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Citizen Lab Summer Institute

The Citizen Lab Summer Institute on Monitoring Internet Openness and Rights is a series of intensive research workshops hosted annually at the Munk School of Global Affairs.

This event is a key event for the information controls research community, and brings together experts from disparately different disciplines that are focused on studying technologies and policies that can threaten or promote freedom of speech online. The event is documented in a final report which in the past has been accompanied by extensive coverage in media outlets.

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Current project status

Just an idea (Pre-alpha)
It exists! (Alpha/Beta)
It's basically done (Release)
People use it (Production)

Funding to date

2016 $55,119 12 months
Internet Freedom Fund
2017 $45,158 5 months
Community Lab

Total Funding: $100,277

Addressed problems

  • Restrictive Internet filtering by technical methods (IP blocking, DNS filtering, TCP RST, DPI, etc.)
  • Blocking, filtering, or modification of political, social, and/or religious content (including apps)
  • Technical attacks against government critics, journalists, and/or human rights organizations (Cyberattacks)
  • Localized or nationwide communications shut down or throttling (Blackouts)
  • Physical intimidation, arrest, violence (including device seizure or destruction), and death for political or social reasons
  • Pro-government manipulation of online discussions (propaganda, imitation content, and/or sockpuppets)
  • Repressive surveillance or monitoring of communication
  • Policies, laws, or directives that increase surveillance, censorship, and punishment
  • Government practices that hold intermediaries (social networks or ISPs) liable for user content
  • Prohibitive cost to access the Internet
  • Other


  • Deploying technology
  • Software or hardware development
  • Testing
  • Research
  • Technology development
  • Training


  • General public
  • Women
  • Youth
  • Sexual minorities
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Activists
  • Journalists
  • Advocacy groups/NGOs
  • Academia
  • Technologists
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Government
  • Other


  • Global

Technology attributes

  • Anonymity
  • Application deployment
  • Browser extension
  • Browser plugin
  • Cryptography
  • Dependency integration
  • Desktop App
  • Desktop client
  • Hardware/Embedded device(s)
  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
  • Mobile application (clientside)
  • Networking
  • Other
  • Platform as a service (PaaS)
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Sensitive data
  • Server daemon
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Unmanaged language
  • User interface/experience
  • Web API/Mobile application (serverside)
  • Web application
  • Wireless Communication