[Community-Discuss] The Looting of AFRINIC

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at tristatelogic.com
Fri Dec 6 10:58:27 UTC 2019

In message <79FF870D-157F-424F-B4B7-7F425550B21B at consulintel.es>,
JORDI PALET MARTINEZ <jordi.palet at consulintel.es> wrote:

>I also believe that he is a smart guy.

I would not dispute that characterization in the slightest.

>So, put yourself in the position of

>a smart guy that want to do something bad. Do you think you will use your o

>wn name for registering companies, or instead you will bribe someone,=C2=A0

> may be a friend (but not family) to avoid your family name to appear in an

>y documents? I feel this is really silly and non-understandable.

And yet it seemed to work, for years on end, with no one raising so much
as an eyebrow because nobody seriously investigated or seriously looked
at all of the relevant corporate documents and WHOIS records and, in
particular, the historical WHOIS records, including but not limited to
these ones:

ORG-AI2-AFRINIC https://pastebin.com/raw/7rqfP1LD
ORG-AISL1-AFRINIC https://pastebin.com/raw/Nx79QkgB
ORG-IA41-AFRINIC https://pastebin.com/raw/ynEXMyCP
ORG-ZZ139-AFRINIC https://pastebin.com/raw/GX5egcbW
ORG-ZZ23-AFRINIC https://pastebin.com/raw/Yu8K9z6N

I have been chasing down miscreants on the Internet for more than 20 years
now. One of the lessons I have learned in that time is that none of them
are ten feet tall, and the majority of them absolutely suck at OPSEC. It
is almost as if some part of them is deluding their own brains into the
false belief that what they are doing is not really wrong, in some
sense, and that they are somehow actually entitled to the stuff they are
stealing, and that thus, at some level, they don't actually need to hide
what they are doing all that throughly, because just as White House Chief
of Staff Mick Mulvaney did not long ago... much to the shock of everyone...
if they are ever caught and confronted they assume that they will just say
"Yea. So? We do that all of the time. Get over it!"

>So maybe

>somebody used him, which doesn=E2=80=99t mean he is still guilty =E2=80=9Cin

>vigilando=E2=80=9D because he trusted anyone else, or something similar.

It's a nice thought, and you are a generous person to allow this possibility
Jordi. All I can say is that other information, not yet made public,
appears to rule out the possibility that Mr. Byaruhanga was either an
unwitting stooge or a convenient fall guy.

>Do we believe in =E2=80=9Cpresumption of innocence=E2=80=9D? I do, despite

>documents. If you don=E2=80=99t know the complete background, documents may

>not be enough.

I agree.

That having been said, I hope that you will, as I have, spend some time
carefully scrutinizing both the current and historical WHOIS records
associated with the ORGanizations and the IPv4 blocks listed in the two
tables in Jan's article. If you do that, I think that you will be, as
I was, hard pressed to explain all of the quite glaring anomalies in
any way that does not involve a great deal of very deliberate malfesance
on somebody's part. Once you are convinced of that, then the question
becomes: Who is responsible? And it is at that point that the various
official governmental corporate registration records would seem to become
very relevant.

>So, I will like to request to Ernest, to provide a clear explanation, and

>may be publicly recognize what (if any) have been his mistakes and involvement

>an all this.

I would like to echo that sentiment.

Jan Vermeulen and myself have tried, repeatedly, and over some significant
time now to reach him, both via voice, at a number of different phone numbers
that we have identified as being associated with him, and also via email,
at various of his known email addresses, and we have been utterly unable to
do so. We both very much look forward to speaking with him and getting his
side of the story, if he has one.

That having been said, we cannot be blamed, I think, for reaching certain
reasonable conclusions when Jan's industry sources informed him, less than
a day after I had attempted to confront Ernest, via email, with the facts
arrayed against him, that he had abruptly resigned his position at AFRINIC
after 15 years on the job.

His abrupt resignation was and remains his only apparent response to our


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