An update on the AfriNIC situation

Tom Beecher beecher at
Sat Aug 28 00:58:55 UTC 2021

Fundamentally I think everyone should care about this situation. As I read
it, it breaks down as :

- AFRINIC and Cloud Innovation are engaged in a dispute over number
assignment policies.
- AFRINIC invokes the clause that they are reclaiming the space in
- Cloud Innovation files for garnishment, stating that AFRINIG is 'taking'
IP addresses worth millions of dollars, therefore it is entitled to damages.
- The courts grant the garnishment, although such garnishment is at Cloud
Innovation's risk. ( Meaning if they are challenged and lose, they are on
the hook for damages for taking the action.)
- However, in the process, since Cloud Innovation has claimed enough
damages to freeze all of AFRINIC's accounts, they now have no money
accessible to protect their legal rights on the IP address, or defend
themselves against the damaged seizure.

As Mr. Curran put forth a week ago, 'property rights' of IP allocations are
an unsettled area. What happens if this holds up that the court there rules
that you 'own' the IPs assigned to you from an RIR until you give them
back? That sure creates a mess with any RIR views that allocations as
simply entries in a database.  How long would it take before some clown in
a boardroom decides that want to latch onto that ruling and do something
stupid to 'maximize shareholder value' and there's an expensive legal brawl
over that? How long before people start popping up and laying claim as the
'rightful owner' of addresses from the origin days? Do we really want to
see RIRs and our companies dealing with BS lawsuits for things like this?
It only has to work once...

On Fri, Aug 27, 2021 at 11:37 AM Bill Woodcock <woody at> wrote:

> As many of you are aware, AfriNIC is under legal attack by Heng Lu /
> “Cloud Innovation.”
> John Curran just posted an excellent summary of the current state of
> affairs here:
> If, like me, you feel like chipping in a little bit of money to help
> AfriNIC make payroll despite Heng having gotten their bank accounts frozen,
> some of the African ISP associations have put together a fund, which you
> can donate to here:
> It’s an unfortunate situation, but the African Internet community has
> really pulled together to defend themselves, and they’ve got a lot less
> resources than most of us do.
>                                -Bill
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the NANOG mailing list