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.
In the Media
Citizen Lab staff and research in the news.
Toronto-based documentary filmmaker and cinematographer Nicholas de Pencier (Four Wings and a Prayer, Watermark) examines the complex global impact that the internet has had on matters of free speech, privacy and activism.
Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert has been named as part of the “Humans of the Year” series of VICE Motherboard, which profiles his work in defending cyber security through studies of hacking groups and censorship worldwide.
A CBC article exploring the Chinese government’s use of surveillance techniques, what has been called the “Great Firewall,” highlights Citizen Lab’s work in studying the state and private enterprises that support it. In an interview, Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert comments on the surveillance practices that the regime uses.
Citizen Lab Research Fellow Jon Penney’s research on the chilling effect of the Snowden revelations was featured in the January-February 2017 edition of Harvard Magazine, in an article exploring challenges to privacy in the United States.
In an op-ed for CNN, security technologist Bruce Schneier explores the difficulty of attributing the cyberattack to Russia. In doing so, Schneier makes reference to Citizen Lab’s work in identifying the source of cyberattacks against activists and dissidents, including the United Arab Emirates targeting of human right’s activist Ahmed Mansour.
Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert has authored a piece in JustSecurity on the FBI’s report on the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Convention (DNC). In the article, titled “The DHS/FBI Report on Russian Hacking was a Predictable Failure,” Deibert assesses the report itself, as well as the Obama administration’s response to the hacking, and its public handling.
Citizen Lab Research Associate Christopher Parsons joined The Agenda with Steve Paikin to discuss the controversial Bill C-51, anti-terrorism legislation passed by the previous Conservative government. He joined a panel to discuss potential changes to the law, which has been used by agencies like the RCMP and Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police to petition for new powers to access telephone and Internet data.
Citizen Lab Researcher Lotus Ruan was interviewed by VOA Mandarin on the recent release of the report entitled “One App Two Systems, How WeChat uses one censorship policy in China and another internationally.”
Citizen Lab’s Cyber Steward Network Partners from Asia and Latin America have released reports and been interviewed in the media on key censorship and cybersecurity issues.