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Applications Invited for Information Controls Fellowship Program (ICFP)

Applications Invited for Information Controls Fellowship Program (ICFP)

Organization: Open Technology Fund (OTF)

Apply By: 20 Feb 2023

Grant Amount: 7000 USD

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About the Organization

The Open Technology Fund (OTF) is an independent non-profit organization committed to advancing global Internet freedom. OTF supports projects focused on counteracting repressive censorship and surveillance, enabling citizens worldwide to exercise their fundamental human rights online. Through the research, development, implementation, and sustainability of technologies that facilitate the free flow of information, increase at-risk users’ digital security, and enable free expression, the OTF community is working to shape the Internet as a platform that fosters unimpeded connection and collaboration - facilitating positive social progress and reinforcing core democratic values.

About the Grant

The Information Controls Fellowship Program (ICFP) cultivates research, outputs, and creative collaboration on topics related to repressive Internet censorship and surveillance.

The Information Controls Fellowship Program (ICFP) supports examination into how governments in countries, regions, or areas of OTF’s core focus are restricting the free flow of information, cutting access to the open Internet, and implementing censorship mechanisms, thereby threatening the ability of global citizens to exercise basic human rights and democracy; work focused on mitigation of such threats is also supported.

Fellowship Information -

  • Three, six, nine or twelve month fellowships available
  • Usually offered to postdoctoral, doctoral students, and experienced researchers with demonstrated ability and expertise
  • Monthly stipend of $7,000 USD
  • Travel stipend of $1,250 to $5,000 USD, depending on the fellowship length
  • Equipment stipend of $1,250 to $5,000 USD, depending on the fellowship length

Potential areas of focus -

  • Development and refinement of tools and techniques to continuously monitor Internet interference on a global scale
  • Investigation of information controls, security, and privacy in popular applications such as search engines, social media platforms, and instant messaging applications
  • Leveraging open data to analyze the types of information controls being carried out and what they are targeting
  • Testing creative methods and new protocols for censorship circumvention and analyzing network interference measures including all forms of Internet filtering.
  • Examination of the impact of Internet censorship and use of circumvention tools
  • Experimental techniques to limit pro-government manipulation of online discussions
  • Researching emerging (state-sponsored) surveillance patterns and analysis of targeted digital threats against civil society organizations or human rights defenders, such as denial of service attacks, social engineering and phishing attacks such as malware.
  • Studying the roles of machine learning and artificial intelligence in digital surveillance practices in repressive environments
  • Investigating how the traits of quantum computing implicate the realm of Internet freedom and exploring opportunities to employ this leap in computing power to evade censorship.
  • Other novel ideas and approaches relating to the study of global and regional information controls

Eligibility

Typically, ICFP fellows have experience in fields such as computer science, engineering, information security research, software development, social sciences, law, and data visualization, among others. Information controls is a cross-disciplinary field, so applications are open to people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines and can include students and junior to mid-career practitioners.

How to Apply

The 2023 application window will be open from Jan 9, 2023 until Feb 20, 2023.

Please note that applications have to be submitted via the OTF website no later than 23:59 (11:59PM) GMT on the final day. The fellowship window is open once annually.

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