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[rpd] Who is the guarantor of AFRINIC

Arnaud AMELINA amelnaud at
Thu Apr 13 12:26:20 UTC 2017

*English :*

Dear member of the community, What is the aim of the authors and the
initiators of this Article ???

Do they have the right to share a process that has not yet been adopted
externally, still coming from a member of the Board of Afrinic, is
unacceptable, is there no longer any limit In AFRINIC, that the different
leaders take their respononsibilities and remind to the order the indelices

The name AFRINIC has been engaged in this article, even though the subject
in question has not yet ratified by the community of AFRINIC or the BOARD.

*French :*
Chers membre de la communauté, Quel est le but visé par les auteurs et les
initiateurs de cet Article ??? <>
Ont-il le droit de faire part d'un processus non encore adopté à
l'extérieur, venant encore de la part d'un membre du Board d'Afrinic c'est
innacceptable, n'y a-t-il plus de limite à AFRINIC, que les différents
responsables prennent leurs respponsabilités et rappellent à l'odre les

Le nom d'AFRINIC a été engagé dans cet article alors même que le sujet en
question ne soit ratifié par la communauté d'AFRINIC ou par le BOARD.

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No more IP addresses for countries that shut down internet access Afrinic
considers punitive policy for errant governments
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12 Apr 2017 at 19:54, Kieren McCarthy

Governments that cut off internet access to their citizens could find
themselves refused new IP addresses under a proposal put forward by one of
the five global IP allocation organizations.

The suggested clampdown
will be considered at the next meeting of internet registry Afrinic in
Botswana in June: Afrinic is in charge of managing and allocating IP
address blocks across Africa.

Under the proposal, a new section would be added to Afrinic's official
rules that would allow the organization to refuse to hand over any new IP
address to a country for 12 months if it is found to have ordered an
internet shutdown.

The ban would cover all government-owned entities and others that have a
"direct provable relationship with said government." It would also cover
any transfer of address space to those entities from others.

That withdrawal of services would escalate if the country continued to pull
the plug on internet access. Under the proposal: "In the event of a
government performing three or more such shutdowns in a period of 10 years
– all resources to the aforementioned entities shall be revoked and no
allocations to said entities shall occur for a period of 5 years."

The proposal was sparked by a recent increase in the number of complete
nationwide shutdowns of internet service – something that has been a cause
of increasing concern and ire within the internet infrastructure community.
The start

The trend started during the Egyptian revolution back in 2011 when
authorities killed the entire's country web access
<> prior to a
big protest march. Employees of ISPs and mobile phone companies reported
troops turning up at their homes and pointing guns at their families in
order to enforce the shutdown.

Until then, many governments had assumed it was largely impossible to turn
off internet access to their entire nation. Soon after, government
departments educated themselves about AS numbers and internet routing and
started using their power to set up systems that would allow them to order
the shutdown of all networks from a central point.

While some countries only used this ability in the more dire circumstances
– riots or terrorist attacks – shutdowns quickly started being used
preemptively and for political reasons.

Bangladesh switched off
its entire country's net connectivity prior to the sentencing of former
government leaders for war crimes. Then Iraq started shutting down the
entire country for several hours at a time in order to prevent exam cheating

While these were enormously frustrating, the shutdown typically lasted only
a few hours. But then Cameroon decided to cut off the internet for weeks –
and targeted specific communities. The country's southwest and northwest
provinces were taken offline following violent protests: a decision that
had a hugely damaging impact on its "Silicon Mountain" startup zone, and
also took down its banks and ATMs.

In India, the number and frequency of internet shutdowns has sparked a
new protest
movement and website <> that tracks them.

The situation has grown so dire that the United Nations got involved
and officially
the practice at a meeting of the Human Rights Council back in July. Despite
opposition from a number of countries – including China, Russia, India and
Kenya – a resolution passed forbidding mass web blockades.

The reality, however, is that there is nothing to prevent governments from
shutting down the internet and very little anyone can do in the face of a
determined push from the authorities.

But now the techies are fighting back. The Afrinic proposal has been put
forward by the CTO and the Head of IP strategy for Liquid
Telecommunications – a large pan-African ISP – as well as the CEO of
Kenya's main ISP Association. As such it is a proposal that many are taking

"While the authors of this policy acknowledge that what is proposed is
draconian in nature, we feel that the time has come for action to be taken,
rather than just bland statements that have shown to have little or no
effect," they wrote, noting that "over the last few years we have seen more
and more governments shutting down the free and open access to the internet
in order to push political and other agendas."

Whether governments like it or not, they are reliant on the provision of IP
address to expand their networks and digital economy, and Afrinic is the
only organization that can realistically provide them. If the policy does
get passed, it would almost certainly act as a strong deterrent for
government ministers to shutting down internet access.

But there are a wealth of problems with the idea, not least of which would
be the determination of what represents an internet shutdown. The authors
put forward a suggested definition:

An internet shutdown is deemed to have occurred when it can be proved that
there was an attempt, failed or successful, to restrict access to the
internet to a segment of the population irrespective of the provider or
access medium that they utilize.

That wording is likely to be very heavily scrutinized. And it would require
someone or group to make a determination that it has happened – which would
likely become a politically charged decision. And none of that considers
the fact that national leaders are unlikely to accept punitive terms being
placed against them by a third party.

In short, it is a huge political headache. But it may also be one that only
the internet community is capable to taking on and winning. The next few
months will see whether the 'net community in Africa is willing to take on
the challenge for the greater good. ®

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