The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, Canada focusing on advanced research and development at the intersection of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), human rights, and global security. Learn more »

In Focus

Op-ed by Ron Deibert: The Cyber Security Syndrome

In an op-ed on OpenCanada.org, Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert argues that law enforcement and intelligence agencies such as the US’s NSA, UK’s GCHQ and Canada’s CSE must be highly accountable, transparent to democratically elected representatives, and unleashed to act only in tightly circumscribed way, in order to protect the liberal democratic society in which we live.

Civil Society Organizations Face Onslaught of Persistent Computer Espionage Attacks

A new report, entitled “Communities @ Risk: Targeted Digital Threats Against Civil Society,” involved 10 civil society groups that enrolled as study subjects over a period of four years. The study sought to obtain greater visibility into an often overlooked digital risk environment affecting–whether they know it or not–many of society’s most essential institutions.

Tracing the Path of a Censored Weibo Post and Compiling Keywords that Trigger Automatic Review

We investigate what keywords might trigger censorship via automatic review in Sina Weibo and followed the pathways a typical censored post might take on Chinese social media.

Research News

མི་མང་གི་ཚོགས་སྡེ་ཁག་ལ་རྒྱུན་མཐུད་པའི་གློག་ཀླད་ཀྱི་དྲ་འབུའི་རྒོལ་རྡུང་འཕྲད་བཞིན་པ།

Summary of our report “Communities @ Risk: Targeted Digital Threats Against Civil Society translated in Tibetan.”

Schrodinger’s Cat Video and the Death of Clear-Text

This report provides a detailed analysis of two products sold for facilitating targeted surveillance known as network injection appliances. These products allow for the easy deployment of targeted surveillance implants and are being sold by commercial vendors to countries around the world. Compromising a target becomes as simple as waiting for the user to view unencrypted content on the Internet.

Information Controls during Thailand’s 2014 Coup

The May 2014 coup d’etat in Thailand was the 19th coup attempt in the country’s history. It stands out from previous coups due to the military junta’s focus on information controls. In this report we document the results of network measurements to determine how the Internet is currently being filtered in Thailand and discuss other forms of information control implemented in the coup’s aftermath.

Social Media Watch – June 2014

This edition of Social Media Watch deals with top court rulings on digital privacy, social media monitoring, and mobile security news.

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Lab News

Christopher Parsons weighs in on privacy concerns in Canada

Citizen Lab Post-Doctoral Fellow Christopher Parsons spoke to a number of media outlets this month on privacy issues in Canada, ranging from topics such as the expansion of Toronto Police Service’s surveillance technologies, the collection of social media data by the government, and concerns with particular mobile applications.

Op-ed by Ron Deibert: The Cyber Security Syndrome

In an op-ed on OpenCanada.org, Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert argues that law enforcement and intelligence agencies such as the US’s NSA, UK’s GCHQ and Canada’s CSE must be highly accountable, transparent to democratically elected representatives, and unleashed to act only in tightly circumscribed way, in order to protect the liberal democratic society in which we live.

Epoch Times article features OpenNet Initiative and Access series

The Epoch Times cited the OpenNet Initiative, a project of the Citizen Lab, the SecDev Group, and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, as one of the best resources in learning about Internet filtering.

Detekt spyware detection tool released

Independent Researcher Claudio Guarnieri has partnered with Privacy International, Digitale Gesellschaft, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Amnesty International to publicly release the Detekt tool, which allows journalists and human rights defenders to scan their computers for traces of known surveillance spyware.

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