Tag Archives: Targeted Threats

Citizen Lab and Cyber Stewards Network at 2015 APrIGF workshops

The Citizen Lab and its network of cybersecurity researchers and advocates in the global South, the Cyber Stewards Network, will be participating in the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) on July 1-3, 2015, at the Macau University of Science & Technology, Macau. The conference aims to provide a platform for multi-stakeholder discussion on key Internet governance issues that are unique to the Asia Pacific region, and how solutions can be translated to the international level.

The workshop entitled “Surveillance trends, challenges and opportunities in the Asia Pacific” will explore trends in communications surveillance in the region, government responses to civil society criticisms of these practices, and the manner in which the expansion of these technologies can be managed with respect for the rule of law and human rights. The workshop will draw extensively on Citizen Lab research into information controls, such as commercial spyware software FinFisher, whose command and controls servers have been located in 36 countries, including Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, and Vietnam. Findings from research on Italy-based Hacking Team and Canadian firm Netsweeper, whose products are also sold to law enforcement agencies worldwide, will also inform the discussion.

Communications Officer and Researcher Irene Poetranto will be joined by Shahzad Ahmad, Country Director of Bytes for All Pakistan, Donny Budhi Utoyo, Director of ICT Watch, Pirongrong Ramasoota, Professor at Chulalongkorn University, and Ritu Srivastava, Programme Officer at the Digital Empowerment Foundation.

In a separate roundtable workshop entitled “Online Threats and Chilling Effects to Journalism in the Asia Pacific,” Irene Poetranto will join Andrew Lowenthal of EngageMedia, a non-profit organization focused on using citizen media initiatives to influence social reforms. The workshop will discuss digital security threats to journalists, such as interception and surveillance of their communications, along with methods to cope with these threats.

Further information on conference programming and schedules can be found on the 2015 APrIGF website.

Tibet Action Institute: Safe Travels Online Tech Meet

poster-Tibet-event-June2013On 12 June 2013, the Tibet Action Institute (TAI) hosted an event in Dharamsala, India, as part of their Safe Travels Online campaign.

The event began Cyber Steward and TAI Field Coordinator Lobsang  Gyatso Sither and TAI staff explaining security concepts and the use of security tools to members of the Tibetan community, while distributing awareness raising materials and information on secure apps.

Citizen Lab Research Manager Masashi Crete-Nishihata gave a presentation on the Lab’s Targeted Threats research and what they have learned about online threats targeting the Tibetan community. Lhadon Thetong, the director of the Tibet Action Institute, then gave a talk on the importance of digital security, activism and action in the Tibetan community in the context of the movement and struggle for independence. Both talks were translated live in Tibetan and followed by a Q&A session.

The event was covered widely by the Tibetan media, such as Voice of America: Kunleng News (Tibetan) (starting from 11:28 minute mark), Voice of America Radio (Tibetan), Radio Free Asia (Tibetan) (starting from 19:53 minute mark), Voice of Tibet Radio (starting from 24:00 minute mark), Tibet Times (Tibetan), and Phayul (English). In addition, Dechen Pemba, Editor of High Peaks Pure Earth and author for Global Voices who has advised TAI on education programs, wrote an article on promoting digital security awareness among Tibetans who live in exile using both online and offline methods.