[lacnog] Fwd: AFRINIC And The Stability Of The Internet Number Registry System

Fernando Frediani fhfrediani en gmail.com
Vie Ago 27 14:09:27 -03 2021

Hola todos

A continuación se muestra una declaración de John Curran, CEO de ARIN, 
que explica de manera muy clara y objetiva el caso en disputa en AfriNic.
Es importante que todos los que sigan el área de recursos de numeración 
comprendan la gravedad de este ataque contra AfriNic y de alguna manera 
demuestren su apoyo para que el RIR pueda reanudar sus actividades con 

En los últimos tiempos, los signos de mal uso indebido del 
direccionamiento IP para actividades como alquilar por ejemplo ha 
aumentado y es importante apoyar a los RIRs en el proceso de revisión 
del uso para las asignaciones existentes, lo que garantiza que siempre 
esté en línea con las políticas actuales y el contrato firmado previamente.


--------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	[arin-ppml] AFRINIC And The Stability Of The Internet Number 
Registry System
Date: 	Fri, 27 Aug 2021 13:55:17 +0000
From: 	John Curran <jcurran en arin.net>
To: 	ARIN-PPML List <arin-ppml en arin.net>

ARIN Community -

In response to questions about the dispute in the AFRINIC region, please 
refer to the following article (link and text attached below –



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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