Canadians Connected 2022 (CIRA AGM) (1 Viewing)

FM

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CIRA - Canadians Connected 2022

Join us virtually or in-person at the Infinity Convention Centre in Ottawa as we discuss the engaging and multilayered topic of surveillance capitalism, along with the dangers of high-tech giants capturing and commodifying your personal data.

Canadians Connected, CIRA’s symposium and annual general meeting, is one of the most important internet events of the year. In addition to exciting industry-leading speakers, CIRA presents its accomplishments from the past year, industry developments and statistics, plans, audited financial statements and the auditor's report to CIRA members.

Register for free, today!
Remotely controlled: how the future of digital life is being threatened by surveillance capitalism
Surveillance capitalism describes the practice of companies gathering personal information about you—including your behaviours and interests—and package that data into a product that can be sold. Canada’s privacy watchdog has repeatedly warned Canadians that companies are increasingly cashing in on their personal data—even if it comes at the expense of our right to privacy. There is a growing chorus of voices calling for government to intervene and rein in the power of tech giants. However, there is less consensus on how exactly that should be done without causing new problems.

We are bringing together CIRA members, the public and experts to discuss the privacy harms of tech monopolies and our collective power as users, to decide how our information is shared and with whom—or even if we opt in to using their online tools.
 

FM

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Anybody else going to the CIRA AGM in Person? We're considering coming with @efalcon , @Sally and myself.
 

FM

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Maybe we could give you some points to take with you on our behalf if any members have an opinion.

I encourage anyone with feedback to attend the meeting themselves, it's also possible to attend online. If you're looking at the agenda, it's not really structured so much to allow for open questions, most of the comments are often only done in connection with the talking points and of course the member proposals (by @Alex B ).

1. Introduction
2. Call to order and approval of the agenda
3. Verification of the 2021 Annual General Meeting minutes
4. Summary of the Financial Statements for fiscal year ending March 31, 2022
5. Appointment of auditors
6. Confirmation of by-law changes
7. Member proposal
9. Closing the meeting

I've also invited one of the member slate board candidates to join us here, it might not be a bad idea to see if we can get some of the others here as well.
 

Lurker

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Is CIRA membership open to ordinary citizens like me?
 

Alex B

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While open, as FM suggests, should you have board governance experience to sit on a Board? For example, many candidates - if not the vast majority - for the CIRA member slate claim advanced or expert level experience but don't show any. A jury is a group of peers drawn from society at large. The membership of a board is not a "jury of peers"; the board must - not optional - is to supervise the CEO and her/his staff and all material operations. Can you do that if you have no executive and board governance experience? Diversity on a board is good but in experience and competence?
 

Graeme

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I think Alex is confusing Lurker's question about CIRA membership, and running as a member for the CIRA board. Anyone who owns a .ca domain name can become a member of CIRA. Being a member allows you to vote at the annual general meeting and for board elections, and there are no experience requirements for that.

You can also as a CIRA member put your name forward on the member slate to run for the CIRA board. As this is a leadership position, it makes sense to have some relevant experience. CIRA outlines what experience they would find beneficial as an organization here: Joining the Board through the Member slate

We're in the middle of the process of electing new board members right now. Member nominees have until the first of Sept to garner enough support to make it to the actual vote. Voting takes place between the 15th and 22nd of Sept.

I'm currently running for the member slate. To get in front of Alex's questions, I have quite a bit of board experience and am currently Board Chair of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition. I also have over a decade of experience within the domain industry, having worked for both a registrar and a registry. If you're hoping for strong oversight, you won't find anyone else on the member slate with a better understanding of how a registry operates.
 
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Alex B

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Not sure that I am the one that is confused.

My point was that most of the candidates for the Member slate - bar possibly one -while having strong technical expertise for the most part - did not have corporate governance experience while claiming either being advanced or expert. Members of course can elect anyone they want (from either Slate) , disregarding even suggestions from CIRA management now and then.

Not wishing to be disrespectful, while you claim "quite a bit of board experience" - like all others - your resume does not support that claim. Furthermore is the Internet Infrastructure Coalition - of which you are board chair - a corporation or a community organization?

Most people who have been on substantial corporate boards understand that to supervise a CEO and his/her team you need equivalent experience (management and not technical). Strong technical skills, being smart even being a Mensa member is not enough as you need to be able to tun a lemonade stand (proven as it is not an internship). Nor does being well intentioned/meaning good enough!

In past, for example, one candidates qualifications was being a middle manager running a social media campaign for a premier. While smart and savvy is that the sort of person you want supervising the CEO and his/her team?

One of many contentious issues is CEO compensation. Should the CIRA CEO earn more than the DM of ISED (that supports CIRA and can shut it down on 90 days notice) - has a staff of more than 10,000 and a budget of more than $5 billion? (This is a hypothetical question, BTW) Do you see any board candidates who have the experience to navigate that issue, rather than bend the knee to the CEO?

You can deal with this issue off line as it is important and I don't want to diss you or anyone else.
 

Graeme

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The confusion was merely that Lurker was asking about CIRA membership, and Alex responded with board requirements, and those are different things.
 

Alex B

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@FM,
The question on CIRA membership may need some further clarification and investigation.

