Media Releases

MacArthur Foundation Awards $1 Million to Citizen Lab

February 20, 2014

MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions recognizes Citizen Lab for extraordinary creativity and effectiveness

TORONTO, ON – Cit­i­zen Lab is one of sev­en non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions around the world to receive the 2014 MacArthur Award for Cre­ative and Effec­tive Insti­tu­tions (MACEI). The Award, which was announced today, rec­og­nizes excep­tion­al non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions that have demon­strat­ed cre­ativ­i­ty and impact, and invests in their long-term sus­tain­abil­i­ty with siz­able one-time grants.

“From expos­ing human rights abus­es in cyber­space to reduc­ing the influ­ence of mon­ey in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, the mis­sions of these orga­ni­za­tions are diverse,” said MacArthur Pres­i­dent Robert Gal­luc­ci. “They share in com­mon their demon­strat­ed impact in improv­ing the lives of peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties. MacArthur hopes these invest­ments will sus­tain and expand the reach of that impact.”

The Cit­i­zen Lab is an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary lab­o­ra­to­ry that devel­ops new approach­es for research­ing and doc­u­ment­ing infor­ma­tion con­trols (e.g. net­work sur­veil­lance and con­tent fil­ter­ing). In car­ry­ing out its work, the Cit­i­zen Lab aims to explore issues that impact the open­ness and secu­ri­ty of the Inter­net and that pose threats to human rights.

“Being award­ed the MACEI is a game-chang­er for the Cit­i­zen Lab,” said Cit­i­zen Lab Direc­tor Ron Deib­ert. “It will enable us to con­tin­ue to work inde­pen­dent of gov­ern­ment and cor­po­rate inter­ests, and not be afraid to tack­le the tough prob­lems hid­den beneath the sur­face of the Inter­net that deserve the public’s atten­tion.”

Accord­ing to MacArthur, the Award is not only recog­ni­tion for past lead­er­ship and suc­cess but also an invest­ment in the future. The Cit­i­zen Lab will use its MacArthur Award as a per­ma­nent endow­ment to help sup­port the Cit­i­zen Lab’s core oper­a­tions, and a small amount to bet­ter com­mu­ni­cate our research to a wider pub­lic audi­ence.

For these Awards, the Foun­da­tion does not seek or accept nom­i­na­tions. To qual­i­fy, orga­ni­za­tions must demon­strate excep­tion­al cre­ativ­i­ty and effec­tive­ness; have reached a crit­i­cal or strate­gic point in their devel­op­ment; show strong lead­er­ship and sta­ble finan­cial man­age­ment; have pre­vi­ous­ly received MacArthur sup­port; and engage in work cen­tral to one of MacArthur’s core pro­grams.

Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion about why MacArthur select­ed the Cit­i­zen Lab for the Award and an overview video are at


For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:

Irene Poe­t­ran­to
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Offi­cer
Cana­da Cen­tre for Glob­al Secu­ri­ty Stud­ies and Cit­i­zen Lab
Munk School of Glob­al Affairs
Phone: 416–946-8903