Citizen Lab Recipient of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) 2010 Vox Libera Award

The Citizen Lab is proud and humbled by the announcement that we are the recipient of the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) 2010 Vox Libera Award. The announcement stated “The Citizen Lab was selected for its dedication to free expression and access to information online. World leaders in the field of “hacktivism,” the Citizen Lab’s members focus their research on documenting cases of internet espionage and censorship around the world, reinforcing the idea that the Internet should remain a safe, public domain”.

From Digital Journal

Science Magazine review of Access Controlled

Caught in the Net

By Damian Tambini

From Science

Almost 600 years on, it seems clear that Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press was a crucial factor in the rise of democracy in Europe and the decline of the old order of church and monarchy. Movable type and mechanized printing led to an explosion of free expression that was key to the emergence of modern pluralist democracy. Many claim that the historical impact of the Internet will be of a similar magnitude, that it will lead to an inevitable undermining of authoritarian regimes and the spread of democracy around the globe. In the words of early enthusiast John Gilmore, “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it” (1).

But judging by the research and contributions gathered in Access Controlled, we will have to wait many more years before the nature of the impact of the Internet on dictatorship and democracy becomes clear. The authors provide an alarming range of evidence to support the view that authoritarian regimes are becoming ever more adept at controlling and censoring Internet communication. The volume raises a chilling possibility: that the early commentators were correct about the magnitude of the impact of the Internet on democracy—they just got the direction wrong. Could authoritarian regimes, and also democratic governments working with private companies, be perfecting a new form of authoritarianism, working with the grain of Internet communication and exploiting the intimate entwining of online communication with the everyday lives of citizens?
Continue reading

CBC Current Panel on Nokia-Siemens Lawsuit

I was interviewed by CBC’s The Current on September 17 regarding Isa Saharkhiz’s lawsuit against Nokia Siemens Networks and the broader implications of cyber espionage.

The radio clip also features a panel discussion with the son of the jailed journalist, Mehdi Saharkhiz, and Tony Rutkowski, Cybersecurity Rapporteur for the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union.

Listen to the interview and panel discussion here from CBC Radio.

Cyberspace Confidential (Globe and Mail essay)

“We have immersed ourselves in a technological environment of our own making, called cyberspace, which we take for granted as our communications and media ecosystem. We leave electronic traces of ourselves scattered across the servers of this vast geographically extended domain like granules of sand on an endlessly mutating, ever-expanding beach.

But who controls this domain and what are they doing with our data? What happens to our e-mail once we hear that familiar “woosh” sound as it leaves our screen? Is it shared with anyone without our consent? Under what circumstances?”

From The Globe and Mail
Continue reading