CIRA Files Libel Action Against CIRAWatch for Claims of Ethnic Discrimination
Date: Sunday May 18 2003, @08:16AM
Topic: Country-Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs)

Following the posting on May 6 of allegations at under the headline "CIRA using Racial Profiling?", CIRA, Canada's registry for .ca, filed a Canadian libel action against CIRAWatch. (CIRA's press release is quoted below.)

CIRAWatch responded by taking down the posting, "as an act of good faith" (and also, presumably, to reduce its exposure to damages). CIRAWatch also noted, however, that CIRA's announcement did not directly deny all its charges, and it posted the text of a letter to CIRA (.pdf) with additional questions to CIRA about how (and how often) CIRA decides to demand additional information from a would-be registrant.

Without the original item (temporary link to Google cache), it's a little hard to be sure what this is all about. But the Google cache shows that it's what you might guess in these troubled times -- an allegation, sourced to an unnamed registrar, that CIRA appears to be demanding additional information disproportionately from people with Middle-East-sounding names.

Text of CIRA press release:

On May 13, 2003, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) learned that an organization named CiraWatch Corporation ( had posted an article alleging that CIRA's validation process for domain name registrations discriminated against certain ethnic communities.

CIRA has responded to the article's allegations by serving CiraWatch Corp. with a notice pursuant to Section 5 of the Libel and Slander Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.L-12.

CIRA manages the dot-ca Internet domain name registry in accordance with policies, rules, and procedures publicly available at

CIRA has a zero tolerance policy with respect to any form of racial discrimination.

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