Media Releases

Munk School’s Citizen Lab to be awarded with prestigious Vox Libera Award by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

November 15, 2010

TORONTO, ON – Today, the Cana­di­an Jour­nal­ists for Free Expres­sion (CJFE) announced that the Cit­i­zen Lab, at the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs (Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to) will be award­ed the Vox Lib­era award. The Vox Lib­era Award is an annu­al award grant­ed to a Cana­di­an or Cana­di­an orga­ni­za­tion that has demon­strat­ed an out­stand­ing com­mit­ment to the prin­ci­ples of free expres­sion and has made an impor­tant and sus­tained con­tri­bu­tion at home or abroad to those same prin­ci­ples.

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.

“Free­dom of expres­sion on the Inter­net is very much under threat today,” said Ron Deib­ert, Founder and Direc­tor of the Cit­i­zen Lab. “The Cit­i­zen Lab is very proud to have been select­ed for this year’s CJFE Vox Lib­era Award. We hope that our work and that of our part­ners will help raise aware­ness of these threats and safe­guard the Inter­net as an open com­mons.”

“The Cit­i­zen Lab’s fight for open com­mu­ni­ca­tion and free expres­sion is mak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence for those liv­ing in repressed regions of the world,” says Car­ol Off, Chair of the Gala Steer­ing Com­mit­tee. “Their work enables peo­ple to share cru­cial infor­ma­tion and expos­es those who would try to do them harm.”

The Cit­i­zen Lab will be award­ed the Vox Lib­era award at a gala in Toron­to on Novem­ber 25, 2010.  The CJFE Gala brings togeth­er approx­i­mate­ly 500 mem­bers of Canada’s media, busi­ness and pro­fes­sion­al com­mu­ni­ties in sup­port of jour­nal­ists who are putting their lives on the line to defend free­dom of expres­sion. CJFE rec­og­nizes its annu­al award win­ners as well as jour­nal­ists world­wide for their extra­or­di­nary courage and for over­com­ing tremen­dous odds to report on con­tro­ver­sial sto­ries despite dan­ger­ous cir­cum­stances.

About the Cit­i­zen Lab
The Cit­i­zen Lab is an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary lab­o­ra­to­ry based at the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs, at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, Cana­da focus­ing on advanced research and devel­op­ment at the inter­sec­tion of dig­i­tal media, glob­al secu­ri­ty, and human rights. In 2010, Cit­i­zen Lab (and its part­ner the SecDev Group) uncov­ered 1,294 com­put­ers in 103 coun­tries (embassies, gov­ern­ment agen­cies etc. includ­ing to the desk­top of the Dalai Lama) that had been com­pro­mised by a virus orig­i­nat­ing out of servers in Chi­na. The Cit­i­zen Lab devel­oped the psiphon cen­sor­ship cir­cum­ven­tion soft­ware, and con­tin­ues to pro­vide “red team” research, threat analy­sis, and sup­port for open source devel­op­ment for Psiphon Inc through the Psi-Lab project.

For more infor­ma­tion please con­tact:

Neil Desai
Direc­tor, Pro­grams and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
Munk School of Glob­al Affairs
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to