[arin-ppml] AFRINIC And The Stability Of The Internet Number Registry System

Fernando Frediani fhfrediani at gmail.com
Fri Aug 27 11:07:53 EDT 2021

Hello John

Congratulations for making this public statement in a very clear and 
fair way based on facts that happened and real evidence.

I don't really agree every time I read stuff like "Every RIR should 
resolve their own problems". Obviously there is some specific stuff of 
the region and the legal system each RIR is based on and that must be 
dealt by each RIR, but in general RIRs operate em very similar ways and 
if there is a threat or a tentative do subvert the proposal of a RIR all 
other RIRs, NRO, ICANN and any organization that is committed to 
stability of the internet have the duty to position themselves in the 
right side, share important information that can contribute to clarify 
the scenario to all stackholders and keep IP resources as fair as 
possible among any end-user organization. A bad scenario for a RIR has 
the potential to be replicated to any other so why it is important in my 
view that each one position themselves in the defense of the right 
principles that guide the operation of any RIR.

I want to take the opportunity to reinforce to all following this topic 
and that participate on policy making process the importance to keep 
both eyes opened to tentatives of any possible actors that may not 
necessarily be committed to continuous Internet development, to provide 
internet connectivity and services to people in general and that may try 
to use the policy making process to change rules only for their 
personal/financial interests.

