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Toronto, Canada (March 10, 2014) – The Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto is one of ten non-profits in the U.S. and abroad to receive the New Digital Age Grants, funded through a $1 million donation by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy. The Citizen Lab is the only group based in Canada to receive such an award.

The New Digital Age Grants were established to highlight organizations that use technology to counter the global challenges Schmidt and Google Ideas Director Jared Cohen write about in their book “The New Digital Age,” including government-sponsored censorship, disaster relief and crime fighting. The book was released in paperback on March 4.

“The recipients chosen for the New Digital Age Grants are doing some very innovative and unique work, and I’m proud to offer them this encouragement,” said Schmidt. “Five billion people will encounter the Internet for the first time in the next decade. With this surge in the use of technology around the world—much of which we in the West take for granted—I felt it was important to encourage organizations that are using it to solve some of our most pressing problems.”

The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory that develops new approaches for researching and documenting information controls (e.g. network surveillance and content filtering). In carrying out its work, the Citizen Lab aims to explore issues that impact the openness and security of the Internet and that pose threats to human rights.

“The grant will enable us to continue to engage in independent and impartial research on Internet openness and rights from a multi-disciplinary perspective,” said Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert. “We are very grateful to be the only Canadian recipient of such an award and to be honoured with so many other outstanding projects.”