Media Releases

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt awards Citizen Lab at University of Toronto a “New Digital Age” Grant

March 10, 2014

TORONTO, ON — The Cit­i­zen Lab at the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, is one of ten non-prof­its in the U.S. and abroad to receive the New Dig­i­tal Age Grants, fund­ed through a $1 mil­lion dona­tion by Google exec­u­tive chair­man Eric Schmidt. The Cit­i­zen Lab is the only group based in Cana­da to receive such an award.

The New Dig­i­tal Age Grants were estab­lished to high­light orga­ni­za­tions that use tech­nol­o­gy to counter the glob­al chal­lenges Schmidt and Google Ideas Direc­tor Jared Cohen write about in their book “The New Dig­i­tal Age,” includ­ing gov­ern­ment-spon­sored cen­sor­ship, dis­as­ter relief and crime fight­ing. The book was released in paper­back on March 4.

“The recip­i­ents cho­sen for the New Dig­i­tal Age Grants are doing some very inno­v­a­tive and unique work, and I’m proud to offer them this encour­age­ment,” said Schmidt. “Five bil­lion peo­ple will encounter the Inter­net for the first time in the next decade. With this surge in the use of tech­nol­o­gy around the world—much of which we in the West take for granted—I felt it was impor­tant to encour­age orga­ni­za­tions that are using it to solve some of our most press­ing prob­lems.”

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.“The grant will enable us to con­tin­ue to engage in inde­pen­dent and impar­tial research on Inter­net open­ness and rights from a mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary per­spec­tive,” said Cit­i­zen Lab Direc­tor Ron Deib­ert. “We are very grate­ful to be the only Cana­di­an recip­i­ent of such an award and to be hon­oured with so many oth­er out­stand­ing projects.”


For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:

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