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

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at tristatelogic.com
Tue Oct 27 13:03:26 UTC 2020

In message <995ECA50-E1DA-49EA-ACC0-54EDA4091D1A at afrinic.net>,
AFRINIC Communication <comms at afrinic.net> wrote:

>The Regional Internet Registry (RIR) system is a successful model of

>industry self-regulation...

I would be happy to debate the truth or falsehood of that proposition
with you at some appropriate moment. (Not just now. I have other
things to attend to.)

It is likely true that the RIR system has served, like the Pax Americana
of the late 20th century and the Pax Romana before it, to prevent all-out
violent confrontations between otherwise opposing factions. But this
is not the only possible definition of the word "successful", and there
have been glaring and evident problems... in the AFRINIC region, in the
ARIN region, in the RIPE region, and elsewhere. To simply and unilaterally
declare that "This model of governance is good. End of discusssion." is
not entirely persuasive in the present context.

And although the industry may view this model as having been fantastically
successful at keeping various governments largely or entirely at bay and
largely or entirely out of the Internet regulation business (which even
I would agree is a profoundly Good Thing) the industry, such as it is,
is going to have to come to terms someday with that fact that secrecy
and the shrouding of every detail underneath a gigantic blanket of
NDAs neither promotes good governance nor is compatible with the ever
increasing dependency of society as a whole on this utility we call the
Internet, a utility whose underlying business arrangement have, by design,
been keep almost entirely opaque to the outside world.

The present pandemic has only increased the dependency of society on the
Internet, and thus it has also increased the need for more transparency
into these private business arragements, in the public interest.


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