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MINUTES of the Annual General Meeting of members of Canadian Internet Registration Authority held at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver on September 10, 2008 at 12:30 p.m.

1. Call to Order and Approval of the Agenda: Debi Rosati, the Chair of CIRA, called the meeting to order and acted as Chair of the meeting, and Michael Stewart, Secretary of CIRA, acted as Secretary of the meeting.

MINUTES of the Annual General Meeting of members of Canadian Internet Registration Authority held at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver on September 10, 2008 at 12:30 p.m.

1. Call to Order and Approval of the Agenda: Debi Rosati, the Chair of CIRA, called the meeting to order and acted as Chair of the meeting, and Michael Stewart, Secretary of CIRA, acted as Secretary of the meeting.

The Chair declared that notice of this meeting had been duly given on August 6, 2008 to all CIRA members in good standing in accordance with CIRA’s By-law No. 1, that there was a quorum present and that the meeting was duly constituted for the transaction of business.

2. Verification of the 2007 Annual General Meeting Minutes: There being no corrections or additions to the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on September 6, 2007, the Chair noted that the minutes stood as approved.

3. Report of the Board of Directors: Debi Rosati, CIRA’s Chair, delivered the report of CIRA’s Board of Directors. The Chair reported on the International Relations and CIRA’s role and in Internet governance, including its participation in and relationship with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Council of European National Top Level Domain Names Registries (CENTR) and other groups such as the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), DNS Operations, Analysis, and Research Center (DNS-OARC) and North American Network Operator’s Group (NANOG). CIRA raised concerns to ICANN about its methods regarding public consultations and ICANN management expressed commitment to address CIRA’s concerns and adopted some initiatives to improve accountability.

The Chair also reported that in response to concerns over online privacy and identity theft, CIRA’s new WHOIS service was deployed in June 2008. The new WHOIS policy was a culmination of four years of preparation which included public consultations with Registrants, legal consultations, law enforcement and legal counsel representing trademark holders.

The Chair reported on the Strategic Plan and CIRA’s business priorities over the next three years. The priorities were developed in response to the customer, technological, environmental and organizational challenges anticipated during the planning period. CIRA’s four major strategic goals remain the same: 1) ensuring effective stewardship of dot-ca domain names as a public resource; 2) recognition as the standard of excellence for ccTLD Registries; 3) exemplifying accountable governance with Internet community; and 4) achieving organizational excellence in internal operations.

4. President’s Report: Byron Holland, CIRA’s President and CEO, reported on the growth of the Registry in the past year. Registrations reached the one million mark on April 15, 2008 and the renewal rate remained strong at 77% for the period. B. Holland reported on the key changes to customer service: 1) new call-centre standards which include revised service scripts, supervisory presence and performance monitoring; 2) Registrant password retrieval feature; and 3) more user-friendly email form letters. CIRA’s DNS system maintained 100 percent uptime and extended its reach around the world. In January 2008, the dot-ca DNS became globally distributed as a result of the activation of a new Anycast service. It allows the dot-ca to be uniformly and instantly available anywhere while adding additional redundancy and capacity, improve performance and response time to dot-ca queries made outside North America and provides a significant protection against flood attacks.

CIRA also improved its internal systems to increase employee productivity and efficiency. Microsoft Exchange Clustered Solution was deployed to deliver enhanced email capabilities and new accounting software with greater reporting and oversight capacity was implemented to simplify CIRA’s financial management. CIRA’s operations team deployed new hardware systems to support the back-up site and the development team accomplished most of the primary database redesign in late 2007. The redesign of the database offered the opportunity to upgrade and migrate both databases to Oracle 10g.

B. Holland reported that CIRA had dramatically ramped up its marketing and communications efforts in fiscal 2008. An integrated marketing and communications campaign was launched to celebrate the achievement of one million dot-ca domains. Additionally, CIRA started focusing on public relations and streamlining the process of issuing press releases in order to establish good public relations and media relations practices. CIRA continued to participate in tradeshows throughout the year giving CIRA visibility and allowing members and Registrants the opportunity to interact directly with CIRA.

