[Community-Discuss] Ernest Byaruhanga
comms at afrinic.net
Wed Mar 24 15:41:50 UTC 2021
This email is meant to be a response to Mr. Guilmette’s email in an attempt to hopefully reach a common ground where useful information can be exchanged on the list without the need to breach our code of conduct.
This is being shared with the list for the sake of transparency, clarity and for it to be on public record.
Good! Because now I may perhaps be able to finish making the point
that I tried to make during the recent Zoom meeting... before my mic
was improperly and uncerimoniously muted.
Mr. Guilmette, your intervention that lasted roughly 5 minutes was interrupted by the moderator as you had gone off of the topic of the session. The session’s topic was “Public Persecution vs. Constructive Criticism on AFRINIC mailing lists” while your intervention was, as in this email, about legal actions taken against individuals. Thus, it was absolutely within the moderators right to end your intervention and listen to others that wanted to address the critical topic at hand.
That point was just that I personally find it highly disingenuous that
the management of AFRINIC has taken the time to manufacture a great
fuss over my rather modest and most probably PERFECTLY LEGAL exercise
of free speech... an exercise of free speech of a kind that is only
sporadically and inconsistantly criminalized in a few remaining rather
backwards national jurisdictions... even while AFRINIC management has
apparently NOT found the time or energy to even make any inquiry, over
the past entire year, about the status of the vastly more real, vastly
more serious, and vastly more impactful case against Ernest Byaruhanga.
Mr. Guilmette, as AFRINIC has explained repeatedly, there are risk factors that come with allowing you and/or others to continuously use the mailing lists to slander and attack African national jurisdictions, especially the one that is currently deciding on the fate of the reclaimed resources.
AFRINIC needs to be extremely vigilant on all risk factors that can potentially undermine its ability to reclaim misappropriated resources. A point that you seemed to appreciate in some of your emails.
In addition to vast gobs of IPv4 address space, Ernest Byaruhanga also
stole from AFRINIC most of the remaining threads of its already badly
tattered global reputation. What has either maganement or the board
done in the way of seeking justice with respect to Ernest Byaruhanga
over the past year and a half, since his massive thefts were discovered
and made public? Anything? Anything at all?
Mr. Guilmette, how the organization plans to reclaim back every single African IP address that was misappropriated over the years and how AFRINIC plans to hold those responsible for these acts accountable is not a matter of public record at this point in time.
While we understand that your concern lies with the immediate prosecution of individuals, the reclamation of the resources and more headlines, our priorities as custodians of the African internet number resources are ordered differently with the reclamation being our top concern followed by anything else.
P.S. Most shockingly, even to this day Ernest Byaruhanga has not been
charged with any crime in any country. Thus, no international Red Notice
has been issued for his arrest, his passport is fully functional and
unblemished, and he is thus free to spend his weekends lazing on the
beaches in the south of France if he so chooses, coming and going from
Uganda to any other part of the world as may suit his fancy.
I ask the community to consider whether or not this is as it should be,
and if not, why it seems that nobody except me even gives a damn, one way
Mr. Guilmette, you have clearly been given every right to speak your mind freely and openly even beyond what many consider to be a “decent exchange of thoughts and critics”. You have been given the benefit of the doubt time and time again as you have been bringing forward useful information that has aided, to some degree, in unravelling issues related to the misappropriation of African resources.
AFRINIC has taken every measure to try to benefit from what you have to offer while communicating that we prefer to have a more civilized exchange. We ask you yet again to re-examine if you are not alienating yourself and your cause here by your actions.
We look forward to your future constructive criticism. However, if you are found in breach of our code of conduct you will be dealt with as anyone else on the list. There are no personal agendas or vendettas, just an attempt to rebuild our community and fix what needs to be mended.
The AFRINIC Communications and PR team
> On 24 Mar 2021, at 00:19, Ronald F. Guilmette <rfg at tristatelogic.com> wrote:
> AFRINIC Communication <comms at afrinic.net> wrote:
>> The moderation period of Mr. Ronald Guilmette is now over.
