The Beginning…

Andrew Sullivan moderating at the first multistakeholder event in Ottawa.


On April 4, 2018, over 80 individuals met in Ottawa and virtually via livestream for the first event in the Canadian Multistakeholder Process – Enhancing IoT Security series. Participants represented a wide-range of stakeholder groups, including government, academia, public interest, and industry representatives. Two Internet Society Organization Members, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority and CANARIE, as well as Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic were partners for this event. IoT security is a complex issue that requires all stakeholders to cooperate and participate in the development of solutions, and we were pleased to have such truly multistakeholder representation.

The event kicked off with an interactive presentation from Larry Strickling, Executive Director of the Collaborative Governance Project. Strickling provided an overview of the multistakeholder process and facilitated a discussion among participants to determine ground rules and define what constitutes consensus. Participants, both those remote and in person, outlined over a dozen rules and three key metrics for determining consensus, which will be used throughout the entirety of the project.

In the morning, participants heard from a series of speakers who presented on IoT security and risk, the balance between IoT’s technological potential and societal need, how IoT and society impact one another, how network vulnerability can be quantified, and what standards can be set for IoT devices. Speakers emphasized the need for developers of IoT devices to consider security concerns from the earliest stages of design so as to avoid making large-scale adjustments once in production.

After the presentations, participants worked in small groups to refine a definition of IoT for the purposes of this project, and to set year-long goals that the group can accomplish. We were energized by how active and engaged each of the groups were and by the suggestions that they came up with.

A report, including next steps in the project, will be released soon. We look forward to the next event in this series, and to continuing to work with this group of motivated and informed individuals. If you would like to watch the livestream recording of the event, please find it here, and be sure to check back for an announcement regarding the date and time of our next event.