5. Presentation of the Financial Statements for fiscal year ending March 31, 2008: Nancy Philip, CIRA’s Director of Finance and Administration presented the financial statements for the fiscal year March 31, 2008, copy of which is included in the Annual Report or it could be viewed on CIRA’s web site at HYPERLINK “

6. Presentation of the Auditor’s report: Nancy Philip, CIRA’s Director of Finance and Administration, delivered the Auditor’s report for the fiscal years ending March 31, 2008.

7. Appointment of Auditors: It was moved by Robert Smits, seconded by Paul Donovan, and motion carried, that Kriens~Larose LLP be appointed Auditors of CIRA, to hold office until the next Annual General Meeting or until their successors are duly appointed and that the Board of Directors be authorized to fix the remunerations of the Auditors.

8. Questions from Members:

Question: (Stephen Ellis, Retired)

Do you guys still use BIND or what sort of DNS are you using?

Answer: (Norm Richie, CIO)

Yes, we still use BIND 9 and on any “catscleow”, we’re using alter DNS which has its own proprietary DNS service.

Question: (Anonymous)

How did you handle the Kaminsky vulnerability which occurred this summer?

Answer: (Norm Ritchie)

There was a fundamental flaw in the protocol of DNS that was discovered and there is a large initiative actually across all vendors and all DNS service globally to correct this before it results in cash poisoning. We were aware of this earlier on and we worked with Paul Vixie, President of ISC. We also worked closely with Public Safety Canada on it and the Canadian Association of Internet (CAI) service providers to make sure all the servers were patched before the vulnerability became widely known. This wasn’t just about BIND or any other piece of software; it was about the protocol itself, so everything had to be patched probably about 20 Million servers.

Question: (Anonymous)

Were there some servers that weren’t affected?

Answer: (Norm Ritchie)

Yes, a couple of them weren’t affected. It did not affect our tier of DNS, like the dot-ca level or the authoritative level, but given our role, we were quite active and made sure the message got out and others were involved.

Question: (Bob Jones,

The one thing that is very obvious if you look at the financial statements is, this is what we call on the west coast, attack on bureaucracy. When we we’re waiting outside, it is very obvious to us that this Board of Directors has absolutely no respect to people with disability. There’s absolutely no seating in the front for disabled people. The big question I have when I look at the financial statements is what is not there and one figure that is glaringly omitted is what share of the domain does dot-ca have? One can guess that it’s pathetically low. What I find fascinating is the fact that we wholesale the domain at $8.50 a pop. Why don’t we cut out the middle man and sell to everyone at $8.50 a pop?

Answer: (Byron Holland, CEO)

You’ve asked several questions, and I’ll try to recall and respond to them all.

Re.: Seating for the disabled

First of all, in terms of seating for the disabled, all I can say is. I apologize for that. That was an oversight and it won’t happen again and in our effort to continuously improve, I’ll assure you that at our next meeting, we will have addressed this issue. So, again, I apologize for that.

Re.: Pricing

As far as the issue around pricing and bloated bureaucracy, we’re a staff of 40 and we run the DNS and Registry for all of dot-ca and for Canada, I can assure you that we are far from bloated. In fact, we just came out of a very a small office, and we’ve had no communal meeting space. Our two small meeting rooms had cubicles in them. We are far from bloated. We run a 100% up-time environment, and that does take some money. We also have an issue, of course, that we have a fundamental requirement that we maintain a year’s worth of cash on hand as one of our fundamental principles so, while it may look like we’re sitting on a lot of cash, that is a fundamental principle of the organization. It is a very conservative one, and one that bears review periodically, but something that we are bound to maintain.

Re. Why do we have a middle tier?

The third primary question was around pricing of $8.50 and why do we have a middle tier? Certainly, within the Internet and the domain community, the three-tier environment: the Registry (which is what we are), the Registrar, is that private sector of the middle tier who actually deliver the service to Registrants and then, of course, the Registrants who use and consume the services of the domain. We fundamentally believe in having the private sector involved in managing and maintaining the Internet and providing different levels of service. CIRA cannot be all things to all people. We are very, very cognizant of the fact that we need to run a competitive landscape. We have 146 Registrars. We believe it is a competitive landscape. You can register domains anywhere between $9.95 and $50 and you get different levels of service and different providers provide different levels of service for those varying prices. It’s a highly competitive environment and depending on your level of service that you require, you can go to different Registrars who will deliver at that level. We actually believe that it’s a highly competitive environment that can offer the appropriate value for the level of service required by the consumer or purchaser of the domains.

