Citizen Lab's latest news and announcements.

China’s Cyberspace Control Strategy: An Overview and Consideration of Issues for Canadian Policy

Ron Deibert, Director of the Citizen Lab and co-founder of the Open Net Initiative and the Information Warfare Monitor, has recently published a paper for the Canadian International Council. “China’s Cyberspace Control Strategy: An Overview and Consideration of Issues for Canadian Policy” confronts China’s “cyberspace control strategy” and discusses research regarding cyber-espionage and filtering in the country with the world’s largest Internet population. In addition to informing global cyber policy, the paper focuses particularly on the implications for policy in Canada as well as China-Canada diplomatic and economic relations. Deibert concludes with key policy recommendations for Canada.

Read it here.

World leaders to seek plan for cybersecurity

Rafal Rohozinski is featured in the Pittsburg Tribune-Review on the subject of the recent Google attacks. The article highlights many key controversies on the governance of cyberspace. Such imminent challenges include possible legal solutions of both international and national jurisdiction in order to confront important matters of cyber security.

From Pittsburg Tribune-Review

Der Marsch der Geisterratten

Man nennt sie “trojanischen Pferde”. Tückische Angreifer, harmlos verpackt. Die Kriegslist mag so alt sein wie die alten Griechen, aber die Sache mit dem Holzpferd hat sich weiterentwickelt: Ein “trojanisches Pferd” greift am Bildschirm an. Und heute ist es nichts weiter als ein Stück Computercode, ein paar Zeilen in den Programmsprachen C++ oder Perl oder ASM, von Finsterlingen in einer harmlos erscheinenden Datei versteckt. In dem Bild mit den kleinen Hündchen etwa, das unvermutet im Eingangskorb der E-Mail auftaucht. In dem fröhlichen Anschreiben an den “Sehr verehrten Lottogewinner”. Wer es öffnet, lädt feindliche Heere auf seinen Rechner. Computer, durch die ein trojanisches Pferd geritten ist, können von Hackern in aller Welt ferngesteuert werden, können ausgeforscht, umprogrammiert und für finstere Verbrechen missbraucht werden.

Cyberwar and the ‘destruction of rules’

Ron Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski were featured in this Sify News article on cyberwar. The article discusses the Tracking Ghostnet report published by the Citizen Lab. It features an interview from The Christian Science Monitor from which both investigators discuss the recent attacks on Google and the growing frequency of contestion in cyberspace.

From Sify News

Google faces crackdown in Iran

Ron Deibert was featured by the Financial Times regarding Google reports of delays in the Gmail service from Iran, allegedly due to government censorship. This is an example of “just in time” censorship which occurs sporadically during periods of civil unrest and political controversy.

Examples of Iran’s infamous “just in time” direct blocking include the period of the June 2009 elections and more recently during Ashura (Islamic holiday to commemorate Imam Hussein) in December 2009.

The current blocks are due to the 31st anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution on February 11, 1979. The Financial Times elaborates on the link between the direct blocking from the Chinese government and Iran’s censorship regime. Furthermore, Google’s relationship with both governments is also discussed.

From The Financial Times

Open Net Initiative: Year in Review 2009

The Open Net Initiative has compiled an informative list of prominent practices and policies of Internet content filtering, surveillance, and information warfare in 2009. The list consists of worldwide events and controversies including the Citizen Lab’s research that revealed the GhostNet cyber-espionage network, the Iranian government’s censorship of social networking websites during period of the June elections, and China’s long-running Internet blackout in the Xinjiang region. Other features include the infamous Green Dam Youth Escort software program in China and the Australian government’s new online filtering practices.

From Open Net Initiative

In Google We Trust

Rafal Rohozinski speaks to Newsweek about the future of cyberspace and the recent cyber attacks on Google. He describes The Citizen Lab’s involvement in assisting the company based on their expertise with the GhostNet incident in March 2009. Questions are answered regarding the recent controversies with Google’s difficult business relationship with China, including the allegation that the attacks were “an inside job.”

Google, China, and the coming threat from cyberspace

The Citizen Lab’s Ron Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski contributed an opinion piece to The Christian Science Monitor regarding the current actors and trends in cyberwarfare. The researchers discuss the recent cyber attacks on Google, state-based cyberesipionage, and online criminal networks.

The fifth freedom

Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab, is featured in an editorial piece from Canada’s The Globe and Mail regarding recent Open Net Initiative ( research which demonstrates that over 560 million people – or one third if Internet users – are censored around the world.

Google attack puts spotlight on China’s “red” hackers

Nart Villeneuve (Senior Psiphon Fellow, Chief Research Officer at SecDev, and former Director of Technical Research at Citizen Lab), was featured in a Reuters news article regarding the market for malware hackers in China. The article focusses on the role of hackers in China’s malware attack on Google that prompted Google’s decision to re-think its… Read more »