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[rpd] New Policy Proposal - "Anti-Shutdown (AFPUB-2017-GEN-001-DRAFT-01)"

Noah noah at
Wed Apr 12 19:37:14 UTC 2017

On 12 Apr 2017 12:13 p.m., "Seun Ojedeji" <seun.ojedeji at> wrote:

- Does not promote the open internet me and you are clamouring for.
- Will not make AFRINIC sustainable in the long run
- May serve as a distraction to AFRINIC in performing her core function of
keeping record and administration of IP resource for our region.
- Takes AFRINIC from being a neutral entity to being more politically
- In the long run, It further breaks the internet than fix it because I
will then have to resolve to NATing if I can't get access to my space
- It exposes AFRINIC to unnecessary legal suits from those entities which
AFRINIC has an agreement with, also consider the legal cost that will be
- It affects the economy negatively and reduces competition among providers.
- At first it sounds like it will help service providers which are
privately owned but in the long run it wouldn't because some of the
providers income can still be traced to those govt entities.

+1 I couldn't agree more..

Again while the intent is great, a policy at RIR level cannot be the
solution. So this is not a matter of rewording the policy in a way that is
acceptable its more that this isn't practical

Whatever the intent of this policy :-) :-)  *[1]*

It's impractical because its not AFRINIC's role to issue sanctions that
would deprive Internet penetration and growth but rather her role is to
promote and support Internet development and growth/penetration through the
means she has been employing this far for the past 10 or so years.

In any-case, these Internet shutdowns can also be dealt with at the AFRICAN
UNION level since they are politically motivated to suppress opposition or
protests and they are normally short-lived since so many local and
international rights groups and organizations invoke a lot of pressure to
get the governments in question to reverse the shutdowns as was the case
with Egypt, Sudan, Niger, DRC, Chad, Gabon and now Cameroon. In fact in
some of this countries, the citizens themselves did take further actions
internally to get the Internet back on with some even toppling their
oppressive rulers/leaders whether AFRINIC came to their rescue or not.

Lets also remember that in some authoritarian African, Asian, and Arab
countries, Internet censorship has been in full gear for some years now
without totally denying their citizens access to the internet as these
countries have resorted to control what can be accessed, published, or
viewed on the Internet and regulatory bodies in these countries tend to
enact different internal policies to enforce the censorship. All this is
done for mainly one reason, Social Order in the wake of uprisings where
national security is at risk.

So the Internet as much as it's disrupted the traditional means of
communications which to a greater extend was under the control of the
State, it's seen as a promoter of Social Chaos by those in power especially
in times of political uprisings. So the real fundamental issue here is
internal politics specific to countries where western democracy is still
either infant or not applicable meaning under normal circumstances, no
Internet blocked/blackouts is enforced.

Now I wonder how its now our place to try and empower AFRINIC's (with its
small budget) with a mandate that attempts to revoke number resources from
its resource members in Countries where such repression has occurred or is
occurring, less AFRINIC gets sued for breach of RSA *[2]* after the chaos
has been contained.

In fact AFRINIC has got nothing to do with internal politics of any
sovereign country. Some government officials orders an Internet blackout
and then we give AFRINIC another mandate that would make matters worse by
denying access to the same resources that drive the very internet that has
been shutdown. How is this even a solution in goodness sake.

The least AFRINIC can do is condemn such actions but most importantly
continue to engage governments/regulators under the AFGWG. In any-case when
governments shutdown Internet to control social media, there are forces
(human rights bodies) that have managed to get these governments to restore
it through other means and this methods have worked which is why Internet
was restored eventually in those countries without even AFRINIC's
intervention or statements.

*As a naive question, has the ITU ever involved itself in blocking/denying
[+][country code]  in countries where phonecalls/sms communications was
blocked for political reasons?*

Meanwhile, I am in fill support of what AFRINIC AFGWG has been doing this
far regardless of policy or not.



*[1] *Lets officially welcome the AFRINIC Board Election Season.

*[2]* Dear AFRINIC Resource Member, we are writing to inform you that we
have since revoked your IPv4/IPv6 and ASN resources per "Anti-Shutdown"
policy for supporting your ruling government in its crackdown of the
purported Internet misuse if the Internet, to be specific (Social Media).
We are not happy that you went ahead to deny Internet access to your
customers which is a human right regardless of the orders from your so
called Regulator and Government.
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