The Citizen Lab's Mixed Methods Approach to Research on Information Controlsß

Ronald J. Deibert

Ronald J. Deibert

University of Toronto

THURSDAY January 21th, Noon, Room 110

To attend this meeting virtually, register at: http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/nsf/160121/.

Abstract:

The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary research laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, that investigates the intersection of human rights, global security, and the digital world.  For over a decade, we have used a mixed methods approach that combines techniques from network measurement, information security, law, and the social sciences to research and document information controls (e.g., Internet censorship, surveillance, targeted digital attacks; commercial spyware) that impact the openness and security of digital communications and pose threats to human rights.  Director and Founder Professor Ron Deibert will provide an overview of the Citizen Lab's approach, highlight several reports and their outcomes, and discuss some of the ways rigorous, evidence-based, and peer-reviewed research can inform public policy, advocacy and human rights based on the experiences of the Citizen Lab.

Speaker:

Ronald J. Deibert is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab undertakes interdisciplinary research at the intersection of global security, ICTs, and human rights.  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), as well as numerous books, chapters, and articles on Internet censorship, surveillance, and cyber security. He was one of the authors of the landmark Tracking Ghostnet cyber espionage (2009) and Great Cannon (2015) reports, and co-editor of three major volumes with MIT Press on information controls (the "Access" series). 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. He is co-chair of the University of Toronto's Information Security Council.  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."