Friday, July 26, 2013

Checking in with The Citizen Lab

Since political power as it relates to cyberspace is only becoming more central to our field, the Citizen Lab project at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto is worth keeping an eye on, if not getting actively involved with.

They describe themselves as "a 'hothouse' that combines the disciplines of political science, sociology, computer science, engineering, and graphic design. Our mission is to undertake advanced research and engage in development that monitors, analyses, and impacts the exercise of political power in cyberspace. We undertake this mission through collaborative partnerships with leading edge research centers, organizations, and individuals around the world, and through a unique “mixed methods” approach that combines technical analysis with intensive field research, qualitative social science, and legal and policy analysis methods undertaken by subject matter experts."

In addition to designing censorship circumvention software, The Lab is a research partner in the OpenNet Initiative along with  the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; and the SecDev Group (Ottawa) whose aim is to investigate, expose and analyze Internet filtering and surveillance practices in a methodologically sound, non-partisan fashion.

The Citizen Lab is prolific, too--thanks largely to Director of The Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab, Ronald J. Deibert (pictured).

Publications include monthly newsletters on internet surveillance from around the world:

Latin America and the Caribbean CyberWatch
Middle East and North Africa CyberWatch
Social Media CyberWatch
Southeast Asia CyberWatch

and a long list of research briefs and guides, books, case studies, and op-eds.

You can follow the Lab on Twitter.

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