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The Citizen Lab
Toronto, Canada

The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada focusing on advanced research and development at the intersection of digital media, global security, and human rights.

We are a “hothouse” that combines the disciplines of political science, sociology, computer science, engineering, and graphic design. Our mission is to undertake advanced research and engage in development that monitors, analyses, and impacts the exercise of political power in cyberspace. We undertake this mission through collaborative partnerships with leading edge research centers, organizations, and individuals around the world, and through a pioneering “fusion” methodology that combines technical reconnaissance, field investigations, and data mining, analysis, and visualization.

The Citizen Lab’s ongoing research network includes the Information Warfare Monitor, the OpenNet Initiative, and Opennet.Asia.

The Citizen Lab developed the psiphon censorship circumvention software, and continues to provide “red team” research, threat analysis, and support for open source development for Psiphon Inc through the Psi-Lab project.

The Citizen Lab is not verified as a 501(c)3 organization.

Latest News

Apr 23, 2015

We were shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of MIT's Roger Hurwitz, a close friend and colleague of the Citizen Lab and a senior scholar of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.

The post We will miss you, Roger Hurwitz appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Apr 13, 2015

As part of her ongoing research on developing resilience in high-risk digital crisis response networks, Citizen Lab doctoral fellow Jennie Phillips will be speaking at a number of events.

The post Jennie Phillips on Digital Humanitarian Activism and Risk appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Apr 12, 2015

Senior Legal Advisor Sarah McKune has contributed a chapter to a new book from Oxford University Press, China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy and Politics in the Digital Domain (eds. Jon R. Lindsay, Tai Ming Cheung, Derek S. Reveron). Her chapter is entitled “’Foreign Hostile Forces’: The Human Rights Dimension of China’s Cyber Campaigns.”

The post Sarah McKune on China’s targeting of “foreign hostile forces” in cyberspace appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Apr 10, 2015

This post describes our analysis of China’s “Great Cannon,” our term for an attack tool that we identify as separate from, but co-located with, the Great Firewall of China. The first known usage of the Great Cannon is in the recent large-scale novel DDoS attack on both GitHub and servers used by GreatFire.org.

The post China’s Great Cannon appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Apr 03, 2015

In an article published in the Institute for Research on Public Policy's (IRPP) "Policy Options" blog, Research Fellow Jon Penney observed that the debate on Canada's Bill C-51 Anti-Terror law has been "contentious and ranging, yet few commentators have drawn on experience or expert voices elsewhere to understand its implications."

The post Jon Penney on Canada’s Bill C-51 appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Apr 01, 2015

According to state media organization People's Daily, Apple agreed to Chinese government "security checks." Citizen Lab Research Fellow Jason Q. Ng expressed concern that this practice may set a trend of compliance to such demands amongst other firms.

The post Jason Q. Ng on Apple accommodating Chinese demands appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Apr 01, 2015

Citizen Lab Senior Security Researcher Morgan Marquis-Boire was named on the Young Global Leaders list for the Class of 2015, an organization headed by the World Economic Forum. The community is intended to provide the next generation of leaders with a platform to engage global affairs for positive change.

The post Young Global Leaders names Morgan Marquis-Boire in Class of 2015 appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Apr 01, 2015

In an article contributed to the National Post, Citizen Lab Postdoctoral Fellow Christopher Parsons explains that the activities of the Communications Security Establishment constitute spying on Canadians. Parsons summarizes several findings regarding the mandate and practices of the organization leaked over the last year and a half, many of which strongly undermine CSE's claim that Canadians are not "targeted" by domestic security agencies.

The post Chris Parsons on CSE targeting Canadians appeared first on The Citizen Lab.