The instructors in the Political Science Department not only teach you potential ways to analyze world affairs, but they also motivate you to learn more, research more, and question more. Through a Research Opportunity Course, I had the rare opportunity to conduct primary research in Washington DC. I met with political affairs ministers and ambassadors from the Canadian and Mexican Embassies, policymakers from the US government, researchers from leading think tanks, professors, and a variety of other experts on my topic. The discussions I had in Washington provided a rich context for my research. — Sarah Yun, Winner of the Alexander Mackenzie Scholarship in Political Science

Spyware targets dissidents in Syria, Iran

Article By Olivia Ward; Published On Wed May 30 2012

While dissidents in Iran and Syria risk their lives to struggle against their governments, a silent but possibly deadly battle is being waged in cyberspace.

University of Toronto’s spy-busting Citizen Lab has raised the alarm on a new tool that is used against opposition sympathizers who try to secretly bypass government censorship. The privacy-invading Trojan horse program can allow vital data from the victim’s computer to be stolen by political foes or criminals, with potentially dangerous consequences.

“This was such an extraordinary case that we felt it was necessary to issue an urgent alert,” said Ron Deibert, who heads the internationally staffed lab, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs. “Malignant versions of the software were being downloaded from file-sharing forms and were putting people at considerable risk.”

In Syria, Deibert said, President Bashar Assad’s regime opened up its social media sites after year-long protests began, apparently to help track down its opponents. In Iran, the Revolutionary Guard created a cyber police division to apprehend suspected dissidents… Continue reading the full article at here.

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