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[AfriNIC-rpd] Last Call: IPv4 Soft Landing Policy - AFPUB-2010-v4-005-draft-03

Owen DeLong owen at
Tue May 17 12:36:07 UTC 2011

On May 17, 2011, at 2:38 AM, Martin Millnert wrote:

> Hi,
> On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 1:36 PM, Andrew Alston <aa at> wrote:
>> I object to the policy in its current form for reasons stated in other
>> posts, but to clarify:
>> I object to the /27 minimum allocation size in section 3.5.2 and I
>> believe it should be a /24
>> I strongly and vehemently oppose the second paragraph in section 3.8
>> which limits use of AfriNIC space outside of the region to 10%, and in
>> turn creates an unenforceable, unrealistic clause which disadvantages
>> African operators looking to expand into the international arena.
>> Thanks
>> Andrew
> I agree with Andrew's objections and so object to the current
> proposal. I believe unenforceable rules (paper laws) sets bad
> precedents.

At some level almost all rules are unenforceable. Any just society depends
to a large extent on voluntary compliance and the rules serve first and
foremost as an expression of the community's intent for how members of
that society should conduct themselves.

Enforcement is strictly a mechanism to deal with and discourage the
outliers, primarily by taking away advantages gained and providing some
level of disincentive for enough of them to discourage others. The idea
of hard-core zero-tolerance absolute enforcement of any regulation
is unachievable even with a strong military. However, where we even
come close to achieving such a thing, we have generally referred to
the situation as a "police state" or "fascist regime". The RIRs are not
and cannot be effective as such a structure. First, there are safeguards
in place to prevent them from having that much power (this is a good
thing). Second, RIR compliance at any level is strictly a voluntary
thing. The RIR does not have the legal ability to prevent me from
using a set of numbers they have issued to someone else, if I can
convince a sufficient fraction of ISPs to listen to me instead of them.

This voluntary cooperation on the part of ISPs is where ALL ability
to enforce policies of the RIRs is concentrated. Absent ISPs choosing
to do so, RIR policies are only words on paper. Fortunately, at least
so far, the ISPs recognize that doing so is vital to a stable and functional
internet. The day they stop, we will have serious address coordination
problems and significant destabilization. Fortunately, everyone knows
this and the ISPs are unlikely to make such a choice since each and
every one of them would be directly harmed by such a decision. There
have been a few ISPs that have on occasion attempted to do so and
they usually either get filtered or lose their peering altogether.

As such,I don't see how this rule is particularly more unenforceable
than any other RIR rule and I think it is in the community's interest
to express their clear intent through this policy. If the community
intends that AfriNIC resources should be used within region, then,
this paragraph should remain in the policy and the policy should
be adopted.

If the community intends that AfriNIC resources should be plundered
by foreign interests like so many other African resources throughout
history, then, this paragraph should be removed.

It really boils down to that simple choice.


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