The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) launched a call Tuesday for applications for projects to improve internet access in Canada. Over C$1 million in grants will be awarded to community groups and researchers working on infrastructure, cybersecurity, digital literacy and community leadership projects – with preference given to those that benefit students, as well as northern, rural, and Indigenous communities.
It has taken 32 years since the first .ca domain was registered, and 20 years to the day since ICANN delegated the .ca domain registry to CIRA, but Tuesday the organisation announced there are now more than 3 million .ca domains under management.
Ireland’s ccTLD became a little bit Canadian this week as the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) now provides backend registry services to .IE, the manager of… .ie… through its CIRA Registry Platform.
CIRA, the .ca registry, has filed an intervention in a Canadian pirate site blocking appeal, along with a Canadian public interest technology law clinic, according to a report in TorrentFreak this week.
May was the biggest month ever for .ca domain name registrations with 54,129 domain names registered, an increase of 38 percent over May 2019 when 39,319 were registered according to data from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) released today. It was the biggest single month for .ca registrations since CIRA was founded in 1998.
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.Continue reading CIRA Provides Canadians With Free DNS Firewall To Enhance Security And Privacy
Technology and internet use has changed in Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic began a survey data from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has found. Widespread school closures, social distancing, and work from home has significantly shifted how Canadians are using the internet to learn, work, and stay connected with friends and family.
The findings suggest that the number of Canadians working from home has skyrocketed, and that many are experiencing slower internet speeds as video streaming and video and teleconferencing are on the rise.
“COVID-19 has changed everything. It feels like overnight the entire country had to move their work, schooling, and social calendar online,” said David Fowler, vice-president, marketing and communications, CIRA, the company that manages the .ca ccTLD.
“Over the past few weeks, the power of the internet to connect us has never been more clear, nor more important. The data shows how the country is coping with our massive shift online. There are struggles as Canadians discover that working from home isn’t without its pitfalls, but we are also seeing families and friends playing games, hosting video conference parties and connecting online like never before. As Canadians do their part to fight this virus, we hope this data helps shine a light on what folks are doing online during this very unusual time in our country’s history.”
Mobile and Home Internet Use:
- Many Canadians are reporting slower internet speeds. 38 per cent of respondents said their home internet connection is slower than before the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing began.
- B.C. residents are more likely to say their connection is slower since the pandemic began (49 per cent).
- Nearly one in 10 Canadians have reported reaching their monthly mobile phone data cap since the pandemic began.
Working From Home:
- The number of Canadians working from home has grown seven-fold. Half of Canadians (52 per cent) currently employed say they are now working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to only 7% who were working from home before it began.
- Nearly half of households (44 per cent) report having two or more people working at home due COVID-19.
- 61 per cent of respondents working from home say having no commute is by far the biggest perceived benefit of widespread working from home.
- Nearly half (45 per cent) say the biggest drawback is fewer face-to-face interactions, followed by problems ‘switching off’ (27 per cent) and lack of proper office equipment (25 per cent).
- One in four (26 per cent) working from home report having no dedicated workspace and instead have to continually move around and improvise.
Entertainment and Staying Connected with Family and Friends
- A majority of Canadians are spending more time streaming video online. 70% of respondents say they are spending more time streaming TVs and movies, while a third or more (38%) report spending ‘a lot’ more time doing so.
- 18 to 39 year olds are more likely than those 40+ to spend more time playing video games and listening to podcasts.
- Over half (61 per cent) of Canadians report spending more time connecting with friends via video or teleconference.
- The telephone tops the list of preferred ways to stay in touch with friends and family amongst those over 40 years of age. For those 18-39, the most preferred method is WhatsApp.
- Internet users in Canada are making an effort to support Canadian businesses. 6-in-10 have made an effort to support Canadian businesses and retailers instead of international ones when shopping online since the pandemic began.
- Nearly half (46 per cent) say they are shopping mostly from large chain stores for food and other items, while, about one-third (36 per cent) are shopping from both large chains and local small businesses.
- Few Canadians (12 per cent) report that they are shopping primarily from local small businesses.
- While people are more likely to say that their online shopping frequency has increased with large retailers than with local independent stores, they report that the most common way of engaging with local area small businesses is by ordering take-out or delivery (35 per cent).
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has announced the opening of its annual $1million+ Community Investment Program granting initiative for 2020. Not-for-profits, charities, and researchers are invited to apply for funding that will improve the health and quality of Canadaâs internet. Applications close on 25 February.
The Community Investment Program from Canadaâs ccTLD manager focuses on internet-related projects in Canada and awards grants of up to $100,000, including one grant of up to $250,000. To ensure support for digital projects in underserved areas and communities, this yearâs granting cycle will give preference to initiatives that benefit students and rural, northern and Indigenous communities. CIRA is looking for projects in these four areas:
- Infrastructure research or projects that improve internet speed, access, and costs.
- Digital literacy tools, research, and training programs to develop digital skills.
- Cybersecurity projects or research that promote usersâ safety online.
- Community leadership initiatives including events or research that engage Canadians in domestic internet policy issues.
âSince 2014 weâve funded more than 150 internet projects from coast to coast to coast. Now weâre focusing in on some of Canadaâs hardest to reach places,â said David Fowler, vice-president, marketing and communications. âWeâre especially looking for projects that benefit students as well as people in rural, northern and Indigenous communities who for too long have faced barriers to participating in Canadaâs digital economy. We hope our Community Investment Program grants can help teach our youth the digital skills they need to be safe online, and fill the gaps in education and internet access for people in under-served areas of Canada.”
Since 2014, CIRAâs Community Investment Program grants have provided $6.7 million in funding for 151 projects across Canada. To learn more about the program, funding categories, and projects that CIRA has supported in the past, head to cira.ca/grants.
