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Statement on Internet Shutdowns Policy Proposal

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26 May 2017In April 2017, AFRINIC's Policy Development Working Group (PDWG) Co-Chairs received a policy proposal, AFPUB-2017-GEN-001-DRAFT-01: "Anti-Shutdown", authored by members of the AFRINIC community.

This policy proposal has ignited much discussion in the AFRINIC region and beyond. Several news articles and blog posts have also been published.

Some articles, unfortunately, have contained factually incorrect information on how the consensus-based, multi-stakeholder, bottom-up policy development processes (PDP) works, the role that AFRINIC Ltd plays in it, and the differences between AFRINIC Ltd, AFRINIC Members, and the AFRINIC Community.

The debate and intense discussion surrounding this proposal -- and any policy proposal – is a natural, welcomed and expected part of the AFRINIC policy development process. All stakeholders, including governments and regulators, are encouraged to join this discussion and voice their opinions. 

In order to ensure that meaningful discussion on all policy proposals can continue, we'd like to remind the community to keep the following key points in mind:

  • The item under discussion, AFPUB-2017-GEN-001-DRAFT-01: "Anti-Shutdown" is not a policy, it's a policy proposal.
  • It was not proposed by AFRINIC Ltd, it was proposed by a few people in the community.
  • The proposal is in the early stages of discussion, and all interested parties may participate in the discussion.
  • The policies that govern how AFRINIC Ltd operates and how it manages and distributes Internet number resources in the AFRINIC region are proposed, discussed and accepted or rejected by the AFRINIC Community using a transparent, open and inclusive, consensus-based, multi-stakeholder policy development process (PDP). This PDP is documented under the policy section of the AFRINIC website.
  • AFRINIC's policy development process is open to everyone. Anybody may submit a policy proposal for consideration, and anybody may participate in the discussion.
  • Before a policy proposal can become a policy, it must be discussed and reach agreement in the community, and must be ratified by the AFRINIC Board, as described in more detail in the PDP.
  • During the discussion process, the authors of a policy proposal are expected to pay attention to feedback and input that they receive from the community. If a proposal seems unlikely to gain consensus, the authors may withdraw it, or edit it and submit revised versions for further discussion.
  • AFRINIC Ltd facilitates the policy development process by providing a discussion forum.
  • Sign up to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. mailing list or attend the upcoming open public policy meeting to have your say on this proposal. Remote participation is facilitated for those who are unable to attend the public policy meetings in person.


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