Tag Archives: CIRA

CIRA to act as a catalyst for a faster, better performing Internet

CIRA dotCA logo[news release] The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, CIRA, the organization that manages the .CA Internet domain, is embarking on a new initiative to help create a more robust and economical domestic Internet for all Canadians by facilitating the development of more Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) across the country.

Many Canadians probably don’t realize that much of Canada’s domestic Internet traffic flows outside of the country before eventually reaching its destination. This is in part because Canada needs more IXPs, large data switches that allow Internet users in the same area, usually a large city, to connect directly with each other. An IXP allows local network traffic to take shorter, faster paths between member networks, improving traffic flow on major Internet backbones, improving performance and helping to reduce network costs.

There are about 350 IXPs around the world and they have proven to be integral to the Internet infrastructure of many nations. The U.S. has about 85. In Canada, there are only two, notably OTTIX in Ottawa and TORIX in Toronto.

“Canada is not keeping pace with other OECD countries,” said Byron Holland, president and CEO of CIRA. “For a country such as Canada that was once a leader in the global digital economy, this is not acceptable.”

From CIRA’s perspective, stakeholders in Canada’s digital economy, including network operators, Internet service providers (ISPs) and others from the public and private sectors, should work together to create a national IXP fabric and make the necessary infrastructure investments.

As a not-for-profit and neutral player in Canada’s Internet ecosystem, CIRA is committed to helping make this vision a reality. CIRA’s objective is to be a catalyst that facilitates the development of a national IXP fabric. In order to engage with interested community members, CIRA has initiated dialogue in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal and Halifax to help them establish or support the expansion of six key nodes for an IXP infrastructure. These discussions will continue in the months to come.

“We have much to gain from an improved Internet in Canada and a stronger digital economy,” Holland added. “This is about improving security, speed and network resilience, while maximizing the amount of traffic that stays within Canada for the benefit of all Canadians.”

To view a video explaining IXPs, please visit https://www.euro-ix.net.

To view an illustration of the benefits which a greater number of IXPs would provide to Canada, please visit here.

What is an Internet Exchange Point?

An Internet Exchange Point (IXP) is a switch within the Internet that allows multiple networks, such as three or more Internet service providers (ISPs) in the same city, to connect directly to each other. Any traffic, such as emails, sent between customers of two ISPs is transmitted entirely over that local connection. In addition to local ISPs, this kind of peer-sharing arrangement can include major content providers, universities, large corporations and government. Like the Internet itself, an IXP is the result of several stakeholders agreeing to connect via a network bridge for mutual benefit.

The Internet is not a single entity. It is a network of independent networks that have agreed to transmit their customers’ data between each other using standard communication protocols. How data travels, and the route it takes to its destination, has been determined by how the global Internet backbone was constructed over the past 30 years by large network operators and ISPs. Because of the way the Internet grew, it was often more economical for ISPs to move domestic traffic over established international links. This meant that an email sent between two individuals in the same city might take a circuitous route through several other cities or even another country before arriving at its destination.

However, this carries security risks as confidential traffic crosses borders and resides on servers in other jurisdictions. And the longer the route, the greater the data latency or lag; websites take longer to load and emails take longer to be sent and received.

IXPs have become an increasingly important component of the Internet as it has grown in size and complexity. An IXP allows local network traffic to take shorter, faster paths between member networks, alleviating congestion on major Internet backbones and reducing network costs. This results in a substantial improvement in local Internet performance and bandwidth availability. However, creating an IXP requires cooperation between network operators, ISPs and other stakeholders, such as government and private industry.

There are about 350 IXPs around the world and they have proven to be integral to the Internet infrastructure of many nations. The U.S. has about 85. In Canada, there are only two, notably OTTIX in Ottawa and TORIX in Toronto.

As a result, much of Canada’s domestic Internet traffic flows outside of the country before eventually reaching its destination. More exchange points in Canada would ensure that Canadian traffic stays in Canada more of the time, creating a more robust, higher performing and more economical domestic network.

At the 2011 Canadian ISP Summit in Toronto, CIRA called upon Canada’s Internet business leaders to work together and with CIRA to help improve Canada’s position as a  tech nation, in part by helping to establish a robust community of IXPs across Canada. For the past seven months, CIRA has been talking to community-based stakeholders about IXPs, and it recently launched an IXP wiki for stakeholders to talk about their efforts.

CIRA has already begun a dialogue with interested community members in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal and Halifax to help them establish or support the expansion of six key nodes for an IXP infrastructure, as well as being a committed member of the already established Toronto and Ottawa IXs. These discussions will continue in the months to come.

About CIRA

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority is the Member-driven organization that manages Canada’s .CA domain name registry, develops and implements policies that support Canada’s Internet community, and represents the .CA registry internationally.

