Canadian Internet Registration Authority funding aims to protect Canadians online
On June 15, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) announces $1 million in Community Investment Program funding, which includes projects aimed at digital literacy around privacy and cybersecurity. One of the projects will enhance Canadians' knowledge about the Internet of Things (IoT). CIRA conducted research in March, 2017 which showed that of those Canadians who are aware of IoT, 73 per cent are concerned about the potential security threats, up 66 per cent from last year. Our research also showed that only 39 per cent of Canadians have heard of IoT. Given the vulnerability of some of these devices to cyberattack, this is concerning. Two other projects focus on digital privacy, including how to secure personal data when crossing the U.S. border.
CIRA's Community Investment Program funds projects run by Canadian not-for-profits, charities and research institutions that build a stronger, safer and more accessible Internet for all Canadians. Over the last four years CIRA has supported 99 projects with over $4.2 million in contributions.
Funding recipients (three of 21)
• Option Consommateurs - The Internet of Things: What are the issues facing consumers?
Baby monitors, smart TVs, children's toys, physical activity monitors and alarm systems are only a few examples of the types of smart devices that are in widespread use in Canada. Many people are not aware of the personal information that is collected through these devices, or the dangers they pose in terms of cybersecurity. Research will be conducted and a website will be constructed to help the Canadian population gain a better understanding of the privacy and security questions raised by these devices, and learn how to protect themselves. A video clip will be produced to inform consumers about and promote the website.
• BC Civil Liberties Association/Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic - Your Data at the Border: A privacy and security guide
The BC Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic from the University of Ottawa will work together to produce a guidebook and online resource to help people protect their privacy and personal data when crossing the U.S.-Canada border. Whether its proprietary business information stored on s laptop, personal health information stored on a tablet or myriad of other information on a cell phone, this program will help Canadians understand their rights and enhance digital literacy on how to secure data before crossing the border.
• Canadian Journalists for Free Expression - Digital Security Training for Human Rights
Recent revelations of police surveillance of 11 journalists in Quebec and dozens of Indigenous activists in Canada demonstrate the precarious nature of digital communications, yet many journalists and human rights workers do not take measures to ensure digital security. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression will hold a free, full-day workshop highlighting the risks and practical ways to strengthen digital security. In addition to training 80 journalists and human rights workers at the event, a series of brief video tutorials will be available after the workshop as a resource for participants and the broader public.