Election campaign begins for CIRA board seats

It’s election season at the organization that manages dot-ca policy, and privacy is one of the most pressing issues.

Gabriel Ahad, director of communications at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), says the buzz

around the online election is beginning. He points to the online Q&A forum open to the public and candidates. While the mud-slinging has yet to begin, questions about a candidate’s political past has been raised (someone has since jumped to his defence) as has the number of candidates who are also registrars.

There are eight people competing for three spots on the 13-member board of directors. Voting will be done through the Web site and will run June 7-13.

Ahad says the forum is a good indication of what issues will shape the election.

“”Looking at the questions and answer forum, people have raised issues with respect to use of CIRA data, registrar representation on the board, code of conduct for resellers (and) prices,”” he says.

Denis Tanguay is running for re-election. The president and founder of Chilliwack, BC-based Digital Internet Gaming Services Ltd. says privacy is an important issue, but the business aspect of can’t be ignored. He cites the price difference in wholesale prices for dot-com ($10) and dot-ca ($15) as an example.

“”It’s only $5, but relatively speaking it’s a big difference. I think there’s room as time goes on that we will be able to reduce the dot-ca price to make sure it is at least at par with the other top level domain names,”” Tanguay says.

The business aspect is what attracted Eleanor Jang to the race. The vice-president, services delivery for Radiant Communications Canada Inc. says CIRA is at a critical time in its history and must be managed properly and the dot-ca domain be branded properly.

“”I think there’s tremendous value to the business community. I’d like to see a little bit more interest from a business standpoint, not just from the typical consumer standpoint,”” Jang says.

What won’t become an issue, Ahad says, is the legal problems facing VeriSign. The U.S.-based registrar is in a Maryland court for its marketing tactics. “”You can’t become a registrar tomorrow morning, mine the (CIRA) database and start spamming other people with messages. That would be a violation of the conditions terms of your agreement,”” he says.

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