Latest issue of the Citizen Lab Briefing.

Table of Contents

  1. Latest Publications
  2. News and Announcements
  3. Upcoming Events

1. Latest Publications

  • Reckless Exploits in Mexico

    Citizen Lab continues to unearth targets of digital spying in Mexico, including lawyers of murder victims' families and an anti-corruption advocate. Pegasus, the phishing software used in all the documented attempts, is produced by NSO Group, which was recently dropped from consideration by American investment firm Blackstone. While there has yet to be evidence that conclusively links the Mexican government to these phishing attempts, the Mexican office of the prosecutor is a NSO Group customer and the Mexican president has admitted to purchasing the technology.
  • Keyword censorship in Chinese mobile games

    In a recent paper by Citizen Lab researchers, censorship was found in an unlikely source: Chinese mobile games. References to certain events and individuals—including Tiananmen Square and Chinese President Xi Jinping—are routinely blocked from chat functions in over 200 games that were analyzed.
  • End-to-end encryption in LINE

    With more than 200 million monthly users, LINE is one of the most popular chat apps in Asia. But a recent analysis of its security features reveals insecure practices, showcasing ongoing communication gaps between researchers, developers, and users.
  • Secure Accounts

    Citizen Lab, along with partners Open Effect, the University of New Mexico, and comic book artist Jason Li, have launched a new tool to help individuals better protect themselves online. Secure Accounts helps users identify potential risks, offers suggestions on making their digital practices safer, and uses rich visuals to make digital security fun. Secure Accounts is a multilingual product, available in EnglishTraditional ChineseSimplified ChineseTibetanArabicFrench, and Spanish.

2. News and Announcements

  • Lex Gill on the RCMP's use of IMSI catchers

    Vice recently reported that the RCMP and several municipal police forces have been using IMSI catchers without proper approval, which Citizen Lab Research Fellow Lex Gill calls a serious public safety risk.
  • Ron Deibert comments on meetings between DEA and NSO Group

    NSO Group, who created the hacking software used in ongoing spyware cases in Mexico, Panama, and the United Arab Emirates, reportedly met with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) representatives, according to leaked emails. "I would hope that a US government agency would refrain from doing business with a company with such a checkered track history as a matter of principle, if not yet regulation," said Deibert.
  • Chris Parsons on the implications of CSE sharing signals information with Five Eyes partners

    In the wake of a 2016 report which showed the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) illegally shared metadata with partners in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, the Canadian intelligence agency said it will revamp policies around how it shares such information. Citizen Lab Research Associate Chris Parsons discusses what these changes could mean.


3. Upcoming Events

  • 6 Degrees Conference

    September 25-27, Toronto, Canada - Citizen Lab Senior Researcher Irene Poetranto will be joining a panel discussion at the 6 Degrees conference, which is organized by John Ralston Saul and Adrienne Clarkson of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. The discussion will address the impact and significance of the various power dynamics that shape the internet.
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