledged by the board of AFRINIC and in an email to the members on the 27th of March the board of AFRINIC had actually agreed to table said resolution.  The board then chose on the 18th of April to withdraw this and state without any reason that the vote would not be tabled.  In light of this, I feel this email is now more than justified.

For many years the RIR system has had the bottom up approach as fundamental to its existence, in the belief that the ISP’s and users of address space should be the ones that are in control of the resources that are critical to their functioning.  For an RIR board to refuse to table a vote from a member wishing to test if the board still maintains the confidence of the community that elected it, makes a mockery of the entire system, and it goes to prove that at least in the African scenario, the members truly are without say and without any power in their own destiny.

I write this now to appeal to the NRO and the boards of the RIRs – to examine this situation and then – if possible – to find a way to show the AFRINIC board the error of its ways, and to stand for the openness, transparency and inclusivity that exemplifies our global community.  To stand for the bottom up approach which for so many years has been the cornerstone of the RIR system, and indeed the internet itself.

It is not without reservation that I write this appeal, and it is a sad day, when myself, as a proud African, am turning to the rest of the world in such an appeal for help, but once we reach a situation where our elected representatives refuse to honor the precepts of the system, I see little recourse beyond this path.

It is also well known that many of you will be in attendance at the AGMM where this vote was meant to be tabled – and as has been acknowledged there is even a meeting between the AFRINIC board and the board of RIPE NCC scheduled to occur during the course of this event.  I would say to the board of RIPE, and to the board members of the other RIR’s – please – be wary of lending legitimacy to a board that refuses to submit to a vote of no confidence by it’s members, because it is my opinion that by such a refusal, they themselves indicate they are not sure that they still hold the confidence of the member base.  I appeal to the boards of the other RIR’s to engage with the AFRINIC board only on the issue of preserving the bottom up approach and allowing the AFRINIC members to have a free and fair say.

I believe in the bottom up approach, I believe in the right of members of an RIR to be heard, and to control their own destiny, and I believe that a violation of the bottom up approach threatens not just AFRINIC but the entire RIR system – and as such, I appeal to you once more – please – if there is anything that can be done to assist in this matter, help is now required – for the good of the Internet as a whole.

Yours Sincerely

Andrew Alston

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