[Community-Discuss] Notice to all the legacy netblocks holders in AfriNIC

Noah noah at neo.co.tz
Thu Nov 5 22:09:15 UTC 2020

On Sat, Oct 31, 2020 at 3:26 PM Ronald F. Guilmette <rfg at tristatelogic.com>

> In message <CAEqgTWYqYddNikKzswv+RA18bBfe3or=

> aW0wv8Q_Z_yYPFbtrw at mail.gmail.com>

> Noah <noah at neo.co.tz> wrote:


> >> Mr. Cohen has declared war on AFRINIC. He is currently pursuing that

> war,

> >> with no signs of retreating or giving up.

> >

> >AFRINIC is an institution and not someone's property even though some of

> >these folks think AFRINIC should just be a bookkeeper hence their

> arrogance.


> Not to quibble with you,

No biggy...

> but actually, as I understand it, the charter

> of AFRINIC says that the whole of AFRINIC, including but not limited to

> the vast and valuable set of -all- IP addresses that it has assigned

> to various members since its inception, as well as, of course, its

> current remaining free pool, are in fact the legal property of the

> AFRINIC board.


Here is the deal and I beg to be corrected by folks to that end.

The company is limited by guarantee. Resource members elect directors
across different regions that AFRINIC servers across AFRICA and its those
elected directors who are then registered as guarantors (registered
members) on behalf of the resource members. Therefore, the members are the
main shareholders and if you will in business terms, the real investors as
per the constitutions which we refer to as the bylaws. Like any other
entity there must be governance and the board of directors role is exactly
that and the members have elected different director over the years to take
care of AFRINIC Ltd fudiciary duties.


> Perhaps I have been misinformed about this. If so I would be happy to

> be educated on this point.



I hope I tried above.

> (I tried once to calculate the total current market value of all of the

> IPv4 address space that AFRINIC had been gifted with at its inception.

> The final esitimate I arrived at was something in excess of a quarter

> of a billion dollars, USD. But I think that I may have left out a extra

> zero someplace, because a single AFRINIC member currently owns over $150

> million USD worth of non-legacy AFRINIC IPv4 address space.)


The very reason we must be conservative about how we manage those small
ammounts of limited numbers IANA allocated to the region so as to advance
internet infrastructure here.


> >> The institution that is AFRINIC is being besieged, via lawsuit, by

> >> Mr. Cohen. And on what basis? For what crime? We still have no

> >> idea what this is even all about, or what Mr. Cohen's actual claims are.

> >>

> >

> >Didn't he claim that he bought some IPs from some members in our region. I

> >assume those must be some of the IP's that have since been recovered by

> >AFRINIC based on your dossier. Perhaps the recovery is his motivation for

> >the pupported lawsuit.


> Perhaps. The whole matter is shrouded in what I feel is unfortunate

> and actually ridiculous secrecy. It seems that neither the AFRINIC

> board, nor Eddy, nor the Governance Counsel... whose purpose apart

> from the Board is still an utter mystery to me... nor even Mr. Cohen

> himself feel in the least bit obliged to let anyone else in on the

> Big Secret.


I wont comment much here since the issue is before court and I have limited
knowledge of the proceedings but I trust that the CEO and his team are
working this.


> (I am being neither rude nor insulting to repeat these widely known

> facts here. The status of both Mauritius and Seychelles as safe

> havens for all manner of crooked international dealings is something

> that anyone with a web browser can easily verify for himself or herself.)


In your humble opinion ofcourse :-) since I havent done my homework to that


> >AFRINIC doesn't have a policy for buying and selling IPs as Cohen claims

> >but until recently the community enacted an Intra-RIR policy to allow IPv4

> >transfers within the region with AFRINIC continuing to handle the

> >management of these resource transfers based in need-basis.


> Legacy blocks are special. They were assigned before AFRINIC or the

> RIR system even existed, and they are thus not legally subject to its

> decisions or edicts.


> Mr. Cohen seems to be of the opinion that any -abandoned- legacy

> blocks thus have a legal status similar to abandoned sea vessels under

> international maritime law, i.e. as we here would say it "finders

> keepers". Just as one might claim an abandoned sandwich sitting alone

> on a park bench, he believes that AFRINIC has no legal authority to

> prevent him from enjoying the various free meals he thinks he has

> found, or perhaps purchased, from other Intetrnet sharks who have

> also been on the lookout for free meals.


> I personally disagree with this view, and believe that it has no basis

> in law, anywhere.


The only way to fix this historical mistake especially for the AFRINIC
region is for us to ensure that legacy space looses the legacy status after
all the holders enjoy RIR services to the cost of resource members.


> >> I could and should perhaps also

> >> have mentioned the case of the City of Cape Town's /16 block, and/or

> >> the fact that Mr. Cohen, in -another- show of force and stupidity...

> >

> > equally as brazen and ill-considered as his present vicious and baseless

> >> legal attack on AFRINIC... also hired legal council in South Africa in a

> >> vain and short-lived attempt to browbeat, harass, and extort the City

> >> of Cape Town into giving him -their- rightful property (

> >

> >Since we dont have purview if these litigations, we can only imagine the

> >amount of fraud that has been going on under the carpet.


> To be clear, I have *not* asserted that Mr. Cohen has actually undertaken

> litigation per se against the City of Cape Town.


I Ack...


> As regards to your comment about what may be going on "under the carpet",

> I can only agree that the near total opacity of the evaluation processes

> that AFRINIC (and the other RIRs also) undertake when deciding to make

> or not make awards of valuable IP address space is quite obviously a

> wide open invitation to mischief and corruption... on the part of AFRINIC

> staff, AFRINIC management, and the AFRINIC Board.


> We have a saying in this country: "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."


> I firmly believe that -all- RIRs are, as we speak, hiding a whole lot

> of insider profiteering and other mischief, both past and present,

> behind a convenient wall of "corporate confidentiality" rules that

> insure that only the insiders know, or will ever know, why certain

> parties are rewwarded with valuable IP space while others are not

> so fortunate.


Some believe the RIR system should just be some book keeper while they
profit from leasing resources that are meant to be put to use based on
need-basis to build the net which goes of to affects lives positively.


> >By the way, Cohen was wonderibg why you dont also talk about some other

> >AFRINIC net blocks...


> I will have to address this is a separate email. This one is already

> too long.


By all means....

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