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

Canada’s National Security Consultation: Digital Anonymity & Subscriber Identification Revisited… Yet Again

In this post, we critically examine the Government of Canada’s proposal to indiscriminately access subscriber identity information that is possessed by telecommunications service providers. We conclude by arguing that the government has failed to justify its case for such access to the information.

Tender Confirmed, Rights At Risk: Verifying Netsweeper in Bahrain

In this report, we confirm the use of the services of Canadian company Netsweeper, Inc. to censor access to the Internet in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

IMSI Catcher Report Calls for Transparency, Proportionality, and Minimization Policies

This report, written by Research Associate Christopher Parsons and CIPPIC Staff lawyer Tamir Israel, investigates the surveillance capabilities of IMSI Catchers, efforts by states to prevent information relating to IMSI Catchers from entering the public record, and the legal and policy frameworks that govern the use of these devices. The report principally focuses on Canadian agencies but, to do so, draws comparative examples from other jurisdictions. The report concludes with a series of recommended transparency and control mechanisms that are designed to properly contain the use of the devices and temper their more intrusive features.

Research News

Keep Calm and (Don’t) Enable Macros: A New Threat Actor Targets UAE Dissidents

Media Coverage: New York Times, Foreign Policy, International Business Times, Chicago Tribune, VICE Motherboard, Taipei Times, Forbes, Techworm, Sputnik News, Network World, BoingBoing. Authors: Bill Marczak, John Scott-Railton 1. Executive Summary This report describes a campaign of targeted spyware attacks carried out by a sophisticated operator, which we call Stealth Falcon.  The attacks have been conducted […]

Jon Penney publishes paper on the “chilling effects” of online surveillance

In “Chilling Effects: Online Surveillance and Wikipedia Use,” Citizen Lab Research Fellow Jon Penney analyzes the fall of traffic to Wikipedia articles about terror groups and their techniques after the Snowden revelations.

Every Step You Fake: Final Report released

Citizen Lab research partner Open Effect today announced the release of the full report detailing our year-long research collaboration into the privacy and security of wearable fitness tracking devices.



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Lab News

Job Posting: System Administrator

The Citizen Lab has an opening for a system administrator

UofT’s Postdoctoral Fellowship competition

The Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto is hosting a Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2016-2017, which offers a maximum stipend of $45,000 per year, for two years.

Black Code screening at the Toronto International Film Festival

On Tuesday September 13th, 9:30 pm, the film adaptation of the book Black Code—directed by renowned filmmaker Nicholas de Pencier—will make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Black Code was published in May 2013, and written by Citizen Lab Director, Ron Deibert.

Andrew Hilts in Globe and Mail on fitness tracker report

Citizen Lab Research Fellow Andrew Hilts was interviewed by the Globe and Mail regarding Access My Info’s fitness tracker report, titled “Every Step You Fake,” in which the privacy and security safeguards of eight popular wearable fitness tracker devices was studied.

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