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University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs

Toronto, Canada

MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions Recipient

University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs was awarded $3,729,000 between 2010 and 2018, including 8 grants in Human Rights, Technology in the Public Interest, MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions, and Journalism & Media.

$750,000

2018 • 3 years • Technology in the Public Interest

The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory focused on research, development, and high-level strategic policy and legal engagement at the intersection of human rights, information security, and geopolitics. Through its pioneering research, the Lab is helping to establish new ways to monitor and analyze the exercise of political power in the digital environment and the human rights abuses that can result. The award provides flexible support to the Lab as it undertakes work in five thematic areas: freedom of expression; targeted digital threats against civil society; public and private transparency in digital data use, retention, and sharing; national security policy; and, mobile application privacy and security. The Lab’s research helps to catalyze and inform company and government policymaking around the world, and is leveraged by a host of advocacy organizations and litigators seeking to improve freedom of expression, privacy and security in the digital environment.

$15,000

2017 • 4 months

The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs is an interdisciplinary laboratory focusing on advanced research and development at the intersection of information communication technologies, human rights and global security. The award supports the Lab’s 2017 Summer Institute on Monitoring Internet Openness and Rights, being held in Toronto, Canada, July 12 – 14, 2017. The Institute brings together a diverse group of experts from traditionally disparate disciplines who are focused on studying technologies and policies that can threaten, or promote, freedom of speech, freedom of association, privacy of communications and online activities, anonymity of online action, and security of digital behaviors. The purpose of the Summer Institute is to share cutting edge research, form collaborative projects, and support a growing community of information control scholars.

$320,000

2016 • 2 years, 6 months • Journalism & Media

Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary research laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Citizen Lab works to identify and reduce threats in cyberspace to civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and journalists. This award supports the Journalism and Information Security project, which seeks to examine the nature and extent of security threats facing journalists, as well as the state of digital security education and training for journalists.

$750,000

2015 • 3 years • Technology in the Public Interest


The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the University of Toronto working at the intersection of digital media, global security, and human rights. It is helping to define new ways to monitor and analyze the exercise of political power in cyberspace and the human rights abuses that can result through its pioneering approach to evidence-based, policy-relevant research. The award provides core support to the Lab as it carries out projects grouped under three themes: targeted digital threats against civil society groups; technical measurements of digital information controls and threats to freedom of expression; and information controls and corporate transparency. The Lab's research in these thematic areas serves as a key ingredient in efforts by a host of advocacy organizations and litigators aiming to improve freedom of expression, privacy, and security in the digital environment.

$144,000

2014 • 1 year • Journalism & Media

The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary research laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Citizen Lab works to identify and reduce threats in cyberspace to civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and journalists. Citizen Lab will map current threats, journalistic practice, and the quality of currently available tools; it will work to identify pro bono cyber security support for civil society organizations, especially those working in vulnerable countries.

$400,000

2013 • 2 years, 1 month • Human Rights

The grant to Citizen Lab will support its efforts to deepen evidence-based, policy-relevant research about the state of an open Internet; map and address policy issues related to censorship, surveillance, and computer attack network tools; and advance knowledge about the way in which targeted digital threats are impacting civil society organizations.

$1,000,000

2013 • 1 year • MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions

The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, focusing on the intersection of digital media, global security, and human rights. Through a mix of research, capacity building, and policy engagement, the Lab aims to analyze, understand, and impact the exercise of political power in and through information and communication technologies. The organization’s work is helping to define and advance new approaches for human rights research in the digital age. Grant money will support the creation of an endowment for Citizen Lab and advance its communication and outreach efforts.

$350,000

2010 • 2 years, 11 months

To support the Citizen Lab (over two years).

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