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

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at tristatelogic.com
Sat Oct 31 12:20:52 UTC 2020

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, 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.

Perhaps I have been misinformed about this. If so I would be happy to
be educated on this point.

(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 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.

This kind of thing could only happen in... I'm sorry to have to say it,
but I have to... a backwards third-world country such as Mauritius,
where apparently it is the norm, rather than the exception, that all
matters under litigation are treated as secret. Here in the United
States and in innumerable other civilized countries, court proceedings
and court filings are generally open to the public. But not so in
Mauritius! Nor, I gather in the Seychelles. It would appear that
the governments in both places have a greater committment to protecting
crooked dealing and crooked dealers than they do to transparency,
open government, the public's right to know, or the rule of law.

This should actually come as a surprise to no one. Both Mauritius and
Seychelles have well-earned international reputations as places for
crooks to hide their activities and assets, and neither national
government seems at all eager to dispense with the local revenue
streams that such trade, criminal though it may be, can and does

(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.)

>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.

>> 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 said that he hired
a solicitor in South Africa who in turn sent the City a distinctly
threatening letter, quite obviously in a silly and pointless attempt to
get the City to just give up and give Mr. Cohen the block,
worth over $1.3 million dollars at current free market rates.

As I understand it, the City of Cape Town respectfully declined to do
that, after which Mr. Cohen and his solicitors simply went away, empty

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.

Back before IP addresess had value, this was not an issue. Now, it is.

The entire Ernest situation proves my thesis here. His mischief went
on for YEARS undetected. This would never have happened, or at least
would not have gone unnoticed for so long, if the AFRUNIC IP block
awarding process were not entirely opaque and hidden from all outside

>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.


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