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Google Policy Fellowship [CLOSED]

Program overview

The Google Policy Fellowship (Canada) program offers students, researchers, and practitioners interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues and exploring future academic and professional interests.

Two fellowship positions are open: one at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and one at the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), University of Ottawa.

Fellows will have the opportunity to work at two of Canada’s premier research groups at the forefront of debates on broadband and content regulation, copyright and creativity, consumer privacy, government surveillance, data security, data innovation, free expression, and more.

Fellows will be assigned a lead mentor at their host organizations and will have the opportunity to work with several senior staff members over the course of the summer. Fellows will be expected to make substantive contributions to the work of their organization, including conducting policy research and analysis, drafting reports and white papers, attending workshops and conferences, and participating in other research activities.

Who should apply?

We’re looking for people who are passionate about technology and want to spend the summer diving headfirst into Internet policy in an applied setting. Students from all majors and degree programs who possess the following qualities are encouraged to apply:

  • Demonstrated or stated commitment to Internet and technology policy
  • Excellent academic/professional records, subject matter expertise
  • First-rate analytical, communications, research, and writing skills
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and efficiently, and to work smartly and resourcefully in a fast-paced environment

Both host organizations are strongly committed to diversity within our respective communities and we strongly encourage applications from racialized persons/persons of colour, women, Indigenous/Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2+ persons, and others who will enrich our discourse by ensuring it is the product of a diversity of perspectives.

Fellows will receive a bursary of $10,000 CAD.

What is the program timeline?

Applications to the Canada Fellowship Program must be received by 5:00 pm EST on May 11, 2018. The fellowship will cover 10 weeks over the course of the summer months, with specific start and end dates to be coordinated with the host organization.

A Unique Opportunity

“As a Google Policy Fellow, I had the opportunity to work for cutting-edge technology lawyers, policy analysts, and technologists — both at CIPPIC and from the Citizen Lab. The experience was intensely rewarding, both personally and professionally: I was challenged and engaged, given space to develop my own research interests, and contributed to important work at the intersection of law, policy, and technology. I would recommend a Google Policy Fellowship to anyone seriously considering a career in this world or looking to contribute to the development of technology policy debates.” – Lex Gill, Google Policy Fellow, 2016

Citizen Lab, University of Toronto

The Citizen Lab is a research laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. Our research focuses on the intersection of information communications technologies, global security, and human rights.

At the Citizen Lab, we believe that impartial, evidence-based, peer-reviewed research on information controls will help advocacy and policy engagement on an open and secure Internet. We conduct our research through a mixed methods approach that combines technical appraoches from information security and network measurement with policy and legal analyses and field research.

Fellowship focus areas

Each year, we tailor the Google Policy Fellowship to the individual fellow to match their interests and strengths with current projects at the Citizen Lab. In general, we are open to students from a range of backgrounds, including law, policy, and the social sciences (e.g., political science, sociology, international relations, information studies, area studies, etc). Above all, we seek team players who are dedicated, diligent, open minded to new perspectives, and eager and willing to learn.

For the 2018 Google Canada Policy Fellowship, we are seeking a fellow to work on one or more of the following project areas:

Data Access Rights

How are companies around the world collecting, storing, and sharing customer information? What can customers learn about data handling practices through data access requests?  

The Access My Info (AMI) project seeks answers to these questions through the combination of research methods, a web tool, and advocacy strategies.

The AMI project uses a suite of research methods and tools for probing data access rights in different jurisdictions. One of those methods, a web tool, is an easy-to-use application that empowers citizens to make requests for their personal information and has been used by thousands of Canadians to request access to their data held by telecommunications companies. From its beginnings in Canada, the project has expanded to include comparative studies of data protection laws and data request responses in jurisdictions across Asia and Europe.

The fellow will work on data collection, analysis, and interpretation of data access responses from Canada and other jurisdictions. Working on this project will give the fellow an inside look into how data protection law works in practice compared to how it is supposed to work in theory.

More information

Corporate Transparency

Companies collect significant volumes of personal information in the course of interacting with customers, processing data for other parties, and otherwise interacting with individuals’ identifiable information. The Citizen Lab has ongoing projects that investigate what information is collected, processed, stored, or retained by private companies, and under what conditions that information is provided to third parties such as law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Past work has examined the effectiveness of companies’ transparency reports in explaining how frequently, and for what reasons, information has been disclosed to state agents, legal rationales that may support government efforts to legally compel information from privacy companies, as well as identifying best practices to be included in corporate transparency reporting.

