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[rpd] inputs on IPv4 Inter-RIR policy proposals - AFRINIC needs this policy now!

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at
Fri Jun 28 22:09:16 UTC 2019

Ladies and gentlemen,

I must begin by saying that I have two apologies to make to you all.

The first, which I will need to post at a later time, is for my prior bad
behavior and unfairly imflamitory and prejuducial comments made on this
list some several years ago now.  I was utterly wrong in my comments
and assumptions on that occasion, and have been meaning to come here and
post a lengthy apology every since... a task that, for one reason or
another, has gotten put in the back burner all this time.

I don't even have time to go into my past mistakes or the reasons for them
just now, so that will have to wait, and I will post a more elaborate and
detailed apology for my past rude comments, hopefully in the very near
future.  (Perhaps nobody even remembers or cares anymore what I bad
things I said here long ago, especially given what seems to have been
some dramatically woser behavior here recently.  But it is a matter of
honor and I need to set the record straight and apologize properly,
but with an explanation.)

My second apology is for coming in late to this discussion about the
pending Inter-RIR policy proposal(s).  I am only now becoming aware of
this and I confess that I haven't had time to study or even think about
either the proposal or its implications or the stated postions of various
members on the proposal(s).  Nontheless, I feel compelled to interject
myself just for the purpose of asking a few very naive questions...

My starting point is Mr. Noah's recent posting on this topic...

In message <CAEqgTWYPEMDHoVonhaNTTY5p6+ShVsOymaVVrz4ShKf8oju+vQ at>
Noah <noah at> wrote:

>So Jordi,
>I still oppose this policy with strongest terms possible. I still believe
>IPv4 space will leave our region so fast when holders of Idle space who are
>yet to put them to good use as was allocated/assigned will trade them for
>some dollars rather than return them to AfriNIC. What we need is a policy
>that would discourage IPv4 from being transferred out of the region because
>of attractive prices of IPv$ but rather encourage more space coming into
>the region.

For whatever it is worth, I personally am totally torn on this issue.  On
the one hand, I would like to support my friend Jordi, and I do, certainly,
with respect to his anti-hijacking proposal, but perhaps not in the
case of Inter-RIR transfers.  Also, as a longtime fighter against spam
on the Internet, it is an has been my belief that if all IPv4 space were
transfered, tomorrow, to whomever was the highest bidder, without any
regard for any other consideration (e.g. geography) then this alone would
put a major and perhaps crippling dent in the practice of so-called
"snowshoe" spamming... a practice that requires a LOT of very cheap IPv4
address space.

That all having been said, I am also quite sympathetic to the postion
elaborated by Mr. Noah, and I could even be easily induced to begin
chanting "Afrinic for Africans!"  (And I say this even though I myself
am not an African, either by residence or birth.)

At the formation, Afrinic was endowed with a great deal of IPv4 address
space, and I believe that it was everyone's understanding, at that time,
that all these resources would be used for the good of Africans.  Much
has transpired since that time, the Internet itself has changed dramatically,
and an open market for IPv4 address space has now evolved.  But despite
all that, it can be, and perhaps should be argued that the fundamental
principal should still survive, and that Afrinic space should be used to
the benefit of Africans, and not just as an object of trade, i.e. to derive
a one-time cash transfer to current or historical holders of these resources.

But I didn't come here to make speeches.

I said above that I would have a few naive questions, and I do.  Now I
finally come to those.  Mostly my questions derive from the fundamental
charter of Afrinic, which is to say its bylaws:

Here are my two questions:

   *) Section 3.2 of the Bylaws reads as follows:

       3.2 The income and the capital of the Company shall be applied
       solely towards the promotion of the objects of the Company; and
       no part of the income or capital shall be paid or transferred,
       directly or indirectly, to the members, whether by way of dividend,
       capital distribution or bonus or otherwise.

   I wonder if anyone has considered, or reconsidered the implications,
   legal and otherwise, of this (historical?) section of the bylaws,
   particularly now that IPv4 address blocks may be, and quite certainly
   are being treated, by major accounting firms, as part of the capital
   assets of the various companies, worldwide, i.e. all those that
   currently buy, sell, trade, and "own" them.
   That's my question.  Does Section 3.2 of the Bylaws prohibit Afrinic
   from "transferring" IP address blocks to any party AT ALL?  (Remember,
   I did warn you all above that my questions would be naive!)

   *) Section 6.1 of the Bylaws reds as follows:

       6.1 Membership shall be open to:

      (i) any Person who is geographically based within, and providing
      services in the African region, and who is engaged in the use of,
      or business of providing, open system protocol network services; or

      (ii) any other Person who is approved by the Board or the members.

   I must and do apologize for my abundant ignorance, but I really am at
   a loss to understand the implications, if any, of the above quoted
   section of the Bylaws, particularly with respect to IP address

   If anyone would be so kind as to clarify for me whether or not Section
   6.1 of the Bylaws have any specific implications with respect to IP
   address resources, I sure would appreciate it.

Those are the only two questions I have for now.  I look forward to being
enlightened regarding the above two points.


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