[Community-Discuss] Update on the complaint lodged against AFRINIC at the Competition Commission of Mauritius

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Wed Mar 2 22:04:11 UTC 2022

> On Feb 18, 2022, at 23:46 , DANIEL NANGHAKA <dndannang at gmail.com> wrote:
> Owen, 
> I think you have a problem and you are against the existence of AFRINIC. 

Quite the opposite… I am strongly in favor of an open, transparent RIR for Africa run according to similar rules and processes to other RIRs in an above board manner and according to the rules laid out in the bylaws, CPM, and RSA.

> Democracy is different from Open communication to the community. 

Yes, but open communication with the community is a vital component of democracy. You can have open communication and still fail at democracy. You cannot fail at open communication and still have democracy. AFRINIC is currently failing at both.

If your idea of Democracy is that you elect leaders and the leaders are then free to do whatever they wish without reporting to or being held accountable by the community they serve, then one of us fundamentally misunderstands the concept of democracy.
I’m pretty sure it isn’t me and I stand by my original statement quoted below.

> AFRINIC is a membership driven organisation and it's an obligation for the community to get reports on what transpired in the courts which have thus been communicated respectively. 

No, AFRINIC _SHOULD_BE_ a membership driven organization. Currently it is a board driven organization and the board is, IMHO, driving it off the rails. I would welcome the day when the membership sees fit to replace the current board with one that is open, transparent, and accountable to the membership and the community. Today, we have a board that, despite it’s promise to timely publish the minutes of board meetings still has not published minutes of its meeting held 13 September, 2021. They have published minutes for at least one subsequent meeting, said minutes even referring to things that occurred in the 13 September meeting. Given the incredibly sparse amount of detail in the minutes (far less transparency than I have seen from any similar board in my lifetime), I fail to see how you can make any such claim that the board is open, transparent, or communicative with the members or the community.

Those communications have been selective and incomplete at best and AFRINIC, much like Donald Trump has claimed that they say things they do not actually say. See for yourself… The most recent ruling published by AFRINIC does not show that AFRINIC won anything on the merits. The judge ruled that the appeal was moot because an existing injunction already provided the relief sought. The judge further misconstrued it as an abuse of process because the judge failed to recognize that the remaining injunction was sought after the appeal was launched. This is all documented in the ruling AFRINIC sent to the mailing list, see for yourself.

> I think it hurts you that AFRINIC has achieved these milestones and is protecting Africa's resources. 

If that’s what they were doing, it would not hurt me at all. However, Internet number resources are not continental in nature. They are a global community resource. The RIRs are merely stewards on behalf of the world community and collectively the operate a single registry assuring uniqueness of registrations among cooperating entities. This isolationist and protectionist attitude I keep hearing from various posters is completely contrary to the overall spirit of the internet which is intended to be a communications network without borders for the purpose of democratizing communications among all the worlds peoples. We are still short of that goal and there is much to do in order to achieve it.

Frankly, the best thing AFRINIC and Africans could do to “protect” Africa would be to deploy IPv6 and render IPv4 addresses utterly and completely irrelevant in the context of Africa and eventually the world. Instead, AFRINIC is pouring millions of dollars of member money into prosecuting a single member for alleged breaches based on claims that their bylaws and CPM prohibit things that are not actually prohibited. Nowhere in the AFRINIC bylaws does it restrict out of region use of addresses issued by AFRINIC, save for a requirement that the company must be providing services in Africa. Both Larus and Cloud Innovation do provide services in Africa. There is no requirement that those services be exclusively in Africa nor is there any requirement regarding any percentage of those addresses be utilized within the AFRINIC service region.

There is a geographical requirement in the CPM regarding resources issued after the beginning of Soft Landing Phase 1. However, Cloud Innovation holds no such resources.

There is a requirement to notify AFRINIC when the utilization of addresses changes from their original purpose. AFRINIC was duly notified through whois updates when this occurred. Indeed, Cloud Innovation has been remarkably diligent in their whois updates and from my observations, moreso than the vast majority of large AFRINIC members.

> Let's gives a thumbs up for the legal team and management of AFRINIC. 

Indeed, they do deserve to be applauded for convincing a judge to rule in a manner so completely contrary to established precedent and the law.

>  congratulations to the team.

Congratulations, indeed. I hope they enjoy this small victory while it lasts. Eventually, this will end up in front of a court to be judged on the actual merits of the case. At that point, AFRINIC will almost surely be found wanting.


> Daniel KN
> On Sat, Feb 19, 2022, 9:49 AM Owen DeLong via Community-Discuss <community-discuss at afrinic.net <mailto:community-discuss at afrinic.net>> wrote:
> > On Feb 18, 2022, at 13:19 , Mark Tinka <mark at tinka.africa> wrote:
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > On 2/18/22 13:57, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ via Community-Discuss wrote:
> > 
> >> Democracy = Transparency
> > 
> > Hmmh... mmkay.
> I think it would be more accurate to say that a functional democracy requires transparency.
> Hence, since AFRINIC board insists on limiting transparancy, we have an inherently dysfunctional democracy here.
> We have long experience with this type of dysfunction in the US, so I know it when I see it.
> Owen
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