Over the last month, two Citizen Lab staff members were contacted by two separate individuals in what appears to be an attempt to compromise our work. Each of the contacts purported to show an interest in the staff members’ personal, non-Citizen Lab related interests, and presented themselves as serious and professional.
In the Media
Citizen Lab staff and research in the news.
Citizen Lab senior research fellow Bill Marczak and Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz joined CNN to discuss how NSO’s Pegasus spyware found on Omar’s phone is linked to Jamal Khashoggi.
Following a Citizen Lab report that identified the presence of NSO’s Pegasus spyware technology in Quebec, researchers contacted Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi Arabian dissident and Canadian permanent resident who has long been critical of the regime in Riyadh. After an extensive investigation, they discovered that his phone had been targeted with this powerful spyware and the operators of the technology were linked to Saudi Arabia’s government and security services.
The Citizen Lab’s Ron Deibert and Sarah McKune don’t mince words in a recent op-ed for Just Security about Google’s plan to create a search engine that conforms to China’s demand for censorship.
This call comes on the heels of recent Citizen Lab research which shows that Netsweeper, a Canadian company who has received funding from the Canadian government, is being used by governments to block access to content in ten authoritarian countries around the world, including LGBTQ2+ sites.
Citizen Lab research showed that, at the time, WeChat seemed to use a relatively crude comparison between banned images and content uploaded to the site in order to decide what to block.
In Mexico, government-exclusive spyware technology is being used to target journalists, human rights defenders, anti-corruption advocates, and international investigators. Luis Fernando Garcia, Director of R3D, explains how technology meant to track terrorists is being turned against activists
The report reveals that the Canadian company’s web filtering products are being used in 30 countries around the world, including 10 where human rights concerns are acute.
During the heated national debate over Bill C-59, which enacted sweeping changes to how Canada’s spy agencies operate, the Citizen Lab’s Lex Gill and Christoper Parsons posed some tough questions about the legislation.
Powerful Canadian-made hacking technology was deployed along Turkey’s border with Syria, the Associated Press reported based on Citizen Lab’s research.