Re. Disclosure with respect to market share

One thing we try to do is provide additional information on the general landscape. If you flip to the back of the annual report, you will see a whole range of statistics which include market share and absolute numbers, but to give you the highlights on your exact question, dot-ca and the Canadian landscape has approximately 21-22% market share in terms of all domains. In comparison, we’re #2 behind dot-com, which has just over 60% in Canada.

Comment: (Anonymous)

I don’t believe CIRA could deliver domains at the wholesale price to the retail level given the amount of extra manpower and everything that they would have to have in order to deliver the service that the Registrars offer.

(Mike Dumler,

I would like to thank the Board and the staff for coming up to British Columbia. Often we feel that there’s a large gap in this large country. I would ask that you, in future, try and visit us out West when there are opportunities. I do get a chance to travel back East in my work so I have been able to attend some stuff back there, but I know that there are other people who are out here who don’t necessarily get those opportunities. Thank you for a job well done.

(Debi Rosati)

Thank you. We would be delighted to come back out here if you can guarantee weather like this.

Question: (Keven Stephens,

One comment first, is that I thought your financial statement description modelled your aspirations about good stewardship. I thought there was a correlation, so I congratulate you on that. I have one question. Is the company going to be publicly traded at any time or is it a closed profit? What’s going on with that aspect of it?

Answer: (Byron Holland)

Interesting question. Certainly, at this point, we are a Type-2, not-for-profit Corporation in Canada so, certainly, at this point, it would be unlikely that we would do anything like that.

Comment: (Keven Stephens)

I’m glad you’re not-for-profit. Thank you.

Question: (William Gibbons)

It’s nice to see CIRA back on the coast for another AGM. My question is in regards to our speaker tonight. With all due respect, one of the main reasons I came down was to hear the speaker today. Reading the bio, I see that it discusses building community and customer loyalty. It raised a question in my mind which I would like any number of our Board members to speak to all of the attendees on, and that is: What was the process of choosing a speaker? I see indications that there’s an interest in social networking and technology and deeply credentialed consulting practice, but I think that Canadians and dot-ca registrants and members have many issues on their mind that are of extreme importance and value to themselves as users of the system, to Canadians and to our economy. I would like to know the process that you have used, this year and in past years, to decide on a keynote speaker, and suggest to our Board members that you consider putting a process into place where the entire membership can engage in the dialogue and questions, and engage in choosing a speaker or speakers that address much deeper and richer issues than perhaps personality, popularity and the wow factor. Another aspect might be that when you come to the West coast again, you avail yourselves of the services of the centre for dialogue which is in a circle, which is connected worldwide and which allows people to engage in more of a dialogue than a mere audience and presentation. We need that, the Internet is pointing us in a direction where people can communicate in different ways. I’m putting the onus on this Board to show us that you’re up with the Internet age.

Answer: (Debi Rosati)

Thank you. That was a full discussion and commentary. As far as the process of selecting the speaker, that is very much a management operational role and management has that mandate to select the keynote speaker, so I will hand it over to Byron to speak to that process. The other comment I would like to say is that part of coming out at AGMs and other forums is to get engagement with our members and so your comments on future speakers and reaching out to the community to get suggestions is very, very valuable and I can certainly say from myself and my Board colleagues, that we will be taking your comments into consideration in the future, so your comment is very much appreciated.

