To the editor,
The Canadian Federation of Students, a national student lobby group, may be guilty of cyber squatting. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, the other big national student lobby group on the block, which had been discussing changing its site name from casa.ca to the bilingual equivalent casa-acae.ca, was surprised to discover that CFS bought the rights to the domain name earlier this year.
CFS claims that the domain name was secured for an affiliated organization, British Columbia Central American Student Alliance, which is now defunct. Joey Coleman, a student at McMaster University, investigated this claim. According to sources, BC CASA did not operate in French, but only functioned in English and Spanish. The Spanish acronym has not been purchased by CFS (casa-aeca.ca for Alianza de Estudientes Centro Americanos). Moreover, the correct French acronym should read "Alliance d'étudiants de l'Amérique Centrale," which would have the acronym "aece," not "acae."
CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, regulates dot-ca domain name registrations. In the CIRA Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, paragraph 3.7, "Registration in Bad Faith," violations outlined include registering the name of a competitor, and registering a name in order to prevent other parties from registering. Commenting on the situation, Phillippe Ouellette, CASA's national director, said the organization is "unclear as to why the CFS would use the resources of their membership on something so wasteful. I will not speculate on the motivations of the CFS to choose to spend funds on something which does not further their mandate, however, there is a contradiction in wasting the funds of the students you are trying to protect from fee increases." CASA has stated that it will not partake in these types of actions, and will not dignify CFS with a response. It is unfortunate that such malicious actions will only serve to further fragment the Canadian student movement. And the saga continues.
By Olivier Jarda,VP, SMU Students Association