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Why I'm Running for a Place on the CIRA Board

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Friday August 24, 2012
Earlier this year, I wrote a column and post about proposed governance changes to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority in which I expressed concern that the plans would remove the ability for CIRA members to nominate their own candidates to the board. The Board decided to hold off on the governance changes, but the incident provided a timely reminder that CIRA is entering a new stage with millions in annual revenues and considerable debate about how organize itself and to best to spend its money.

I served on the CIRA board for five years during its initial formation and have now put my name forward to serve again. The 2012 CIRA election process is currently at the member nomination support stage. If you are a CIRA member, I would appreciate your support so that my name appears on the final ballot in September. If have a registered dot-ca domain and are not a CIRA member, register here.

My priorities are simple.  First, ensure that there is a public interest and consumer voice on the board.  Second, promote governance reform that will allow CIRA to play a more effective role in public policy related to the Internet in Canada. I believe this can be best achieved by following the InternetNZ model that separates the domain name functions from the public policy work.  By allocating a set percentage of revenues annually toward an independent public policy body, CIRA would create an organization able to more actively participate in critical Internet policy issues such as net neutrality and lawful access.  My full statement is posted at the elections site alongside the many other excellent candidates. The election will run from September 19 - 26, 2012.
Comments (24)add comment

Neil Balchin said:


Sadly I'm no longer a member of CIRA, my last .ca domain expired several years ago. But I wanted to say I would enthusiastically give you my vote if I still had one. I count myself among what I believe are thousands of readers that you perhaps never hear from. I've been programming computers and connected to the internet under it's various forms for almost 30 years now and I can't recall another individual that has made me rethink or simply think about the issues you deal with. Keep it up and thank you.
August 24, 2012

Paul said:

Done the posting in your support. We need consumer reps.
August 24, 2012

Dan said:

Thanks for running
Thank you for running Mr. Geist. You will have my vote, as well as my deepest appreciation for your on-going dedication to consumers' rights and providing us a legitimate voice!
August 24, 2012

Guy Paquette said:

Unfortunately I'm no longer a member of CIRA; however, I fully endorse Michael Geist as a candidate for the CIRA board.

His depth and breadth of knowledge on matters pertaining to the law, digital technology and stakeholder rights is exceptional.
August 24, 2012

Geoff Currier said:

Host: Nighthawk. CJOB Radio, Winnipeg

Good luck on your efforts to get on the CIRA board. Positions such as these require expertise and you have it in spades.
August 24, 2012

Gerard said:

I'm going to get my domain a .ca just so I can vote or you ;)
August 24, 2012

anonymous said:

Thank you for offering, but how far will you go?
Now that the US government is seizing domain names for more than just copyright issues, it is clear that .ca domains must remain beyond the reach of government censorship.

CIRA has led the world in shaping the net into a vehicle for free speech by making domain ownership anonymous by default.

Perhaps we should now consider instituting one of the schemes proposed for propagating the .ca zone file in a distributed manner, which would be censorship-proof, such as how the freenet, or the trackerless bittorrent networks work?

Michael, where do YOU stand on making our Internet censorship-proof one and for all?
August 24, 2012

Zak Muscovitch said:

good luck Michael!
August 24, 2012

Pedro said:

Good luck Mr. Geist!
August 24, 2012

Ralph Mercer said:


Best of luck to you on your quest to be elected. I am also running for the board and hope we can serve together, we share several concern.
check out my post on why I'm running http://ralphmercer.wordpress.c...rity-cira/ if you have a chance,

Good Luck Ralph
August 25, 2012

Clyde Beattie said:

Delighted to see that you are running for CIRA board again. As you know from our discussions in the early years of CIRA, I have always been a proponent of the idea of funding an independent body to distribute the funds generated by the registry. Couldn't be happier to see you are taking up this cause, it is an essential progression I wish we had been able to establish years ago. Good luck.
August 26, 2012

Herostratus said:

Hip Hip Hooray!!!
Great news!!!! I hope you'll be having some on campus campaign events!
August 26, 2012

Rob McIntyre said:

Just added my support.
August 27, 2012


Independent policy body / Shows of support
As one who also has proudly served on CIRA's board, I agree with Michael's position regarding the creation of a separate independent policy body for critical Internet issues.

I am also seeking your shows of support this year. Note that CIRA members can show support for 2 candidates. Please see:
August 27, 2012

ChrisV said:

Bonne nouvelle ! Tu as mon appui.
August 27, 2012

Antoine W. said:

Great news
Registered and voted just for you.
August 27, 2012

Gerard said:

And Done!
Best of luck, we need you there..
August 27, 2012

doog said:

Great ideas!
I'd vote for you; those ideas make a lot of sense! The CIRA regulating internet issues instead of the CRTC is brilliant - I would think the CIRA (including yourself) know far more about the internet and it's issues, have technical knowledge, and aren't tied to old-media interests (are un-biased). But, how does one agency take over responsibility from another?
August 28, 2012

BartL said:

Show of Support
Just added my Support for Michael. Looking forward to voting on Sept. 19th
August 30, 2012

John Scott said:

At last a good reason to register.
August 31, 2012

Gregg said:

I own 3 .ca domains
Good luck, Professor!

Please, see too that the CIRA actually enforces their own rules. It's been a pet peeve of mine for a decade.
September 03, 2012

Larry said:

I just registered
and I will be voting!
September 06, 2012

financial watcher said:

CIRA has $20 Million in the bank
I just looked at CIRA's latest financials. They have $20M just sitting in the bank. Why? Each year CIRA makes a "profit" of about $2M. They always bring in more than they need to operate. CIRA now spends over $4M/year on "marketing". Why? What are they "selling"? Much of CIRA's annual income of about $17M/year goes to "deferred revenue", i.e. it is put into savings accounts. Why? In fact it only costs a few million dollars a year (at most) to run the few servers that provide DNS lookups for .ca. What is the extra $14M/yr for?
September 11, 2012

Chris said:

You won a place on the CIRA board
and got the most votes of anyone... but the numbers are only in the few hundreds, so definitely we all make a difference in this election...

Nomination Committee Slate:
Bill Sandiford, 338 votes
William Gibson, 301 votes
Carole Mackaay, 266 votes

Members' Slate
Michael Geist, 423 votes
Kevin McArthur, 186 votes
September 27, 2012

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