(Byron Holland)

The speaker selection is a subjective thing. There’s no doubt about it, I can pretty much guarantee that some of you will find her absolutely fantastic and some of you won’t. And, pretty much any speaker that we bring in, that’s going to be the case. In terms of selecting a speaker, the marketing department brings forward a range of possibilities who offer a range of subject matter expertise. We thought Amber would be good for a number of reasons. One, she’s certainly on the bleeding edge of the blog sphere in the Canadian technology landscape so she brings a following to this of her own which was important to us, but also, she is on the leading edge of the very things you just spoke about – the different forms of communication, the different forms of engagement. I mean, Facebook, Twitter, IM, how we communicate, how we’re changing the way we communicate and we think that she is very much is an expert in that realm and in terms of trying to create a subject that would be interesting to this community, we very much felt we were on the right page with her. Will all of you agree? Probably not, but we think that she will be engaging and you will, on an average, enjoy her.

As far as member input goes, I absolutely hear you. One of one of our challenges – one of my challenges, is how do I – how do we – engage the membership more? We just had a Board meeting yesterday, as a matter of fact, and that was one of the fundamental questions. We have just crested a million dot-ca and we’ve come to one of the largest cities in Canada and we have a couple of hundred people here. Why don’t we have a thousand? How do we engage? But also there’s a responsibility on the membership – how do they engage with us? I like your suggestion in terms of soliciting input and that’s something that I’m sure I will ensure that our marking department takes a look at. We came up with the idea. We think that Amber’s going to be great but we would also like to hear your feedback on who you think would be great.

(Jeff Rybak, Board member)

I think there’s somewhat of an irony here. We’ve brought you somebody of great interest and I’m eager to hear her too. What she’s really talking about is engagement and multi-factored means of participation and how technology can enable that and we’ve actually all gathered here physically with very little technology and we’re standing her up in front of you as a talking head. You’re right, it’s a great source of interest and it gets you here participating at the AGM, but it’s not real engagement in the way that we should be able to manage. I’d like to see more of it. I know that there’s a lot of sincere discussion in enabling that and I know that Byron, as our recent CEO, is interested in doing more of that. Believe me, I’ll be waiting for results too and I hope that we can do more than just bring you a talking head once a year. No matter how interesting and how fascinating that talking head may be, we definitely want to do more than that and I hope we can.

Comment: (William Gibbons)

I would like to thank the Board for their comments. Hopefully, it’s now an imperative. I promise to try and contribute something for next year. Just a small addition would be, it would be nice to be waving to Ontario and see if we can have a connected CIRA – some elements of conference and things beyond the formalities of the Board because dot-ca is something that is very important for our future and our thinking.

Question: (Daniel Dent, Mail Channels Corporation, leading provider of email anti-spam traffic shaping software)

One of the things that dot-ca registry is a little different than most registries is, you know, dot-com we can go download a zone file. This is very useful for a whole bunch of operational reasons, especially when you’re doing anti-spam software where we’re trying to establish reputations of – this is spam and this isn’t, whatever. Why is it that dot-ca seems to have made a policy decision not to provide zone files whereas most registries are?

Answer: (Norm Ritchie)

Just to clarify with everybody, the zone file is all the DNS entries for all the dot-ca domains – all one million plus of them. There are pros and cons to downloading and allowing people to access zone files like CommonNet and at the moment, we feel that the cons probably outweigh the benefits. However, there are some special cases where people do have access to the zone file under very, very strict non-disclosures and that’s really done for research purposes as they’re helping us with some type of research. It is something we are discussing now and as we move forward, we want to be easier to deal with. We understand that there are people that could benefit from accessing the zone files. So, I can’t give an answer on where we’re at with that now and I can’t say we’re going to do it at any point in time. I wish I had something better to tell you but, right now, it’s an unknown.

Question: (Marcel Giannelia)

I have three technical questions. About the new member verification system where you fax in the form – I wonder why you even have a signature field on them? As I’m sure everyone is aware of, faxed signatures are completely unverifiable and anybody can just photocopy the one off the ID. The photocopy of the ID is sufficient and – well also not sufficiently secure in itself – but that’s a separate issue. Also, it is great that there’s now a password retrieval feature, however, I have found no way to do a password retrieval and have the email sent to me securely. Email is a wide open plain text protocol and I would rather have like a URL to an https server that I could then click on and provide some type of token, like something that is in the WHOIS or whatever that is not publicly available. I was also very surprised to see Microsoft Exchange on your list of software. I, personally, have used many different mail server software and Exchange is probably my least favourite, even under sent mail. Could somebody speak to what motivated that as a choice of software?

