Canadian Internet Pioneer, The Citizen Lab, Wins CJFE Vox Libera award

Monday, November 15, 2010
CBC's Anne-Marie Mediwake and CTV's Victor Malarek to MC Gala Evening TORONTO, November 15, 2010 - The Citizen Lab, a research program housed at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs that ferrets out cyber attacks and espionage, will be awarded the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) 2010 Vox Libera Award. The Citizen Lab was selected for its dedication to free expression and access to information online. World leaders in the field of "hacktivism," the Citizen Lab's members focus their research on documenting cases of internet espionage and censorship around the world, reinforcing the idea that the Internet should remain a safe, public domain. Victor Malarek, investigative reporter on CTV's W5, and Anne-Marie Mediwake, news anchor and co-host of CBC News, will emcee the evening that honours the Citizen Lab and journalists from Cameroon and Mexico at the 13th annual CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Fearless Reporting at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto on Thursday, November 25, 2010. "Freedom of expression on the Internet is very much under threat today," said Ron Deibert, Founder/Director of the Citizen Lab and Professor of Political Science. "Citizen Lab is very proud to have been selected for this year's CJFE Vox Libera Award. We hope that our work and that of our partners will help raise awareness of these threats and safeguard the Internet as an open commons." The Vox Libera Award is an annual award granted to a Canadian or Canadian organization that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the principles of free expression and has made an important and sustained contribution at home or abroad to those same principles. "The Citizen Lab's fight for open communication and free expression is making a significant difference for those living in repressed regions of the world," says Carol Off, Chair of the Gala Steering Committee. "Their work enables people to share crucial information and exposes those who would try to do them harm." The CJFE Gala brings together approximately 500 members of Canada's media, business and professional communities in support of journalists who are putting their lives on the line to defend freedom of expression. CJFE recognizes its annual award winners as well as journalists worldwide for their extraordinary courage and for overcoming tremendous odds to report on controversial stories despite dangerous circumstances. Vox Libera Award Winner The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs,at the University of Toronto, Canada focusing on advanced research and development at the intersection of digital media, global security, and human rights. In 2010, Citizen Lab (and its partner the SecDev Group) uncovered 1,294 computers in 103 countries (embassies, government agencies etc. including to the desktop of the Dalai Lama) that had been compromised by a virus originating out of servers in China. The Citizen Lab developed the psiphon censorship circumvention software, and continues to provide "red team" research, threat analysis, and support for open source development for Psiphon Inc through the Psi-Lab project. CJFE Gala Emcees Victor Malarek, CTV, brings more than 30 years of experience in Canadian news to CTV's current affairs show W5, where he works as an investigative reporter. He has reported from many countries worldwide including troubled and war-torn regions. Malarek is also a published author of several non-fiction books. Anne-Marie Mediwake, CBC, is the co-host of CBC News Toronto and has been on the television airwaves since the '90s. Her broadcast portfolio includes work at Global Television, as well as CTV's National News, Canada AM and Newsnet. She has a passion for connecting with her community and involvement with local charities.

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