An update on the AfriNIC situation

Tom Beecher beecher at
Sat Aug 28 17:05:30 UTC 2021

> 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.

I'm sorry, what?

On Fri, Aug 27, 2021 at 9:36 PM Laszlo Hanyecz <laszlo at> wrote:

> 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> 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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