This CIRA news release was sourced from:
www.cira.ca/news/news-releases/ixp/

America Registry logoTo register your .CA domain names, check out America Registry here.

CIRA celebrates 25 years of .CA

CIRA dotCA logo[news release] On May 14, 2012, Canada’s .CA turns 25 years old. It was on this day in 1987 that the .CA top-level domain was officially delegated by Jon Postel, operator of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), to John Demco at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

Demco and a group of volunteers ran the registry for 13 years. Since 2000, the registry for .CA domain names has been run by the Ottawa-based Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).

“We owe a debt to the visionaries who set up .CA in the 1980s,” explained CIRA’s President and CEO Byron Holland. “While many people today may take the Internet for granted, the fact is, without the foresight of people like John Demco, the Internet might not have developed as we now know it.”

In 1987, the Internet was a very different entity. Very few Canadians were online, and until 1990 only governments and the academic community were able to register .CA domains. The very first .CA domain name was registered to the University of Prince Edward Island in 1988. Today, .CA is an integral part of the Canadian economic and social landscape.

From 1987 to 2000, the volunteers at UBC registered almost 60,000 domain names. Now with more than 1.9 million domain names registered, .CA is the world’s 14th-largest domain registry, and it has the fourth-highest growth rate over the past five years.

Research conducted by CIRA suggests that:

  • The .CA domain is viewed as being safe, secure and trusted.
  • Canadians value .CA, with 88 per cent of Internet users seeing it as an important resource for Canadians.
  • Forty-nine per cent of Canadian Internet users say they are proud to be Canadian and feel a personal connection to the .CA domain extension.

“The growth in both the size of the registry and in the role .CA plays in Canadians’ lives bodes well for the next 25 years of .CA,” said Holland. “As we move more and more of our lives online, .CA is becoming the ‘flag on the virtual backpack’ for hundreds of thousands of Canadians.”

This CIRA news release was sourced from:
www.cira.ca/news/news-releases/25-years-of-ca/

America Registry logoTo register your .CA domain name, check out America Registry here.

Half Of New gTLDs Will Fail: CIRA CEO

Half of all new gTLDs, at least the ones that are open to registrations from the public, will fail, said the CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), Byron Holland, in an interview with the Canadian IT Business. In addition, Holland believes that the introduction of the new gTLDs will create competition for ccTLDs such as .CA.”It’s going to dramatically impact the Canadian domain space one way or the other,” Holland told IT Business. “We assume if you add 500 or 1,000 new TLDs to the Internet landscape, we will definitely be up against a more competitive environment.”ICANN’s governance model to allow private stakeholders to control the new domains is the right approach, Holland said. Some critics would have preferred a treaty-based system run by national governments, possibly organised by the United Nations. But less government regulation and a more free market approach should lead to more rapid expansion of the internet, Holland went on to tell IT Business. Even if that does mean that for the first time in the Internet’s history, consumers will see TLDs fail.”Just like any other private business starting up, all these new TLDs will have a 50 per cent chance of going out of business in two or three years,” Holland says. “That’s going to be somewhat disquieting to people.”The full IT Business report is available at www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=67442.

CIRA participates in development of online DNSChanger Malware Checker for Canadians

CIRA dotCA logo[news release] The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), in collaboration with Public Safety Canada and the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), has developed an online DNS Checker to screen users’ computers for the DNSChanger malware.

Recently, through Operation Ghost Click, the FBI uncovered an extensive cyber criminal activity, whereas millions of computers around the world were infected with malicious software without the knowledge of the user. The malware, called DNSChanger, affected the Domain Name System (DNS) configuration of the user’s computer system. The DNS is the system that changes domain names into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (for example, cira.ca=192.228.29.1. For more on how the DNS works you can visit youtu.be/2ZUxoi7YNgs). The malware infrastructure, which affected over 20,000 Canadian IP addresses, redirected unsuspecting user’s to rogue DNS servers, allowing the cyber criminals to manipulate the user’s web activity. Because of the complexity and sophistication of this malware, detection and removal is challenging without the help of an IT security professional.

Due to its experience in managing the DNS in Canada, CIRA was approached by Public Safety Canada to assist in developing a tool that allows Canadian Internet users to detect if their computer is affected by the DNSChanger malware.

The result of this collaboration with the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC) at Public Safety Canada and the CRTC is the DNSChanger Malware Checker, located at http://DNS-OK.ca/.

Once the user agrees to the Terms and Conditions, the DNS Checker will match the DNS Internet Protocol (IP) address employed by the user’s computer against the known Operation Ghost Click IP addresses. When completed, the user is greeted by either a green banner, which indicates that their computer is not infected with the malware, or a red banner, which indicates that their computer system may be infected with the malware. If the banner is red, the user is encouraged to consult the Public Safety Canada website that provides further information on detection and removal of the DNSChanger malware. For more information please visit www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/em/ccirc/2011/in11-002-eng.aspx.

