Due to high volume of interest, Citizen Lab staff are typically unable to take part in media requests that focus on broader topics relating to digital security. Instead, they are best suited to participate in interviews that directly relate to their specific reports and research streams.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Miles Kenyon, Communications Specialist
Citizen Lab overview (logo)
The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, 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 methods 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.
Ronald Deibert bio (photo)
Ronald J. Deibert is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. He is a former founder and principal investigator of the OpenNet Initiative (2003-2014) and a founder of Psiphon, a world leader in providing open access to the Internet. Deibert is the author of Black Code: Surveillance, Privacy, and the Dark Side of the Internet (Random House: 2013)– which has been turned into a feature-length documentary by Nick De Pencier– as well as numerous books, chapters, articles, and reports on Internet censorship, surveillance, and cyber security. He was one of the authors of the landmark Tracking Ghostnet (2009) and Great Cannon (2015) reports, and co-editor of three major volumes with MIT Press on information controls (the “Access” series). The reports of the Citizen Lab are routinely covered in global media, including 22 separate reports receiving exclusive front page coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, and Toronto Star.
He is on the steering committee for the World Movement for Democracy, the board of advisors for Pen Canada, Access, and Privacy International, and on the technical advisory groups for Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In recognition of his own work or that of the Citizen Lab, he has been awarded Foreign Policy’s Global Thinker Award (2017), the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award (2015), the Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity (2014), the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada Award from the Canadian Library Association (2014), the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Vox Libera Award (2010), and the Northrop Frye Distinguished Teaching and Research Award (2003). In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for being “among the first to recognize and take measures to mitigate growing threats to communications rights, openness, and security worldwide.”