Psychological and Emotional War
Digital Transnational Repression in Canada

In this report, we describe how activists and dissidents living in Canada are impacted by digital transnational repression. We conclude that digital transnational repression has a serious impact on these communities, including their ability to undertake transnational advocacy work related to human rights. Yet, there is little support for victims who experience such targeting and policy efforts by the Canadian government to date have been insufficient.

Featured Publications

Cross-Country Exposure: Analysis of the MY2022 Olympics App

MY2022, an app mandated for use by all attendees of the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, has a simple but devastating flaw where encryption protecting users’ voice audio and file transfers can be trivially sidestepped. Health customs forms which transmit passport details, demographic information, and medical and travel history are also vulnerable. Server responses can also be spoofed, allowing an attacker to display fake instructions to users.

Lifting the lid off the Internet.

The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto, focusing on research and development at the intersection of information and communication technologies, human rights, and global security. Learn more.

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Features & News

2022 Information Controls Fellowship Program

The Information Controls Fellowship Program from the Open Technology Fund (OTF) supports research into how governments in countries, regions, or areas of OTF’s core focus are restricting the free flow of information, cutting access to the open Internet, and implementing censorship mechanisms, thereby threatening the ability of global citizens to exercise basic human rights and democracy; work focused on mitigation of such threats is also supported.

The 2022 Reset Scholarship in Social Media and Democracy

Donations to this scholarship will support a University of Toronto student who successfully completes the POL106H course, Contemporary Challenges to Democracy: Democracy in the Social Media Age, in the current academic year. Special consideration will be given to applications from Black or Indigenous students.

Proyecto Torogoz: Hackeo extensivo de los medios de comunicación y la sociedad civil en El Salvador con el programa espía Pegasus

El Citizen Lab y Access Now han confirmado 35 casos de periodistas y miembros de la sociedad civil salvadoreña cuyos teléfonos fueron infectados con el programa espía Pegasus del NSO entre julio del 2020 y noviembre del 2021. Hemos compartido una muestra de nuestros datos forenses con el Laboratorio de Seguridad de Amnistía Internacional, el cual confirma de forma independiente los hallazgos.

Featured Video

Digital Transnational Repression Explained

We investigate how activists and dissidents living in Canada are impacted by digital transnational repression: the various ways that individuals continue to be harassed and targeted online by authoritarian governments, even after they leave their country of origin.