The fellow will work on data collection, analysis, and interpretation of transparency reporting statistics that are released by Canadian and international companies. Working on this project will give a fellow insight into how the data presented in corporate transparency reporting actually reveals government surveillance activities, enabling them to better separate rhetoric from fact.

More Information

Christopher Parsons, “The (In)effectiveness of Voluntarily Produced Transparency Reports,” Business & Society.

Christopher Parsons,  “Transparency in Surveillance: Role of various intermediaries in facilitating state surveillance transparency,” Centre for Law and Democracy.

Christopher Parsons, “The Governance of Telecommunications Surveillance: How Opaque and Unaccountable Practices and Policies Threaten Canadians,” Telecom Transparency Project.

National Security Policy

Government agencies seek access to data held by individuals and companies alike. Such access is routinely predicated on legislation or government agencies’ interpretations of legislation. It is only following the whistle-blowing activities of Edward Snowden that parties external to government have begun to appreciate just how broadly government agencies access data, their rationales for doing so, and the significance of legislation in authorizing such surveillance activities.

The Citizen Lab’s past work in the space of national security policy includes analysis of computer network operations in Australia, normative analyses of the implications of mass surveillance practices, analyses of proposed national security legislation, and analyses of technologies such as IMSI Catchers.

The fellow will work on data collection, analysis, and interpretation of documents, legislation, and legal proceedings that pertain to national security activities that Canadian agencies are involved in. Working on this project will give a fellow insight into various programs and activities undertaken by Canadian agencies and their international partners, and provide a deeper empirical understanding of what is done in the name of protecting Canada’s national security.

More Information

Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic, University of Ottawa

The Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) is a legal clinic based at the Centre for Law, Technology & Society (CLTS) at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. Its core mandate is to ensure that the public interest is accounted for in decision making on issues that arise at the intersection of law and technology. It has the additional mandate of providing legal assistance to under-represented organizations and individuals on law and technology issues, as well as a teaching mandate focused on providing law students high quality experience and practical training in a law and technology setting.

CIPPIC adopts a multi-lateral approach to advancing its mandate, which involves placing objective research and analysis before key political, regulatory and legal decision-makers. This regularly includes providing expert testimony before parliamentary committees, participating in quasi-judicial regulatory proceedings, strategic intervention at all levels of court, and involvement in domestic and international Internet governance fora. Substantively, CIPPIC regularly engages with a range of digital rights issues, including privacy, intellectual property, state surveillance, net neutrality, online censorship, and consumer protection.

Google Policy Fellows work closely with CIPPIC lawyers on researching and drafting CIPPIC outputs. We attempt to tailor fellowship activities to the interests of the fellow, taking into account organizational priorities and commitments.

Indicative recent projects include:

Application Process

Your application package, consisting of a cover letter and C.V., must be received by 5:00 pm EST on May 11, 2018.  Please direct your applications to jobs@citizenlab.ca (for Citizen Lab applications) and/or to internship@cippic.ca (for CIPPIC applicants). Candidates may be asked to participate in a short follow-up telephone interview or to provide a writing sample.

About the Google Policy Fellowship program

What is the Google Policy Fellowship (Canada) program?

The Google Policy Fellowship (Canada) program offers students, researchers, and practitioners interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer working on these issues at public interest organizations in Canada.

Important dates

What is the program timeline?

Applications to the Canada Fellowship Program must be received by 5:00 pm EST on May 11, 2018. The fellowship will cover 10 weeks over the course of the summer months, with specific start and end dates to be coordinated with the host organization.

Eligibility

Are there any age restrictions on participating?

You must be 18 years of age or older by January 1, 2018 to be eligible to participate in the Google Policy Fellowship program in 2018.

Are there citizenship requirements for the Fellowship?

You must be eligible and authorized to work in Canada. The host organizations cannot provide guidance or assistance on obtaining the necessary documentation to meet this criteria.

Host organizations

What is Google’s relationship with the host organizations?

Google provides the funding support for the program. The host organization is responsible for reviewing candidates and selecting fellows, and for providing full supervision of the fellow. Google and the host organizations are not partners or affiliates. The host organizations do not represent the views or opinions of Google and cannot bind Google legally.

Can I apply to more than one host organization?

You are welcome to apply to more than one host organization.

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Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy | University of Toronto