Research News

Citizen Lab’s latest research publications.

Black Code Documentary in theatres April 14th, screening at Human Rights Watch Film Festival

The ‘Black Code’ documentary film, based on Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert’s book of the same name, will be in theatres as of April 14th, 2017. It will also be screened as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in London on March 10 and 11, 2017, and is to be followed by a discussion on both evenings.

Citizen Lab 2016 Report highlights and year in review

This post recaps Citizen Lab’s major research reports for 2016, which span issues surrounding censorship, surveillance, privacy, and cybersecurity as they relate to fitness trackers, political dissidents, social media users, and more.

Bitter Sweet: Supporters of Mexico’s Soda Tax Targeted With NSO Exploit Links

This report describes an espionage operation using government-exclusive spyware to target Mexican government food scientists and two public health advocates.

Nile Phish: Large-Scale Phishing Campaign Targeting Egyptian Civil Society

This report discusses the targeting of Egyptian NGOs by Nile Phish, a large-scale phishing campaign. Almost all of the targets we identified are also implicated in Case 173, a sprawling legal case brought by the Egyptian government against NGOs, which has been referred to as an “unprecedented crackdown” on Egypt’s civil society. Nile Phish operators demonstrate an intimate knowledge of Egyptian NGOs, and are able to roll out phishing attacks within hours of government actions, such as arrests.

Cashless Society, Cached Data: Security Considerations for a Chinese Social Credit System

The second post in this series examines a Chinese mobile payment app feature increasingly covered in foreign media: testing of what may one day be a nationwide official social credit system to replace its traditional analog counterpart. Our exploration of potential security, privacy, and other issues of such a system is meant to raise questions that can inform discussions about how it will evolve.

Cashless Society, Cached Data: Are Mobile Payment Systems Protecting Chinese Citizens’ Data?

This research series presents an in-depth examination of mobile payment systems, a rapidly evolving form of financial technology. We will provide an overview of how they are used in China–where they are taking off faster than anywhere else in the world–and what implications their security and data protection practices may have for millions of users, by presenting a case study on Alipay.

Social Engineering Attacks on Government Opponents

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.

Tibetans blocked from Kalachakra at borders and on WeChat

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.

“一APP两制”:微信如何区别审查中国及海外用户

多伦多大学公民实验室的最新报告揭露了微信平台的审查机制。微信是中国腾讯控股有限公司旗下的即时通讯应用,目前是中国最受欢迎的聊天软件之一,也是全球排名第四的最流行聊天软件

One App, Two Systems: How WeChat uses one censorship policy in China and another internationally

In this report we provide the first systematic study of keyword and website censorship on WeChat, the most popular chat app in China