Q&A: INTERNET GUARDIAN RON DEIBERT OF CITIZEN LAB
Techlife News|Techlife News #535
The internet watchdog Citizen Lab has been remarkably effective in calling to account governments and private sector firms that use information technology to put people in peril.

Its digital sleuths at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs are best known for exposing abusive targeted espionage, particularly through the use of hyper-intrusive spyware from Israel’s NSO Group. Its Pegasus tool has been used to hack and surveil dozens of journalists, human rights activists and dissidents globally. In November, the U.S. government blacklisted NSO Group and Apple sued it and notified Pegasus victims.

Citizen Lab’s work elsewhere is less known. It exposes digital espionage campaigns and insecure software, most recently an app the Chinese government created for athletes, journalists and other foreigners attending the Winter Olympics.

An interview with Citizen Lab’s director, 57-year-old political scientist and prize-winning author Ron Deibert, has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: You founded Citizen Lab in 2001. How did that happen?

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