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

Joe Abley jabley at
Thu Apr 13 14:37:38 UTC 2017

Hi Badru,

I have no standing (at least in my own mind) to have an opinion on this proposal; that would be a matter for Africans, and I'm merely an enthusiastic and occasional visitor.

However, I found Kieran's article to be pretty balanced and accurate. He summarised the intent well, he went out of his way to say that this is just a proposal, and he didn't make any outrageous claims about the practical impact that any policy action by AfriNIC could have. His characterisation of techies vs. government matches the spirit of a lot of the comments I've seen on this list (and it's a hook that tends to resonate well with the libertarian readership of that web site).

The comments from readers that follow the story in the register are another matter, however. They demonstrate a pronounced lack of technical understanding of what AfriNIC is, what its responsibilities are and what its impact is. There are suggestions that AfriNIC can shut down parts of the Internet by revoking access to address blocks and that declining to allocate new blocks could knock end-users off-line, for example, neither of which are particularly accurate.

Once again, setting aside the merits of the proposal itself, I think there's an opportunity here while at least one minor eye of the press is looking in this direction to clarify some of these points and take advantage of the educational opportunity. I don't think it's particularly useful to deal with reactions in the press by being annoyed that they have happened; better I think to assume that they will continue and to have a plan for that eventuality.

Regardless of the outcome of the policy process it would be nice to think that a side effect was at least that some people come away with a better understanding of what AfriNIC does. That's surely something that everybody can agree with.


On 13 Apr 2017, at 10:21, Badru Ntege <badru.ntege at> wrote:

> Arsene
> The community should be wary not to be played.
> On 4/13/17, 3:59 PM, "Arsène Tungali" <arsenebaguma at <mailto:arsenebaguma at>> wrote:
>> Just read the article on <>, a UK mainstream media, while no African newspaper thought of publishing it (or are they even aware of the ongoing discussion?) I simply love it and the way they put it. Anyone who is not familiar with this process will think it is something the AFRINIC Board is working on, rather than a simple proposal put forward by three community members (even if authors were mentioned as well).
> Not wanting to point any connections is this not the same media house that published a private email to discredit a member of the community not long ago. ??
> And again this is the same media house that has historically published information about AfriNIC where a certain member of the community is involved…..just saying
>> In my opinion, authors of this article made it sound like a warning to African governments, that Afrinic is working on a policy that will punish them if they dare shutting down the Internet; which is beautiful! I am sure if some governments read it, their impression (or trust) on afrinic will start to be altered (as many people have pointed out on this list).
> This surely is something for the governance committee to look into.  
> A touch of “Tilapia” arround this whole policy proposal.  
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