“This type of initiative really speaks to the collaborative nature of the Canadian Internet community, and the key role CIRA plays,” said CIRA’s president and CEO Byron Holland. “CIRA is committed to providing Canadian Internet users with a safe, secure and trusted online experience and this DNS Checker provides an important resource for Canadians to screen their computer for the DNSChanger malware”.

The DNSChanger Malware Checker does not screen for any other virus, malicious code or malware.

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About CIRA
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority is the member-driven organization that manages Canada’s .CA domain name registry, develops and implements policies that support Canada’s Internet community, and represents the .CA registry internationally.

This CIRA news release was sourced from:
www.cira.ca/news/news-releases/dnschanger-checker/

America Registry logoTo register your .CA domain name, check America Registry here.

CIRA Moves Towards DNSSEC With Paper on Proposal For Way Forward

CIRA dotCA logo[news release] Today, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) took a critical step in making the Internet more secure for Canadians. As part of CIRA’s planned implementation of Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), CIRA released a DNSSEC Practice Statement (DPS) to provide this service to the Canadian Internet community.

The DPS provides an operational outline of all the details on how CIRA plans to develop, maintain and manage DNSSEC deployment. CIRA is inviting comments on its DPS. Interested parties can send their feedback on the DPS to cira_dnssec@cira.ca.

“CIRA is committed to providing Canadian Internet users with a safe, secure and trusted online experience,” said CIRA’s President and CEO Byron Holland. “DNSSEC is the next logical step in securing DNS services and protecting Canadians online.”

DNSSEC is an important set of extensions that provide an extra layer of security to the domain name system (DNS), the system the Internet uses to translate your domain name from its commonly used URL into its numerical Internet protocol address.

In addition to the DPS, CIRA also launched an online knowledge centre dedicated to DNSSEC, available at cira.ca/knowledge-centre/technology/dnssec. The knowledge centre includes resources for Canadians to learn about why DNSSEC is important and how CIRA plans to implement it.

At its core, DNSSEC is a set of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) specifications for adding origin authentication and data integrity to the DNS and is implemented through public key cryptography into the DNS hierarchy. What results is a more secure connection for the end user.

This CIRA news release was sourced from:
www.cira.ca/news/news-releases/internet-security/

America Registry logoTo register your .CA domain name, check out America Registry here.

CIRA On The Road To Introducing .CA IDNs With French Characters

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has launched the second and final phase of its consultation in the implementation of French characters (also known as Internationalised Domain Names, or IDNs) in .CA domain names. .CA holders and Canadian internet users are invited to provide their feedback on certain revisions to CIRA’s proposed policy to help the organisation finalise its plan for launching IDNs later this year.

CIRA received a tremendous amount of feedback in the first round of its public consultation held during twelve weeks last fall, with over 350 comments on the online forum and more than 50 submissions.

CIRA engaged The Strategic Counsel to analyse all of the responses following the close of the public consultation. They prepared a corresponding report which provides highlights of the responses and summarises the key themes of the feedback received. This report can be found on idnconsultation.ca.

“Internationalised Domain Names are critical to enable Canadians to register and access domain names in both of Canada’s official languages,” says Byron Holland, CIRA’s President and CEO. “The level of response we received during the first phase of the consultation demonstrates how important this issue is to our Registrants.”

Based on feedback received during the first round of the consultation, CIRA has revised its proposed policy for the launch of IDNs for the second round of consultations. The new proposal is available on idnconsultation.ca. .CA Members, Registrants, Registrars and Canadian Internet users are invited to comment online or to make submissions until February 24, 2012.

America Registry logoTo register your .CA domain name, check out America Registry here.

CIRA Report Finds Internet Infrastructure, Digital Literacy and Economic Development Key to Canada’s Future