Answer: (Norm Ritchie)

Re.: Microsoft Exchange

I’ll start with the last question and then go forward. On the Microsoft Exchange, that’s what we use internally within the office environment. Within the office, we are a Microsoft Shop for the most part. Externally, we’re more of a UNIX environment and we use different mail servers for that. We also use blackberries and we have the integration with Exchange for that as well so we can actually have secure messages to the blackberries and wipe them out should we have to do that and if any of them is ever lost, we have control over that. I know there are other options now, but when we made the decision, that was the best option at the time.

Re. Faxed signatures (Michael Stewart, General Counsel)

We have acknowledged that there are obvious issues with having people fax their stuff in this age and one of the things we intend to look at is the whole faxing process of the membership application process and other forms. We’ve eliminated the requirement for fax only in all other areas and membership is the one that’s coming up very soon.

(Marcel Giannelia)

My third question was about the Password Recovery System uses only plain text emails and like to see a secure way to get password recovery.

(Norm Ritchie)

That’s a good suggestion and I’ll definitely take that one back.

Comment: (Anonymous)

Re. downloading zone files. What you need to do is find a private organization who will host your DNS for you, that will do the zone file for you and all dot-ca has to record is who is your DNS and you’re off to the races! Have fun!

Question: (Paul Grant, Small computer business)

We have 15 dot-ca but there’s one of them, no matter what search engine we use, we can never find on the Internet. You have to go and physically type it in. I’m not sure what the answer is, and all the websites are built very similar to one another. This one, you cannot find. It doesn’t matter which one you use, you cannot find that website on the Internet. It’s like it doesn’t exist.

Answer: (Norm Ritchie)

I would have to look at the specifics of the domain. I’d be happy to talk to you after this meeting about that, but it sounds like there might be a configuration problem.

(Paul Grant)

We built two or three times and they’re all very similar in nature.

(Norm Richie)

I’d have to discuss the specifics with you afterwards.

Question: (Paul Donovan, Living Productions)

I have been involved with domains back when John and his team were working on it and the days when you wanted to get a domain and you had to take a situation. Thankfully, now of course, we don’t have to go that route but over the last few years, ever since we’ve moved away from that billity, I have been trying to get a domain that somebody in Ontario has the on, refuses to answer their email, has no actual website, and keeps renewing every year but yet, I want to try to get the dot-ca or even a Is there any situation in place to help us clear up this ancient system and – no bad intention to you John and your team – I understood where you came from those days, but these days, everybody is going dot-ca without the provincial registration and when you’re trying to get a domain name that is an active real domain name, and the registrant doesn’t respond, and you can’t do any negotiation, what can we do? Is there any process in place? And, sadly, when I email CIRA about this, I don’t get any resolution to my question either.

Answer: (Byron Holland)

That’s a good question. Actually, a related question occurred recently and so I actually looked into something very similar to this scenario and that’s actually between municipalities and different municipalities who have the same name and how do you fairly adjudicate on that? Fundamentally, in that scenario, we at CIRA – and you may consider this as fair or not – we are not adjudicators between those two sets of individuals or in this case, municipalities, in your case, presumably individuals on either side of that. If the individual or business has that domain, and is not interested in giving it up and is not interested in communicating to you about a sale or commercial transaction in some way, shape or form, we are not an organization that can get in the middle of that and be an intermediary or try to solve that. If they don’t want to talk to you about it, that’s their prerogative. They have that right and as long as they got the domain fairly, which I’m going to assume that they did, and continue to register that domain every year, they have the right to continue with it.

We do have a stated policy on that and that is the case. It’s something that, I think, bears review because in certain circumstances and around municipalities, this is an issue. If nobody takes it and nobody comes to an agreement, nobody gets it, which in a certain sense seems crazy, but you effectively have the Mexican stand-off scenario.

Question: (Paul Donovan)

I have been successful in getting it worked out. When the communication happened – when it was the, and – when they communicated, it was great, but for I don’t know how many years, I can’t get this guy to respond. Is there an adjudication process that would force this person to respond in some way?

