Citizen Lab
Research

Citizen Lab 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.

Targeted Threats

Investigations into the prevalence and impact of digital espionage operations against civil society groups.

Latest Research

Burned After Reading: Endless Mayfly’s Ephemeral Disinformation Campaign

Endless Mayfly is an Iran-aligned network of inauthentic websites and online personas used to spread false and divisive information primarily targeting Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Israel. Using this network as an illustration, this report highlights the challenges of investigating and addressing disinformation from research and policy perspectives.

Statement from Citizen Lab Director on Attempted Operations Against Researchers

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.

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Free Expression Online

Studies of Internet filtering, network interference, and other technologies and practices that impact freedom of expression online. 

Latest Research

An analysis of censorship in Chinese open source projects

A new paper by the Citizen Lab investigates how Chinese censorship reaches independent developers and reveals that, while developers include censorship lists in open source projects, there is little apparent similarity in these blacklists, raising several questions about their origins.

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Transparency and Accountability

Examinations of transparency and accountability mechanisms relevant to the relationship between corporations and state agencies regarding personal data and other surveillance activities.

Latest Research

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App Privacy and Controls

Research into privacy, security, and information controls of popular applications.

Latest Research

Fit Leaking: Citizen Lab Research on Fitness Tracker Privacy

The post covers several categories of information that can be gleaned from examining Strava’s fitness tracker data, ranging from enabling the identification of secret military facilities in “dark areas” to specific identifiable behaviour patterns of at-risk individuals.

Secure Your Chats: Why Encrypted Messaging Matters

End-to-end encrypted messaging is effective at protecting the content of your messages from being read as they travel across the Internet to your friends and family. This is why the Citizen Lab has released Secure Your Chats: a Net Alert resource that outlines how to safely use end-to-end encryption.

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Global Research Network

Outputs related to the global community of practice that the Citizen Lab helps to cultivate through our Cyber Stewards Network, various fellowships, and events.

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Tools & Resources

While the Citizen Lab is primarily focused on high-level academic research, we also produce accessible tools and educational resources to help everyone better navigate their online lives. Below are some of the latest projects that are aimed at making everyone safer online.

Access My Info

Access My Info is a project designed to understand what can be learned about company data practices by filing data access requests (DARs), seeking access to the requester’s personal information held by a company.

Net Alert

Understanding the technical and social contexts of digital threats can help users make better choices. Net Alert pairs rich visuals with everyday language to show how both higher risk groups and general audiences can protect themselves from some of the most common online attacks.

Security Planner

Security Planner is an easy-to-use guide with expert-reviewed advice for staying safer online.
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