The Canadian Internet Forum: Discussions that matter to Internet users (that's you and me.)

I was shocked by how effectively the Egyptian government choked off access to the Internet during the recent popular uprising. I had always taken it for granted that the Internet’ s distributed architecture would make it impossible for it to be denied to a population in this way. Naïve me.

The shut down of the Internet in Egypt underlined for me just how lucky we are in Canada and how we take our free, open Internet for granted. But we shouldn’t take it for granted. If we care about something, we should take an active interest in it. And we should participate when the opportunity comes up for us to have a say.

Next week, we will have an opportunity to have a voice in a discussion of the issues relating to the governance of the Internet. The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (Disclosure: CIRA is a client of Thornley Follis and 76 design) will be hosting the Canadian Internet Forum to discuss issues surrounding Internet governance in Canada and globally.

I recorded a brief interview with Byron Holland, CIRA’s President and CEO, to ask him what’s at stake, why people like you and I should participate, whether we’ll have an opportunity to be heard and what this consultation will lead to.

This national forum follows six regional consultations that were held late last year. If you’re interested in learning more, you can download the background papers on digital literacy and the digital economy.

The Canadian Internet Forum is open to public participation. If you want to participate, you can register online to attend in person. If you can’t make it to Ottawa on Feb. 25, you will also be able to participate via Webcast.

The Internet in Canada. It matters to all of us. And we can all have our say.

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  • I think the level of government internet monitoring, access to the internet, and overall freedom on the internet is in relation to a country’s type of government. More democratic countries have less restriction. I can’t foresee the U.S. government barring citizens from the internet like the Egyptian government. Restricting the internet seems to go against democracy, especially if it was for the same reason as the Egyptian government. However, it isn’t guaranteed, there is no law or anything in U.S. Constitution that says it’s our right to have access to the internet. I hope the U.S. will take the same steps as Canada and have a similar forum.