The National Post’s Matt Hartley wrote a profile of the Citizen Lab‘s work on Iran, and my views on what Canada could be doing to protect and preserve an open Internet. We are fortunate to collaborate with ASL19 and other Iranians on our research and other projects. Hartley’s piece also mentioned my keynote presentation at the recent iConference 2012, which was an interesting experience.
It has been a busy week, with the release of our report – The Canadian Connection: An investigation of Syrian government and Hezbullah web hosting in Canada. The report covers a very delicate issue. We were very concerned about the findings as we came across them, and saw this as a case that could generate some much needed discussion about the proper limits around intermediary liability and how to deal with cases properly where there is an organization/entity whose services are being hosted in violation of sanctions. Furthermore, since Canada has sanctioned Addounia TV, as did the EU, for incitement of violence in Syria, we felt that it was important to bring the case to public attention.
(We probably could have picked a different title, as there is as much relevance to the United States as there is Canada, but it started out for us as a Canadian story, and so we kept the working title.)
The report was initially covered by the Globe and Mail, and then by CBC News, The Associated Press, and The Washington Post (among others). I did an interview with CBC’s Matt Galloway on Metro Morning.
The Citizen Lab is continuing our research on this file.
I joined Al Jazeera’s The Stream via Skype to talk about a collective of pro-Assad hackers and online activists, who call themselves the Syrian Electronic Army. Our InfoWar Monitor Project has released several reports about the Syrian Electronic Army, which can be found here.
See the Al Jazeera interview here.
There are two video streams that came out on the same day yesterday, both on the topic of “Securing Cyberspace.” The first is a trailer that was put together (thanks to Eric Petecelli and team) on our “Securing the Cyber Commons: A global dialogue” event that took place over two days in March 2011. This video presents highlights of the two day event. A full video of the opening plenary and panel will be made available soon. I recommend it be watched in full screen mode to fully appreciate the high definition.
The second video comes from an episode of TVO’s the Agenda, on the topic of Securing Cyberspace. Apart from myself, panelists include Christopher Soghoian, Allan Paller, and Sukanya Pillay. You can watch the entire very interesting 60 minute discussion here.
I was asked to contribute a piece to the launch of Huffington Post Canada. My article addresses questions of cyber security that have been raised by President Sarkozy at the e-G8, and in particular what Canada could contribute in this area. The editors placed my article on the home page for a few hours, with the title “CYBER FAIL” in Pearl Harbor style giant font, above a picture of a forlorn looking Prime Minister Harper. Not sure it’s the best way to get my points across to the Canadian government, but it was amusing to see for a while.
Here is a link to the article as it appears in the Huffington Post, and below I paste it in full.
“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 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