The CIRA web site, with a policy dated probably 2000, talks about have a Canadian presence and being Canadian (citizen or permanent resident, etc.). You also must have a “.ca” domain (once or always?). There is much to interpret. I reviewed the list provided by CIRA off the 14,714 members as CIRA has a statutory obligation to maintain that register
  • 55 members had USA addresses
  • 164 members had no Canadian street address (either blank, “Canada” or another country)
  • Countries included: Australia, Central African Republic, Dubai, Korea, Romania, Ireland, Germany, Ireland, UK, Slovakia, Taiwan, etc.
When I ran the email addresses through an email verification service they reported
  • 62% (8712) deliverable
  • 20% (2849) invalid
  • 16% (2356) accept all (maybe yes, maybe no).
  • 6% (868) unknown
Can anyone claim to own a domain name? Not sure.

On surface it seems that there is not much editing or upkeep of the CIRA membership database.

Does it seem like anyone can join?

That further begs the question
  • Could voting be corrupted if qualifications are not verified with no voter registration published?
  • Why does CIRA have so many members – probably more than any other of the 170,000 not for profits
 

Alex B

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@FM,

Missing from the AGM agenda is that CIRA members get to select (actually approve) the auditors as the auditors work on members behalf (not the Board or management). That means that members have a statutory right to question the auditors.

Because the Board is accountable to the members (not stakeholders as promoted) who elect them, members have a right to ask questions to those present: the Board as well as board advisors (who are not on the board!)

The agenda does not show that or promote that level of accountability but it is in the law.
 

FM

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@Alex B , can you explain why you are tagging me specifically? I'm neither on the board nor am I running this year. I do not speak for CIRA, just for myself.

Also, you're kinda showing your lack of knowledge of CIRA and what it does with your questions.

The question on CIRA membership may need some further clarification and investigation.
Which question are you referring to?

The CIRA web site, with a policy dated probably 2000, talks about have a Canadian presence and being Canadian (citizen or permanent resident, etc.). You also must have a “.ca” domain (once or always?). There is much to interpret. I reviewed the list provided by CIRA off the 14,714 members as CIRA has a statutory obligation to maintain that register
I believe the requirements for Canadian Presence have been updated and/or clarified a number of times. I have also been removed as a member once I let a domain expire that was tied to my membership.

When I ran the email addresses through an email verification service they reported
Who or what gave you the right to provide the list to a third party? Did the data at least remain in Canada? I never agreed to such a use of data by you.

Can anyone claim to own a domain name? Not sure.
No, the domain name has to be registered with the same email address that is used to become a CIRA member.

Does it seem like anyone can join?
If you are a CIRA member yourself, which you should be according to some of your statements, you know that the person's ID is verified in order to become a member.

Missing from the AGM agenda is that CIRA members get to select (actually approve) the auditors as the auditors work on members behalf (not the Board or management). That means that members have a statutory right to question the auditors.
I'm not familiar with the regulations for this, but since you say you are an expert on governance, I would appreciate you linking to the corresponding regulations, so I can learn more.

Because the Board is accountable to the members (not stakeholders as promoted) who elect them, members have a right to ask questions to those present: the Board as well as board advisors (who are not on the board!)
I am not sure if you noticed the following segment on the agenda (which I think has been there since the agenda has been published). Maybe not exactly what you're asking for, but close:

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Ask Me Anything segment with CIRA's Executive Leadership Team
Facilitator: Spencer Callaghan, Senior Manager, Brand and Communications
 

FM

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For those who do not know, the CIRA election campaign forum is also open since September 8-22, 2022 to ask your questions for the candidates. As usual, probably not all of them will participate and I haven't even checked it yet.
 

Alex B

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@FM
I tagged you as you posted the agenda.
To be clear I never suggested or described myself as an expert on governance although I do have some competence - and possibly more than some - experience and interest.
The issue I was trying to bring to light is that there is much scope for abuse of the qualifications to be a member given that a substantial amount of email addresses are suspect and it is easy to claim credentials. Of course they should be checked but are you sure that they are? Given your expertise in that domain do you have evidence or simply hope?
While you show a Q&A period of 1/2 hour for questions from 14,714 members (but maybe only 150 will attend) to 7 executives (managing a team of how many?) and a set of auditors, how many questions will be planted as was done last year? Do you really think it will all be fair and above board?

May I suggest, if interested, that we take these questions off line. I am happy to take you out for a java or lunch and have a more reasoned discussion and exchange of views.
 

FM

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To be clear I never suggested or described myself as an expert on governance although I do have some competence - and possibly more than some - experience and interest.
My apologies - I got this impression from your website and how you presented yourself in the past.

The issue I was trying to bring to light is that there is much scope for abuse of the qualifications to be a member given that a substantial amount of email addresses are suspect and it is easy to claim credentials. Of course they should be checked but are you sure that they are? Given your expertise in that domain do you have evidence or simply hope?
The process seems to imply that a validation takes place as the sending of documentation is required. Not having seen the member list myself, I currently have no reason to doubt this.

May I suggest, if interested, that we take these questions off line. I am happy to take you out for a java or lunch and have a more reasoned discussion and exchange of views.
I'm not sure why the conversation should be taken private, considering it started in public and could be of interest to anyone eligible to vote in the CIRA board elections, which probably applies to most people on this forum here.

To me, your handling of private data (namely the member list) is of a renewed concern here, after receiving an email that you have sent to all CIRA members via a UK company, today.
 

FM

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So, anybody else coming tomorrow? I'll be the only one from WHC after all, but I'd like to meet up with anyone after the AGM who is up for it. Where are our Ottawa domainers?
 

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