The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the organization that manages the .CA Internet domain, is kicking off its annual consultation with the Canadian public with a day of insightful and provocative discussion on the issues that impact the safe and fair use of the Internet. The Canadian Internet Forum (CIF) will take place on Thursday, February 28 in Ottawa at the Ottawa Convention Centre. Given the forum’s national focus, the proceedings will also be made available to Canadians anywhere in the country via live webcast. To ensure everyone who wishes to participate and contribute to the discussion can attend, the event is free for in-person and online attendees.
The CIF will bring together leading thinkers and experts to discuss a variety of Internet-related topics, including digital literacy, cyber-security and Internet governance. The event will also serve as a kick off for an online discussion forum that will allow Canadians to further explore the topics discussed during the national event.
“Canadians are the heaviest Internet users in the world and it is vital that we have a national forum where we can discuss and debate the hot topics that are helping to shape the Canadian Internet landscape,” said Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRA. “Just as we are all participants in the Internet sphere, we are all participants at the CIF. We believe that decisions about the Internet should not be made behind closed doors without public knowledge or participation. Everyone who attends can have a voice.”
The event will feature a keynote about online privacy from Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, as well as panel presentations and discussions about digital literacy and policy and governance featuring Steve Anderson from Openmedia.ca, Karen Mulberry from the Internet Society, Tim Denton from the CRTC, Matthew Johnson from MediaSmarts, Kerry Augustine from the Canadian Cyber Defence Challenge, and journalist Shane Schick.
The panel featuring Anderson and Denton promises to be both informative and compelling. Anderson is an outspoken advocate of a free and open Internet who is often critical of government policy and Canada’s incumbent telecommunications carriers. Denton, in his role as a commissioner of the CRTC, is of course the gatekeeper for telecom regulation in Canada.