1. Explain from your perspective what CIRA does and why it matters.
In very simple terms CIRA manages the .ca domain on behalf of the people of Canada. This mandate is granted by the federal government of Canada.
Beyond the simple management of a domain name registry CIRA has a mandate to ensure that the internet remains an open and trusted resource available to all Canadians. To achieve this goal CIRA operates a number of programs. These programs include grants, infrastructure investment and programs aimed at reducing cyber threats faced by Canadians. Finally and most importantly CIRA serves as a subject matter expert to provide policy advice and advocacy to the government of Canada. This advocacy takes the form of both direct engagement with the government on specific policy initiatives and more broad community engagement to advance an open and trusted internet both in Canada and internationally.
2. Why do you want to be on CIRA’s Board of Directors? In responding, please indicate how you would contribute as a CIRA Board Member and what specific skills and experience you bring that makes you a qualified candidate.
The CIRA board mandate sits at an intersection of my skills and interests and because of this overlap I see the CIRA board as a place where I can leverage my skills to drive forward a goal that I believe in. At a personal level I have a strongly held belief in the social value of the transparent and unrestricted sharing of information. It was this belief that first led me on the path of board governance when I joined the board of the Vancouver Public Library in 2013 and it is this belief that is prompting me to apply for the CIRA board. From a skills perspective I have both a strong background in Governance from my numerous board roles and significant real world experience in Cyber Security from both a technical and policy perspective. These skills are both critical to advancing CIRAs mandate.
3. What do you think are the top 3 challenges and opportunities facing CIRA in the next 3 to 5 years? What approach would you take to address these issues?
Online Fraud/Lack of Trust – Online fraud and misinformation has become a matter of global importance in the last few years and with recent advances in AI making the automation of these sorts of attacks near trivial the situation is certain to get much worse in the next three to five years. CIRA has a number of roles to play in addressing this issue but the most important role will be as an advocate to and technical resource for the federal government. The issues at play are extremely complex and because the vast majority of these sorts of attacks are located internationally addressing this issue will take a global approach. CIRA needs to be front and center in this discussion to ensure that the eventual solution does not result in a closed and censored internet while simultaneously ensuring that Canadians are protected from the very real threats they face..
Internet Governance – The fundamental value of a free and open internet is under threat. CIRA needs to redouble its efforts to remind the public of the centrality of this value to our society and help to ensure that elected officials across the spectrum understand the core place of this principle in our society.
Domain Saturation – At a very practical level CIRA earns its revenue from the .ca domain. Domain names are not the scarce resource they once were and these revenues will almost certainly erode over the next five years. Addressing this issue will take both an effort to grow the .ca brand across Canada and creative efforts to grow revenue elsewhere in the longer term.