Once again congratulations Team ARIN for the well written and clear 


On 27/08/2021 10:55, John Curran wrote:
> ARIN Community -
> In response to questions about the dispute in the AFRINIC region, 
> please refer to the following article (link and text attached below –
> <https://teamarin.net/2021/08/27/afrinic-and-the-stability-of-the-internet-number-registry-system/ 
> <https://teamarin.net/2021/08/27/afrinic-and-the-stability-of-the-internet-number-registry-system/>>
> FYI,
> /John
> John Curran
> President and CEO
> American Registry for Internet Numbers
> ===
> August 27, 2021
> AFRINIC And The Stability Of The Internet Number Registry System
> By John Curran - President and CEO, American Registry for Internet 
> Numbers, Ltd. (ARIN)
> As many in the community are aware, the Regional Internet Registry 
> (RIR) that serves Africa (AFRINIC) has been involved in litigation 
> with a company known as “Cloud Innovation” operating out of the 
> Seychelles and under control of an individual named Lu Heng (who 
> resides primarily in Hong Kong.) Disputes between RIRs and their 
> customers do occur from time to time, and it is best that such 
> disputes are resolved within that RIR, its community, and/or 
> the applicable legal and courts system if necessary.
> ARIN does not normally comment on disputes or related litigation 
> occurring at another RIR, but this matter has become quite different, 
> as it is both highly public and has potential for significant impact 
> to the overall stability of the Internet number registry system and 
> thus to ARIN and its community. Therefore, I address the ARIN 
> community to provide insight into the nature of the dispute, to 
> highlight some troublesome aspects of the ongoing litigation, and 
> finally to reiterate ARIN’s unwavering support to AFRINIC and the 
> African networking community.
> The Dispute and Litigation
> In 2020, AFRINIC completed a registry audit to confirm that number 
> resources were properly reflected in the registry; and as a result, 
> determined that it required additional information from Cloud 
> Innovation regarding its utilization of previously issued Internet 
> number resources. This sort of resource review is not uncommon among 
> the RIRs, and ARIN has its own resource review process that is similar 
> in nature. Upon reviewing the information provided by 
> Cloud Innovation, AFRINIC determined that the resources were not being 
> utilized for the purposes for which they were issued and noted that 
> they would be revoked (after a suitable time to allow customer 
> migration off those resources.) Mr. Lu and his businesses disputed 
> AFRINIC’s authority to enforce this provision of its customer 
> agreement and instead engaged in several legal actions in the courts 
> in Mauritius to prevent having to return the address blocks to AFRINIC.
> As noted earlier, normally disputes are routine in nature and are 
> generally best resolved by the individual RIR, its community, and/or 
> the applicable legal & courts system. However, among the motions that 
> Cloud Innovation has made is one that currently freezes AFRINIC’s 
> accounts and thus has the potential to hamper AFRINIC’s operations and 
> ability to serve both the community in Africa as well as the global 
> community that relies upon the Internet number registry system.  ARIN 
> takes stability of the Internet number registry system very seriously; 
> and considering this risk, we are compelled to provide this update to 
> the ARIN community as it needs to be aware of these developments and 
> potential implications. I must also share some of ARIN’s knowledge 
> related to this matter as it informs and directs our stance going 
> forward.
> Prior Dealings with ARIN
> ARIN has first-hand experience and insight into Mr. Lu’s business 
> practices in seeking IP number resources. Mr. Lu, through Cloud 
> Innovation, Ltd., received 6.2 million IPv4 addresses from AFRINIC in 
> four different installments[1]; however, it is worth noting that in 
> 2013,Mr. Lu, through his company Outside Heaven, Ltd., also approached 
> and sought over one million IPv4 addresses from ARIN. ARIN ultimately 
> refused to provide any resources to him and his business for two main 
> reasons: First, during the review of his application to justify the 
> provision of Internet number resources, Mr. Lu refused to provide ARIN 
> with information that was repeatedly requested on a number of 
> occasions; and second, the information provided by Mr. Lu was 
> misleading and inconsistent.  In addition, Mr. Lu had no meaningful 
> business establishment in the ARIN region; and based on his own 
> representations, it was clear the intended use of the IPv4 
> addresses—if they were issued—was for business activities outside the 
> ARIN service region.  Given the seriousness of potentially false 
> statements made to ARIN to obtain number resources, ARIN attempted to 
> engage in appropriate due diligence with which Mr. Lu was unwilling to 
> cooperate.  ARIN refused his application for IPv4 number resources.
> Use of the AFRINIC Resources Out of Africa
> ARIN has reviewed the utilization of the number resource blocks issued 
> by AFRINIC to Cloud Innovation and determined that the overwhelming 
> majority of the approximately 6.2 million IP addresses issued have not 
> been used within the African continent. While there are cases of 
> entire address blocks being routed from an ISP in South Africa, Cloud 
> Innovation also has announced more specific routes from ISPs in Hong 
> Kong and the United States. Because more specific announcements take 
> routing precedence, this rendered the routing announcement at the 
> South African ISP moot and resulted in the vast majority of the 
> traffic usage being outside of Africa. Such a result is not surprising 
> as Cloud Innovation has indicated that they predominantly “lease” the 
> IP address space to other parties rather than utilize it to provide 
> connectivity services directly.
> It is apparent that Cloud Innovation’s use of the issued number 
> resources is not being used for the purpose for which they were 
> issued; and as such, it appears that AFRINIC is within its rights per 
> the registration services agreement to reclaim them so that they may 
> be used for the benefit of the African community.  This is among the 
> issues that will need to be considered by the Mauritian court, as well 
> as whether there was fraud in the inception of the contractual 
> process when the resources were issued. Because AFRINIC is directly 
> involved in the litigation, it has quite properly limited its public 
> comments on the ongoing litigation with Mr. Lu and his companies. 
> However, Mr. Lu, and parties related to Mr. Lu, have not limited their 
> actions to the courts and have maintained a steady stream of confusing 
> and inconsistent misinformation to the public that apparently distorts 
> the issues to cast AFRINIC in a most unfavorable light. Neither the 
> AFRINIC nor the ARIN communities should expect a quick answer from the 
> courts, but it will ultimately yield a ruling. In the interim, as 
> procedural motions are being sorted out, the community should not make 
> judgements about the court proceeding until the substantive issues are 
> addressed.
> Joint RIR Stability Fund
> The RIRs have committed to mutual assistance, in kind and financial, 
> to ensure operational continuity of the Internet number registry 
> system; and in 2015, the RIRs established a Joint RIR Stability Fund 
> as a prudent contingency measure towards long-term Internet number 
> registry stability. The Fund has been established through voluntary 
> pledges of funds from individual RIRs’ reserves, and upon an RIR’s 
> duly submitted request for support from the Stability Fund, the funds 
> may be made available to support that RIR’s registry and policy 
> development activities. There is in excess of $2M USD of financial 
> support collectively pledged from the RIRs for this purpose; and in 
> addition, support can also be provided in-kind (e.g., 
> through operational staff for support of operational activities if 
> needed.)
> If AFRINIC requests support in accordance with the Joint RIR Stability 
> Fund, ARIN will support such a request.  Furthermore, and without 
> reservation, ARIN stands by its unwavering commitment to support 
> AFRINIC and will take any and all measures necessary to ensure 
> that neither the African networking community, nor the global Internet 
> number registry system, is operationally impacted during this period. 
> AFRINIC was formed (and has accomplished so much) for the benefit of 
> the African networking community and ARIN stands with the community in 
> dealing with those who seek to disrupt or exploit it for their own 
> benefit.
> [1]
> (Issued 07/24/2013)
> (Issued 12/1/2014)
> (Issued 12/22/2015)
> (Issued 09/16/2016)
> ===
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