Past winners have included:
- CompuCorpsâ Indige-preneurs program provides digital literacy workshops for Indigenous women focused on building an online business.
- The Gwich’in Tribal Council and University of Alberta researchers created resources to support citizen decision-making regarding broadband deployment in the Northwest Territories.
- SimpleCell is an infrastructure project that allows residents without high-speed internet to access it from their cell phones and mobile devices within the historical Francophone region of the Port au Port Peninsula in Newfoundland.
CIRA is sending in the law enforcement, the “Eh Team”, threatening Canadians who choose a .com or other top-level domain instead of their very own .ca in a humorous attempt to encourage more .ca domain name registrations.
It’s the Canadian ccTLD registry’s first ever broadcast campaign, called “Don’t Be A Traitor”, and is hoping a little fun will help educate Canadians as to the value of .ca domain names for Canadian businesses.
”Even today, it is estimated that more than 50 per cent of Canadian businesses still don’t have a website,” said Byron Holland, president and CEO of CIRA. “These businesses are missing out on economic advantages that the web offers, and if they don’t have a .CA domain, they are missing out on potential customers as well. Our goal with this campaign is to break through the noise with some over-the-top humour, and demonstrate the value of a .CA domain for Canadian businesses.”
CIRA’s .CA Domain Squad is dogged in their efforts to help Canadian business make the right choice to attract more customers to their businesses with a .CA domain name. Their methods are at times extreme, but it’s only because they care.
CIRA explains the .CA Domain Squad is comprised of:
- The Sergeant: He’s not just a “by the book” type, he wrote the book.
- The Rookie: What he lacks in experience he makes up for in knee-high socks.
- The Loose Cannon: Rumour has it she once bought a poorly made juicer from a .com website. She has never been the same since.
- The Vet: He retires in two days. Hopefully we can wrap this up by then.
“.CA domain names help Canadian businesses attract more customers, enhance their brand, and they help support Canada’s internet,” said David Fowler, vice president, marketing and communications at CIRA. “Our goal with this campaign is to promote the value of .CA to support Canadian businesses. Using anything else is almost criminal.”
The commercial will air over broadcast television in the Greater Toronto Area from 23 September until 17 November. It will also be featured on streaming services and in cinemas in the Greater Toronto Area.
An integrated social media, search and content campaign featuring the .CA Domain Squad will accompany the commercial.
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) released a research report last week displaying Canadians’ opinions and experiences regarding the internet and fake news, privacy, cybersecurity and access. Based on a survey of over 1,200 Canadian internet users in December 2018, the report highlights areas of concern, including apprehension around the upcoming Canadian federal election. The report also indicates what Canadians want from industry, the Canadian government and citizens themselves to create a better internet in Canada.
CIRA’s report offers several recommendations to improve Canada’s internet, including enhanced investments by the Canadian government, actions around cybersecurity and privacy that Canadian businesses can take right away and opportunities for Canadian citizens to improve the internet they rely on every day.
“With the rise of misinformation online and threats to digital privacy and cybersecurity, Canadians are demanding more of government, industry and others when it comes to Canada’s internet,” says CIRA’s CEO Byron Holland. “The question that remains is how best to give Canadians what they want, while maintaining the open, interoperable internet that has become ubiquitous in the lives of most Canadians.”
The report comes out in the lead up to the upcoming
Canadian Internet Governance Forum, taking place this week in Toronto, where internet stakeholders from across the country will meet to discuss these key issues. CIRA is a sponsor, co-organiser and participant.
“There are some basic actions that can be taken today to increase Canadian privacy and security online,” says Jacques Latour, CIRA’s chief security officer. “Canadian businesses must learn and follow privacy laws and make cybersecurity a priority. Governments must invest and participate in local infrastructure such as Canadian internet exchange points to keep data local, and Canadians must learn to spot and avoid personal cyber threats such as phishing emails.”
“With a federal election around the corner, fake news is a real concern and Canadians agree,” says David Fowler, CIRA’s vice president of marketing and communications and vice-chair of MediaSmarts board of directors. “Canadians see social media companies, the government and journalists as key players to halt misinformation online. But citizens themselves have a role to play and increased investments in media literacy will help Canadians spot fake news and thereby thwart its influence.”
To read the full report visit cira.ca/betterinternet.
Some of the key facts on Canadian internet users highlighted by CIRA are:
Of Canadian internet users:
Social media and fake news
Â· 75% say they come across fake news at least sometimes
- 57% have been taken in by a fake news item.
Â· 70% are concerned that fake news could impact the outcome of the next federal election.
Â· 72% are willing to disclose some or a little personal information in exchange for a valuable/convenient service.
Â· 87% are concerned that businesses with access to customers’ personal data willingly share it with third parties without consent.
Â· 86% believe it is important that government data, including the personal information of Canadians, be stored and transmitted in Canada only.
Â· 87% are concerned about a potential cyberattack against organizations with access to their personal data.
Â· Only 19% say they would continue to do business with an organization if their personal data were exposed in a cyberattack.
Â· 78% are concerned about the potential security threats related to the Internet of Things.
Â· 69% believe the high cost of internet services, including for mobile data, is hurting Canada’s economy and prosperity.
Â· 83% believe that universal access to high-speed internet is important for Canada’s overall economic growth and prosperity.
Â· 70% agree that the Canadian government should be doing more to support public access to high-speed internet.
Â· 75% say they only know a little or hardly anything about the topic of global control and regulation of the internet.
Â· 50% are concerned that the global internet could fracture into regional blocks that adopt very different regulatory principles and policies.
- 66% support the principles of net neutrality.