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) released a report on the findings from its national consultation on how the Internet is run. The report found that it was important for Canada to develop world class internet infrastructure and that the linkages between the development and deployment of the internet, along with economic development and digital literacy are major issues of public interest in Canada.The report judged the Canadian Internet Forum a success, meeting its objectives and demonstrating that value that can be added to internet governance processes by a public forum that provides a space where internet stakeholders can meet to discuss and debate the public interest in the Internet outside the confines of established institutional structures, with the aim of building consensus on key issues as an input to decision-making in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.The Forum was a national consultation hosted by CIRA, the manager of Canada’s .CA domain name registry, along with its partners the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Media Awareness Network (MNet). It consisted of face-to-face consultations that took place across Canada along with input received from an online discussion forum, and culminated at a national event held in Ottawa and webcast across the country in February 2011.The consultations were broadly themed under two topics: the digital economy and digital literacy, and Canadians identified numerous issues that are important to them. These issues included online safety and security, the development of a ‘Canadian vision’ for the Internet and the cost and speed of broadband.The report said that “unlike the centrally managed and regulated telecommunications and broadcasting networks that preceded it, the Internet was built bottom-up as an open network of networks, designed to maximise opportunities for users to access, create and exchange information and minimise controls on their activities.CIRA President and CEO Byron Holland suggested in the report “that as the complexity of internet governance increases, there a need for a public forum that engages all stakeholders and provides a comprehensive, balanced view of the public interest in the development and use of the internet as an input to government policy-makers and regulators, other public authorities, and decision-makers throughout Canada’s economy and society.”Holland warned that centralised, top-down control of the internet — the alternative to maintaining and enhancing the distributed, bottom-up, consensus-driven internet governance model so that it is able to cope with increasing complexity risks sub-optimising the role the Internet can play in Canada’s future.”The raising of digital literacy and economic development were two key messages found by participants, and that these were tightly interconnected, and that the public discourse surrounding them needs to be reframed and rebalanced to put greater emphasis on digital literacy — a task for which a public forum like the Forum is well-suited.”The report also found that in addition to recognising the close connections between economic development and digital literacy, the [Forum] process identified a number of fundamental internet governance challenges that must be addressed to enable the creation of a virtuous circle between them. These challenges include:

  • Achieving universal and affordable access to world-class internet infrastructure and services.
  • Equipping Canadians with the knowledge and skills they need to participate and prosper in the digital economy and global information society.
  • Ensuring a stable and secure online environment for individuals and organisations in the private and public sectors, through effective management of critical internet resources and protecting the privacy and other rights of Internet users.
  • Promoting Internet-enabled innovation in business, government, education, and health care.
  • Promoting digital inclusion of all communities and segments of the Canadian population.

To achieve all this, the Forum found that access to affordable world-class internet infrastructure and services in all areas of Canada would be required, something that is being addressed by all levels of government within Canada even though services available to Canadians lag behind those in some other countries.The report will be presented to the United Nations coordinated Internet Governance Forum (www.intgovforum.org), a venue for nations to discuss the future of the Internet.The report is available to download in full at www.scribd.com/doc/54601955.

CIRA Report Finds Internet Infrastructure, Digital Literacy and Economic Development Key to Canada's Future

CIRA logoThe Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) released a report on the findings from its national consultation on how the Internet is run. The report found that it was important for Canada to develop world class internet infrastructure and that the linkages between the development and deployment of the internet, along with economic development and digital literacy are major issues of public interest in Canada. Continue reading CIRA Report Finds Internet Infrastructure, Digital Literacy and Economic Development Key to Canada's Future

CIRA to host national event on the future of Canada’s Internet

CIRA logo[news release] On February 25, 2011, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) will present the findings from a national consultation on how the Internet is run at a public event in Ottawa.

At the Canadian Internet Forum (CIF), CIRA, along with its partners, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Media Awareness Network (MNet), will present findings from six face-to-face consultations that took place across Canada along with input received from an online discussion forum.

A panel of Canadian experts will discuss the findings, and leading Canadian technology visionary Leonard Brody will provide the keynote address. The event will also feature sessions for participants to provide their feedback and ideas about Internet governance in Canada and internationally. The CIF will be webcast to facilitate the interactive participation of all Canadians who are interested in Canada’s role in Internet governance.

Although the Internet has become an integral part of the Canadian economy and society, the CIF presents the first opportunity for Canadians to discuss how it is developed, deployed and governed. The results of the consultations, online discussion and the national event will be presented to the United Nations coordinated Internet Governance Forum, a venue for nations to discuss the future of the Internet.

As of January 25, 2011, the online discussion forum is open to all interested Canadians who wish to discuss issues related to how the Internet is developed, deployed and governed in Canada and around the world. All interested Canadians are invited to join the discussion at cif.cira.ca.

The agenda for the CIF is available here: cif.cira.ca/2011/01/cif-national-event-agenda/. Event details are as follows:

Time and date: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., February 25, 2011

Location: Brookstreet Hotel, Ottawa, ON

Registration is free and the event will also be webcast in English and French. Details on the webcast are available here: cif.cira.ca/cif-webcast-system-requirements/.

Please visit cif.cira.ca for updates on the CIF.

About CIRA

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is the organization that manages Canada’s .CA domain name registry, develops and implements policies that support Canada’s Internet community and represents the .CA registry internationally.

CIRA to host national event on the future of Canada's Internet

CIRA logo[news release] On February 25, 2011, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) will present the findings from a national consultation on how the Internet is run at a public event in Ottawa. Continue reading CIRA to host national event on the future of Canada's Internet