CIRA Provides Canadians With Free DNS Firewall To Enhance Security And Privacy

Canada’s ccTLD registry, CIRA, has made the internet a bit safer and more private this week with the launch of CIRA Canadian Shield – a free DNS firewall service that will provide online privacy and security to individuals and families across Canada.

The launch of the Canadian Shield has become even more important with the recent COVID-19 pandemic and many people working and learning from home, their personal devices and home networks vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Unfortunately, most do not have access to the protection that large corporations and institutions apply to their data and devices.

Canadian Shield will provide enterprise-grade privacy and cybersecurity protection to Canadians by leveraging CIRA’s national DNS infrastructure, decades of experience in protecting Canada’s internet, and global partnership with Akamai Technologies.

“The internet is proving to be a critical lifeline for Canada during this unprecedented situation,” said Dave Chiswell, vice president, product, Canadian Internet Registration Authority. “Unfortunately, as Canadians shift to working and learning from home, cyber-criminals are shifting as well. With CIRA Canadian Shield, we are helping to protect Canadians from bad actors who are using this crisis to exploit unprotected personal devices and home networks. We are proud to bring this free service to Canadians in a time of need.”

As a non-profit organisation committed to strengthening Canada’s internet, CIRA has no interest in monetising the browsing data of Canadians. CIRA will never sell access to personal data, nor use it to target advertising. For more information, please view our Privacy Policy.

CIRA has also partnered with the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) to integrate its Canadian threat feed into Canadian Shield. This partnership provides Canadian Shield users with enhanced protections through Cyber Centre derived threat intelligence. No personally identifiable information (PII) of any kind is transmitted to the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security as part of this process.

To explain the service, CIRA explains:

  • Canadian Shield offers three free levels of service:
    • Private: prevents the commercialisation of the user’s DNS for better online privacy
    • Protected: all features of Private plus added malware, botnet and phishing protection
    • Family: all features of Protected plus added adult content blocking
  • CIRA Canadian Shield is available as a free DNS service that operates on IPv4, IPv6 and the newest DNS encryption standards—DNS over HTTPS (DoH and DNS over TLS (DoT). For IP addresses and other info, please read our configuration guide.
  • CIRA’s deployment of a national, public DNS over HTTPS (DoH) service is the first of its kind in the world.
  • CIRA Canadian Shield is also available via a mobile app to protect Canadians’ smartphones and tablets, thanks to a partnership with Mobolize. It is a free download in both the Apple App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android).
  • Canadian Shield is built on the backbone of CIRA DNS Firewall in partnership with Akamai, who’s powerful threat detection adds over 100,000 new threats per day. This provides Canadians with a made in Canada solution with global reach.
  • CIRA has also partnered with TekSavvy to deploy four Canadian Shield nodes into TekSavvy data centres in Toronto (2), Montreal and Vancouver.
  • CIRA has committed to a full annual privacy audit, conducted by a third-party auditor, to ensure adherence to the highest standards of data privacy.

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