[Community-Discuss] Blog: A Comprehensive audit of the AFRINIC WHOIS Database

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at tristatelogic.com
Wed Feb 10 00:25:43 UTC 2021

In message <CAEqgTWah944VmGg7iRZ_9qvANgQTZt9QQsr33WjPCkcT+=-hqQ at mail.gmail.com>,
Noah <noah at neo.co.tz> wrote:

>While reading the report, I noted that among the recommendations on how to

>make things better, was below.


> - The report recommends that the AFRINIC community critically assess how

> best the accuracy of the information pertaining to Legacy Resource Holders

> can be improved and considers whether unused legacy resources should be

> left idle while AFRINIC exhausts its remaining pool of IPv4 addresses.

Please note that this problem... which I personally like to call the
"recycling problem"... is not at all unique to AFRINIC. All five of the
regional internet registries are suffering, to one degree or another,
with the problem of what to do about long-abandoned legacy blocks.

Although few people know even know about the problem, it is rampant, and
it *is* a real and serious cause for global concern. As I hope everyone
in the AFRINIC region now knows, and as was already evident as far back
as 2008, when I and Brian Krebs reported on the case of the "SF Bay Packet
Radio" abandoned legacy ARIN /16 block, the Internet has become, in effect,
a happy hunting ground for multiple gangs of essentially lawless marauders
who have beo cme focused, quite specifically, on stealing or squatting
specifically on abadonded legacy blocks. And once they have successfully
stolen or squatted on such blocks, these criminal miscreants have proven,
time and time again, that they are not too particular about the kinds of
customers they then lease parts of such pilfered IPv4 space to. The result
is that invariably, these crooks end up leasing their stolen IP space to
yet other criminal enterprises, and that, in turn, endangers us all, we the
global community of honest Internet users.

Something should most certainly be doen to address this ongoing and recurring
problem. But it is legally somewhat tricky to take back legacy IP space
which is not covered by any contract with any RIR. Still that is no
excuse not to try.

I have previously put forward the idea that we can and should look to the
well established principals of international maritime law in order to
properly address this problem. Under international maritime law the
concept of abanndoned property, and rights relating to salvage, are
quite well established. It is way past time for the international
internet, and the governance organizations thereof, to grow up, slip out
of their infantile diapers, and for them to create at least some sensible
legal framework and provisions for the recovery of abandoned property,
especially those chunks of long-abandoned property that have long since
become what any lawyer or any sane person would easly recognizes being
an attractive public nuisance. The fact that neither ICANN nor any of
the RIRs has yet even begun this process is a sad commentary on the
current state of "Internet governance", which might more aptly be called
"Internet not-really-benign neglect".

In short, "leadership" when it comes to Internet governance is, and has
been for many years now, arguably non-existant, at least with respect to
this issue, if not also with respect to many many others.


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