Answer: (Byron Holland)

No. In contentious issues, we can provide facilitation of the actual ensuring that there is an exchange that the person received it, but we’re not a facilitator or an adjudicator. I mean, we facilitate but we do not adjudicate. If they got it legitimately, and they pay their bill every year, they have the right to use that and continue to use it.

Question: (Bob Smits,

I guess I would go back a ways too, because I can remember having at one time. My question was related to the previous speaker’s question. How are we doing at discouraging people from getting dot-ca names registered and then sitting on them and doing nothing with them – just sitting on them for speculative purposes or whatever? I’d like your comment on what’s being done about that.

Answer: (Byron Holland)

That’s a great question. It’s a question that gets asked in our world, in our industry all the time. What’s the value of the domain? How people use it becomes a significant question particularly with paperclip revenue models, parking, etc. But the fundamental principle we use is, it’s a “first come first served” basis. If somebody legitimately registers a domain and maintains that domain and is not doing anything nefarious with it, then they have the right to continue using that domain. That is pretty much – not just CIRA – but throughout the domain space – a fundamental pillar policy.

Question: (Ranvir Bahl, Bell Consulting Services)

My question is very similar to the last two speakers. I’m having a couple of issues. One of my clients has a dot-com domain name, and has been using that domain name for some time, and would like to have the same dot-ca domain. Fortunately, when I was trying to register for them, I found out that it was some other company who had registered it, but the website was not there. I mean, I understand what he was coming from and, I guess, a lot of people try to do that just because it might come up or somebody might like to buy it from them for a certain cost and I think it’s very similar in the dot-com industry as well. I do understand from your answer that there’s nothing much that dot-ca / CIRA can do about it because it’s a “first come first served” basis. I have another one with my own company. I do have others registered at dot-ca domain name for my company, I wanted to know if I was trying to register a company name, like a BC registered company, just to ensure that tomorrow I do not get into some sort of litigation if some company has a similar name and brand, and might come back to CIRA saying that he’s using our branding or our name for that. I just wanted to clarify from you is what sort of relationship or what sort of potential legalities or issues could they crop up if somebody was doing that or some similar thing was to happen and how CIRA can help or cannot help?

Answer: (Byron Holland)

I think, fundamentally, the question starts to drift really into trademark and how we handle that and we do have a process for handling that if there are contentious issues but I’ll let Michael speak to it specifically.

(Michael Stewart, General Counsel)

This is another good question. The issue basically does boil down to legal rights in a particular name. I’ll choose an easier example, such as, let’s say “”. If someone else was to register that other than the Coca-Cola company, and they felt that this was a trademark violation, there is a process within CIRA using what we call the Canadian Dispute Resolution Process (CDRP) for them to try to resolve that issue, usually based on underlying trademark and legal rights. If you do have an underlying trademark or other legal right, then there is that process for you, in addition to the usual process.

Question: (Ranvir Bahl)

What if there isn’t a trademark? Let’s say, what if it’s a registered company that doesn’t have trademark?

Answer: (Michael Stewart)

A trademark doesn’t have to be a registered mark – not to get to too many legalities. A trademark can simply be a name that you haven’t bothered to register. You have certain legal rights but it’s based on the underlying legal right that you have to that name so whether they register a CIRA name or they happen to open another business with the same name, it’s not that dissimilar, so you would have similar rights.

Question: (Ranvir Bahl)

I just wanted to clarify – let’s say two conditions, if there is a BC registered company that has a certain name and if somebody else has a dot-ca domain name for that company name, are they legally entitled to the dispute and take that name from the other company?

Answer: (Michael Stewart)

Anyone’s entitled to use dispute resolution process if they want to, but I can’t say what the outcome of it would be. It will depend on their underlying legal rights in the name for both parties, and for that, you get into fact specific situation and various legal issues. I can’t answer to a specific scenario. It really boils down to each party’s legal right to the name.

(Byron Holland)

The other thing I might just add is that the CDRP that Michael referred to is not just something that we just dreamed up out of the blue, it’s modelled after existing and current practices at international practices.

