Strengthening internet by investing in Canadians
CIRA’s flagship Community Investment Program granting initiative will be bolstered by new eligibility requirements, identification of target beneficiary groups and the potential for larger grants. The organization is committing 5-7 per cent of revenues to our Community Investment Program. We have a new community investment strategy that aligns funding with organizational priorities — internet access, infrastructure, digital literacy and community engagement.
We also continue to support the development of Canada’s internet infrastructure by advocating for the development of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) across the country. Nowhere is the value of IXPs more clear than during crises like COVID-19, where IXPs have played a critical role in keeping Canada’s internet infrastructure strong and resilient.
In April, CIRA released Canadian Shield, a version of our firewall. Canadian Shield is now available to all Canadians for free, offering protection against phishing and malware, while enhanced data security prevents service providers from tracking and selling personal data. Universal accessibility makes it a game-changer in the personal data and cybersecurity protection space.
Our direct initiatives will also be enhanced. This includes a new partnership with the Department of Industry, Science and Economic Development (ISED) to expand CIRA’s Internet Performance Test (IPT). The goal is for IPT to be the preferred diagnostic tool for funding applicants under the Government of Canada’s broadband strategy.
Going forward CIRA will host and expand the Canadian Internet Governance Forum to give Canadians a voice in the regulation and development of our internet, and we will bring that voice to the international stage as Canada’s representative at the IGF. The next event is set to take place on November 24 and 25 2020.