> Good! Because now I may perhaps be able to finish making the point
> that I tried to make during the recent Zoom meeting... before my mic
> was improperly and uncerimoniously muted.
> That point was just that I personally find it highly disingenuous that
> the management of AFRINIC has taken the time to manufacture a great
> fuss over my rather modest and most probably PERFECTLY LEGAL exercise
> of free speech... an exercise of free speech of a kind that is only
> sporadically and inconsistantly criminalized in a few remaining rather
> backwards national jurisdictions... even while AFRINIC management has
> apparently NOT found the time or energy to even make any inquiry, over
> the past entire year, about the status of the vastly more real, vastly
> more serious, and vastly more impactful case against Ernest Byaruhanga.
> It seems that when a poster to these mailing lists even vaguely hints
> at some incapacity in the Mauritian administration of justice, then
> *that* becomes a REALLY BIG DEAL warranting a swift, immediate, and
> forceful response from AFRINIC. On the other hand however, if one is
> a former AFRINIC official, such as Mr. Byaruhanga, who has provably
> stolen tens of millions of dollars worth of valuable AFRINIC inventory,
> then THAT matter is of such little concern to AFRINIC magagement that
> management will only make a perfunctory report to local police and then
> promptly forget about the whole thing, forever.
> The contrast here could not be more stark. I got publically flogged
> for simply having the audacity to speak the truth, even while Ernest
> is, as we speak, most probably sipping a vintage chardonnay on the
> veranda of his Ugandan mountaintop retreat without a care in the world.
> In addition to vast gobs of IPv4 address space, Ernest Byaruhanga also
> stole from AFRINIC most of the remaining threads of its already badly
> tattered global reputation. What has either maganement or the board
> done in the way of seeking justice with respect to Ernest Byaruhanga
> over the past year and a half, since his massive thefts were discovered
> and made public? Anything? Anything at all?
> From where I am sitting it appears that both management and the board
> most probably have spent more time and cycles and bandwidth insuring
> that I would not speak ill of the Mauritian judiciary that they have
> spent on even inquiring about the (alleged) Mauritian police "investigation"
> of Ernest.
> As I have said, I don't mind that I have been chastized for possibly
> straying slightly outside of the local legal limits on free speech,
> such as they are, there in Mauritius, but given the entirely petty
> nature of this supposed offense, and the great mountain that has been
> made out of this molehill, is it really too much to ask that AFRINIC
> management should show at least proportional or equal concern about
> Ernest's massive thefts? Is it really too much to ask or expect
> management to spare a few moments to at least inquire about the status
> of criminal case against Ernest, or to ask why the Mauritian police
> have seen fit to do absolutely nothing about this huge set of thefts
> for well more than a year now? (I will refrain from any comment regarding
> the competence, or lack thereof, of the Mauritian police, since anything
> that I might have to say on that score might conceivably be locally illegal
> within Mauritius also.)
> P.S. Most shockingly, even to this day Ernest Byaruhanga has not been
> charged with any crime in any country. Thus, no international Red Notice
> has been issued for his arrest, his passport is fully functional and
> unblemished, and he is thus free to spend his weekends lazing on the
> beaches in the south of France if he so chooses, coming and going from
> Uganda to any other part of the world as may suit his fancy.
> I ask the community to consider whether or not this is as it should be,
> and if not, why it seems that nobody except me even gives a damn, one way
> or another.
> P.P.S. I hope that everyone will properly appreciate the humor and the
> delicious irony of my treatment versus that of Ernest. Management has
> asserted that it was essential for AFRINIC to stiffle my free speech on
> this list, lest it somehow prejudice AFRINIC's position in the ongoing
> legal case brought by Mr. Cohen. And yet even as management was doing so,
> it was utterly failing to lift a finger to bring to the bar of justice
> the one man whose arrest and compelled testimony would most certainly
> sink Mr. Cohen's case once and for all, i.e. Ernest Byaruhanga.
> If management is seriously concerned about the outcome of the still-
> pending civil action, then shouldn't its first order of business be to
> make at least some effort to see to it that Ernest Byaruhanga is brought
> to the court in Mauritius, ideally in handcuffs, so that he may be examined?
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