Comment: (Amy Newman, Newman Research Services)

I purposely registered two dot-ca names to protect my company’s reputation. I’m not using them, but before I chose the name of my company, I searched and made sure that there wasn’t a website out there with that name and I know of other people who have a website in a dot-ca and then someone came along and got a dot-com with the same preface and has smutty stuff on it. So, that might be one reason why people are holding these names and not using them.

(Debi Rosati) That’s a very valid point. Thank you for sharing that.

Question: (Amy Newman)

I was wondering on one of the previous questions where the person tried to contact a website domain holder. I’m not sure how the “WHOIS” has changed so that you cannot get their address, but have they tried mailing something to that address? They might get a response whereas email would be ignored.

Answer: (Byron Holland)

WHOIS does have a process where we act as a facilitator to try to enable communication between parties without actually releasing any private information. We do have a process that facilitates that very exchange while maintaining anonymity in the first round of an exchange.

Question: (Steen Hof, W7 Media)

I have three questions. Firstly, how does CIRA choose to perform a registrant identification verification process on? Secondly, does CIRA have any for-profit subsidiaries? Thirdly, has there been any consideration to opening the registration worldwide.


Re. Registration Worldwide (Byron Holland)

I’ll start with the last question first. In terms of opening it to folks worldwide, Canadian presence requirements are very fundamental. They are again one of those touchstone or cornerstone elements to our mandate, so I do not foresee that in the future as it would require by-law change and very unlikely.

Re.: Subsidiaries (Byron Holland)

In terms of for-profit subsidiaries – no.

Re.: Registrant Identification Verification Process (Norm Ritchie)

There are various ways that we initiate one of those. One is just basically someone comes forward and says there’s something wrong here, we’ll actually look at that further and see what’s going on. We do various types of trend analysis where, if we see some unusual activity, address verification, there’s a variety of different techniques that we use. There’s no single way that we determine, there are actually many different ways.

(Byron Holland)

I might just add to that answer. Norm doesn’t skate on his answers but part of that is our own internal process in order to catch people who are using the domain surreptitiously and one of the ways we do that is to not disclose all of the elements that we use in terms of finding that out. We’re not going to tell you all of them, but we do validate and verify them in a range of ways as Norm says.

Suggestion: (Mark Latham,

I have a suggestion for you on engagement with the members. It’s a common challenge in a lot of democratic organizations. My suggestion is simply, you could create a blogging contest in which members can vote online on which blog is a better blog, about issues that are of interest to the members. The bloggers can raise issues about what you are doing or any issues of common interest in the Internet. We’re doing this now in the city of Vancouver on municipal issues, if you look at I discussed it with one of your Board members, Ron Kawchuk, so he has more information on that.

(Debi Rosati)

Thank you. That was a great suggestion and, as has been reiterated earlier in the meeting, was definitely, we’re looking at better ways to engage our members and we’re looking to rebuild out our website with abilities to have opportunities to do that, so as you can see, we’re very open and our member engagement is very important to us.

Question: (Alex Wu)

Going to your financial statements, you have a large bump-up in software costs and consulting costs and in your presentation on the state of the union, you noted that you had a whole bunch of upgrades to your infrastructure. Is that a one-year bump or do you continue to see the trend going up?

Answer: (Byron Holland)

We did some fairly material, major infrequent upgrades. I mean, upgrading from 9 to 10G is not something you do regularly. We created an entire new back-up system and, again, not something you do regularly. So, we are in the business of having 100% up-time infrastructure and that certainly costs money and we continue to maintain it at a very high standard, but we did have some material infrequent purchases this year.

Question: (Alex Wu)

So you expect our cost to go down for next year?

Answer: (Byron Holland)

What I can tell you is that, for this operating cycle – our fiscal year goes to March 31st – that the majority of the spending has transpired. We have not put in place next year’s – which would start on April 1st – operating plan, so, as far as specific expenses, honestly, I can’t give you clear guidance on that right now. We have done the oracle upgrade, we have done the back-up site, however, we are re-writing the registry which will be delivered through the Spring of next year – not necessarily software cost but certainly a development cost and that’s a material project.

Question: (Alex Wu)

Would development costs come under consultation?

