Updated: Aug 16
Some time ago, disturbing allegations were made by former and suspended CEO of AFRINIC, Eddy Kayihura, and his partners, Neil Roland Hare-Brown. The allegations claimed that Cloud Innovation, the 3rd largest member of AFRINIC hosting nearly 2% of all world domain names, of hosting child pornography on their websites.
Everyone around the world is in agreement that child pornography is the most disgusting thing and before such accusations can be made against a person, group, or organization, much research should have been conducted beforehand. However, with this particular accusation, this doesn't seem to be the case. Neil Roland Hare-Brown and Eddy Kayihura claimed to have conducted their research on a total of 1000 websites hosted by CI's infrastructure, with a considerable number of websites containing the indecent picture of a child. These figures simply do not add.
How do we know this? Let's start with the facts. For starters, contrary to their claim, Cloud Innovation doesn't actually host any website aside from one cooperate website of its own. So the claim by Eddy Kayihura that it was hosting child pornography is a farce and far from the truth.
Secondly, looking at the websites hosted by Cloud Innovation's customers, there are at least 6 million of them. If the sample size for "research" is looking at a thousand websites out of at least 1 million websites, then the data is simply wrong. Furthermore, Neil Roland Hare-Brown and Eddy Kayihura have embarrassed themselves by confusing 6 million websites as few thousand websites.
Thirdly, it must be reiterated that Cloud Innovation does not and has never hosted any website on its infrastructure. To make such accusations without having accurate information to back up the claims is libelous and shows malice.
This is from AFRINIC's letter to Cloud Innovation on 27 Aug 2021 in which Eddy Kayihura wrongly cited the number of websites hosted by Cloud Innovation.
Extracts from CI's response to Eddy's letter sent on 12 Sep 2021.
Invasion of Privacy
Additionally, Eddy Kayihura claims that Cloud Innovation should monitor all its customers and report back 5 years of the monitoring data back to them. This is illegal and criminal.
From the same letter, Eddy Kayihura asked Cloud Innovation to invade their customers' privacy and provide AFRINIC with their data.
From the same letter sent on 27 Aug 2021, in which Eddy Kayihura is asking Cloud Innovation to invade the privacy of their customers and provide AFRINIC with their data.
It is an invasion of privacy across 60 jurisdictions and hundreds of millions end users worldwide, and hence, a potentially criminal act.
Private companies like AFRINIC who provide direct or indirect internet service to end users, such as ISPs or telecom providers, have no rights whatsoever in policing its users and invading their privacy. Just like a telephone company, you use a sim card from telecom company, but it does not give the company any legal rights to listen to or record your private conversations.
Response from Cloud Innovation
Despite these accusations of child pornography and child abuse that are clearly founded on falsehoods and deceptive motives, CI reached out to both Neil Roland Hare-Brown and Eddy Kayihura for more information and actionable data on these websites to shut them down and protect the real victim here--the children.
However, both Neil and Eddy have refused to cooperate or give up the "information" they have leading us to ask critical questions; "Is it child pornography that Eddy and Neil Roland Hare-Brown care about? Or are they using this child abuse situation as a means to gain a political and legal advantage?" The answer is the latter because if both parties truly want to fight against child abuse and child pornography, the information they claim to have will already be in the hands of the relevant authorities charged with handling such crimes.
Extract of a letter from Eddy Kayihura to Cloud Innovation, sent on September 10, 2021. Instead of providing CI further information about the concerned website which Eddy should know (as they accused CI of hosting the website) , Eddy asked CI to look for public resources and refused to provide the necessary information.
From CI's 12 Sep 2021's letter to Eddy Kayihura in which CI requests the counterparty to provide the necessary information.
Another letter sent by CI to Eddy on 7 October regarding the concerned matter. CI has been actively following the matter while Eddy continued to refuse to provide the information about the concerned website
Perhaps such child pornography doesn't exist and has never existed - it is just "manufactured" by Eddy and Neil because the two of them failed to provide any evidence after making the accusation. when CI asked them to provide the concerned site, Eddy and Neil refused to do so. However, if the website does exist, this means Eddy and Neil are hiding it. Cloud Innovation is not responsible for policing its customers, not to mention customers‘ customers who are actually hosting websites within the IP range - nevertheless, it has acted swiftly to request actionable information from Eddy and Neil to shut the website down. Eddy and Neil's refusal to provide this piece of information shows that they are willing to abet the most heinous and disgusting crime - child pornography for their selfish ambitions. In most jurisdictions, the refusal to provide such critical information about child pornography while admitting in possession of that information, is itself a criminal act.
Cloud Innovation, on the other hand, has proven to be beyond reproach in its handling of the situation. Once this accusation was levied against the company, its representatives reached out to the accusers in the hopes of working together to shut down the malicious websites. However, all efforts to cooperate and fight against child abuse were refuted by Neil Roland Hare-Brown and Eddy Kayihura.
As a result of a lack of cooperation, CI contacted the Mauritian police revealing the accusations and filing a case in the court in a bid to address the issue immediately. CI has also reported the case to the FBI.
As of writing, the matter has yet to be resolved but this debacle seems to have taught the internet community a few lessons. Number one is that there are no depths to the depravity the former suspended CEO of AFRINIC is willing to sink to. This is utterly disgraceful and illustrates a failure in moral and ethical leadership. Also, both Neil and Eddy are clearly are not acting in the best interests of the real victims here - the children that are being abused and used as a disgusting source of entertainment.
NRS will continue to monitor the situation and provide objective coverage on how things unfold in the coming weeks. We encourage any party who has relevant information about the concerned situation to contact us at email@example.com.