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