Answer: (Byron Holland)

There will be consultants involved in it because something like that is a discreet project where, certainly, there are some elements where you need specific expertise one time and it doesn’t make sense to have it in-house expertise so while the majority of development is actually done by in-house developers, we cherry-pick specific activities where there’s not an on-going need to have that expertise in-house, where we do bring in consultants from time to time.

Question: (Susan King-Wilson)

Thank you for the opportunity and the networking. I had a chance to meet some very interesting dot-ca owners. In the draft Minutes or the Minutes from last year’s meeting, you mentioned several times that there might be online questions and you haven’t done that this year. Was there a reason for that?

Answer: (Debi Rosati)

That’s a good question. I think last year, we did try to facilitate online questions and we just did not get the turn-out for the return on the investment, so a decision was made that, even though we would have liked to have more engagement in that way, it wasn’t an effective forum for us.

Question: (Praveen, Project Sears)

I’d like to thank you and all the Board members for coming and answering all our questions. It’s been really nice. The question, specifically, is – CIRA is growing really fast and lots of Canadians who are not looking in this direction probably will in the coming years. Therefore, you would consequently be held responsible for every activity that is within the Canadian arena. Byron mentioned the word “nefarious”, so the question is, what are you doing to ensure or check – what process do you have in place to audit activities that go on Canadian websites? When you say there is no standard, or you have so many affiliations and are tied in with so many other bodies, standards often is just an open plane field, so how do you check what’s going on?

Answer: (Byron Holland)

Thanks for that question. It’s a great question. It’s fairly broad and wide-ranging because of the activities that people conduct online are effectively infinite. We’re not in the business of content, so that’s one fundamental element. We don’t do content. We assign names to numbers in the domain space. So, fundamentally, we need to make that clear. That’s what we’re focussed on and it’s about nefarious behaviour in the assigning of names to numbers space. I just want to make sure that we start to narrow down a very broad question.

From that perspective, we’re very concerned about ensuring that the network is up, so things like botnet attacks – that’s the type of thing that we are primarily concerned about – ensuring integrity and stability of the Internet. What’s happening on a security front? Are there holes in BIND? How are we going to plug those holes? How do we defend against denial of service attacks against botnet? Those are the things that we’re interested in, those things we’re focussed on, those things we monitor. We talked about Cognos BI tools earlier. We utilize those types of tools to help us determine and understand patterns. Part of the patterns that we’re looking for are patterns of behaviour which are pre-cursors to bad behaviour. So those are the types of things we monitor on that DNS front, in particular. We also ensure that there is a fair and equitable process around managing trademark infringements on the internet and we administer or we are part of that CDRP process that Michael already referred to. When you say – and when I say – “nefarious” things happening on the Internet, I’m primarily referring to those two core elements which are really fundamental to our core business which is managing the DNS and making sure that the registry is managed in a fair and equitable way. We definitely do that and monitor and are constantly working on it. In fact, as we heard earlier, we’re hosting in Ottawa later this month the meeting for the OR coaches and we’re also hosting a security forum prior to that in an effort to engage all the folks, be they government or private sector, around security issues.

Comment: (Praveen)

Thank you for your answer. I just wanted to point out that the general Canadian public may not be so internet savey, may not understand that if you say you just host it but you don’t really. It might almost be translated as somebody’s doing something that is not right here and these guys support it whole-heartedly, while that might not be the case. That might be something to think about.

Answer: (Byron Holland)

That’s a great comment. One of the reasons people look at and say why are you building up your marketing department? It’s multi-fold. One is to get the message of dot-ca out. There are significant advantages to having a dot-ca versus dot-com. It could mean part of a thick registry versus a thin registry. We don’t necessarily communicate that as effectively as we should. Why dot-ca? There’s a whole bunch of great reasons why dot-ca and that’s part of what we’re going to be doing over the course of the next year and into the future is articulating that and the sub-message is what exactly we’re about – which is really those core areas, not “all things to all people”. Thanks for your questions. Great questions.

9. Meeting Adjournment: It was moved by Paul Donovan and seconded by Graham Laverty and motion carried, that the meeting be concluded