The Citizen Lab is the recipient of this year’s press freedom award of the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom (CCWPF), The 13th annual Press Freedom Award goes to a Canadian person or group who has defended or advanced the cause of freedom of expression. The Citizen Lab team, based at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, was selected for its ongoing dedication to free expression online through work that exposes cases of Internet censorship and espionage around the world.
“There’s an arms race in cyberspace, and a massively exploding new cyber-industrial complex that serves it. Like all arms races before it, the growing tensions in cyberspace and the proliferation of tools and services that feed it create a climate of fear and insecurity. And as Samuel Coleridge once said, ‘What begins in fear usually ends in folly.’ A dangerous, lawless atmosphere is spreading in cyberspace.”
Ron Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski in the Globe and Mail
From The Globe and Mail
In this feature of the New York Times Room for Debate, I give my take on the recent Wikileaks controversy. Also featured, Evgeny Morozov, Ross Anderson, James Bamford, and C. Fred Alford.
Read it here from New York Times Room for Debate
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
The Information Warfare Monitor (Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and The SecDev Group, Ottawa) announce the release of Koobface: Inside a Crimeware Network by Nart Villeneuve, with a foreword by Ron Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski. There is a Globe and Mail story about the report here including a web commentary by Rafal Rohozinski and me here
I participated in an interview today on CBC’s The Current regarding Canada’s recently released Cyber Security Strategy. [i come in at the 14:40 mark]
Caught in the Net
By Damian Tambini
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?
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.