An update on the AfriNIC situation

Laszlo Hanyecz laszlo at
Sat Aug 28 01:34:59 UTC 2021

On 2021-08-28 00:58, Tom Beecher wrote:
> 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 
> question.
> - 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.

This thing about entries in a database seems to be used when it's 
convenient to downplay the market value and operational importance of IP 
addresses.  Even the people leading the crusade against Cloud Innovation 
in this thread are claiming that it's about millions of addresses for 
dramatic effect.  This kind of dispute is going to happen more as the 
value of addresses goes up and the RIRs realize what a gold mine they 
have by shaking down spammers and other unpopular resource holders.  I 
imagine some of the operators on this list have resources they could 
return if they wanted to.  Maybe some will, but they'd be better off 
selling them before the RIRs decide to expand their scope and start mass 
reclaiming for profit. Hopefully RPKI, AS0, etc. won't be abused to 
reclaim resources just because they're valuable.

> 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 
> <mailto: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

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