Post Tagged with: "internet governance"

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

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 […]

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August 24, 2012 24 comments News

UN Internet Takeover Rumours Mask Bigger Governance Shortcomings

In recent months the Internet has been buzzing about the prospect of a United Nations “takeover” of the Internet, including responsibility for governance of the domain name system. The concern hit a fever pitch late last month when the U.S. Congress held hearings on the issue. A steady stream of technology companies and consumer groups expressed fears with potential U.N. and foreign government involvement and members of Congress pledged to take a strong stand against the takeover.

While a U.N. takeover would indeed be cause for serious concern, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the reality is far more complex and somewhat less ominous. This issue has been festering for over 15 years and is less about whether there will be efforts at governmental control and more about which government controls.

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June 13, 2012 4 comments Columns

Canada’s Domain Name Agency to the Public: We Don’t Trust You

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the non-profit agency charged with managing the dot-ca domain name, has emerged in recent years as an important voice on Internet governance. Backed by a big bank account – CIRA earns millions of dollars each year for maintaining the domain name registry – it has launched an annual Internet governance forum attended by hundreds of Canadians, partnered with various groups to help small businesses establish an online presence, and sponsored many Canadian Internet-related events.

Yet just as CIRA begins to fulfill its potential as an “important public resource” (as described in its mandate letter from the Government of Canada), my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes it has proposed a new governance structure that seeks to sideline the public by limiting the ability to serve on the CIRA board. With more than a million registrants, CIRA is one of Canada’s largest Internet organizations and its message to members is clear: we don’t trust you.

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April 30, 2012 11 comments Columns

Canada’s Domain Name Agency to the Public: We Don’t Trust You

Appeared in the Toronto Star on April 29, 2012 as Dot.ca manager doesn’t seem to trust Canadians The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the non-profit agency charged with managing the dot-ca domain name, has emerged in recent years as an important voice on Internet governance. Backed by a big bank account […]

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April 30, 2012 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

All Your Internets Belong to US, Continued: The Bodog.com Case

Imagine a scenario in which a country enacts a law that bans the sale of asbestos and includes the power to seize the assets of any company selling the product anywhere in the world. The country tests the law by obtaining a court order to seize key assets of a Canadian company, whose operations with hundreds of employees takes a major hit. The Canadian government is outraged, promising to support the company in its efforts to restore its operations.

That is the opening of my technology law column this week (Toronto Star version, homepage version) which continues by noting this scenario became reality last week, though the product was not asbestos and the Canadian government has yet to respond. The case involves Bodog.com, a Canadian-owned online sports gaming site and the country doing the seizing was the United States. Supporting online gaming operations will undoubtedly make governments somewhat squeamish, but the broader implications of last week’s seizure touch on millions of websites and Internet companies who now find themselves subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

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March 6, 2012 30 comments Columns