About the Citizen Lab

The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto, focusing on research, development, and high-level strategic policy and legal engagement at the intersection of information and communication technologies, human rights, and global security.

We use a “mixed methods” approach to research combining practices from political science, law, computer science, and area studies. Our research includes: investigating digital espionage against civil society, documenting Internet filtering and other technologies and practices that impact freedom of expression online, analyzing privacy, security, and information controls of popular applications, and examining transparency and accountability mechanisms relevant to the relationship between corporations and state agencies regarding personal data and other surveillance activities.

Professor Ron Deibert is the founder and current director of the Citizen Lab.

An information booklet on the Citizen Lab can be found here.

Support the Citizen Lab

Financial support for the Citizen Lab’s research has come from the The Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, Donner Canadian FoundationFord FoundationHewlett FoundationHIVOS, The Hopewell Fund, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Oak FoundationOpen Society FoundationsPsiphon Inc., The Sigrid Rausing TrustSocial Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada,  Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation.

The Citizen Lab is grateful for in-kind donations of investigative tools from companies including: RiskIQ/PassiveTotal, HYAS, VirusTotal, Cisco’s AMP Threat Grid Team, and others.

Make a donation to the Citizen Lab. Your support plays an essential role in sustaining the quality, independence, and impact of our work.

Technical assistance

Citizen Lab is an academic research lab focused on the study of digital threats to civil society and high-level policy engagement. Our research into digital threats involving individuals is conducted through human subject research protocols and participants must fit specific criteria and processes to be enrolled in these projects. Providing technical support, advice, or recommendations to members of the public is outside of our mandate.

If you are interested in resources on how to be safer online, consider visiting Security Planner. While intended for a broad audience, the tool includes links to outside support for higher risk individuals, including assistance with online harassment and emergency support resources.


For general inquiries to the Citizen Lab, please email: inquiries at citizenlab.ca

For media inquiries, visit our media resources page or email: media at citizenlab.ca

Visiting fellowships, student supervision, and employment opportunities

As a general policy, the Citizen Lab does not take volunteer requests.

If you are interested in studying with Professor Ronald Deibert or research fellowship opportunities, please visit his student resources page.

If you are interested in working with us, see our latest employment opportunities here.