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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

Jan 13, 2017

A CBC article exploring the Chinese government's use of surveillance techniques, what has been called the "Great Firewall," highlights Citizen Lab's work in studying the state and private enterprises that support it. In an interview, Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert comments on the surveillance practices that the regime uses.

The post CBC highlights Citizen Lab research on China appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Jan 13, 2017

Citizen Lab Senior Research Fellow Bill Marczak has co-authored a paper titled "Social Engineering Attacks on Government Opponents: Target Perspectives," along with Vern Paxson of UC Berkeley.

The post Bill Marczak co-authors “Social Engineering Attacks on Government Opponents” appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Jan 13, 2017

Citizen Lab Research Fellow Jon Penney's research on the chilling effect of the Snowden revelations was featured in the January-February 2017 edition of Harvard Magazine, in an article exploring challenges to privacy in the United States.

The post Jon Penney’s research in Harvard Magazine appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Jan 13, 2017

Several Cyber Stewards Network Partners have contributed to the 2016 Global Internet Society Watch on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights on the Internet, a publication with 46 country reports and other topics.

The post Cyber Stewards in Global Information Society Watch 2016 publication appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Jan 11, 2017

A New York Times article describing the growth of email spyware as a political weapon, titled "Cyberwar for Sale," cited Citizen Lab research into Hacking Team, an Italian team that creates spyware for sale to governments. In particular, the article cites Citizen Lab's work in exposing the use of Hacking Team software on the devices of Moroccan, UAE, and Ethiopian activists.

The post Citizen Lab research on Hacking Team in NY Times appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Jan 10, 2017

In an interview with Canada's International Development Research Centre and Canadian Geographic, Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert explained the work of the Cyber Stewards Network (CSN), which aims to increases cybersecurity in the global south, and conducts advocacy campaigns surrounding the protection of human rights in the digital sphere.

The post Canada’s IDRC profiles Cyber Stewards Network appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Jan 10, 2017

From January 2 to 13 2017, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is holding a popular Tibetan Buddhist teaching called Kalachakra in Bodh Gaya, India. Increased restrictions from the government of China has barred Tibetans in Tibet from attending the teachings. This report documents blocking of Kalachakra-related keywords on WeChat revealing how restrictions on the ritual extend online.

The post Tibetans blocked from Kalachakra at borders and on WeChat appeared first on The Citizen Lab.

Jan 10, 2017

In an op-ed for CNN, security technologist Bruce Schneier explores the difficulty of attributing the cyberattack to Russia. In doing so, Schneier makes reference to Citizen Lab's work in identifying the source of cyberattacks against activists and dissidents, including the United Arab Emirates targeting of human right's activist Ahmed Mansour.

The post CNN op-ed cites Citizen Lab research appeared first on The Citizen Lab.