Hello, I’m Irene.

I am a Senior Researcher for the Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary research lab on digital technology and human rights at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto. In this role, I conduct primary research, collect and analyse data, and produce written reports related to Internet governance and information controls (e.g., Internet filtering and shutdowns). Additionally, I participate in various Internet-related fora, as well as plan and coordinate activities related to the Citizen Lab’s thematic research areas, including gender and digital security.

I am also a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. My fields are Comparative Politics and Public Policy. My research interests include Internet governance and the politics of Internet regulation, digital security and identity politics (including gender and intersectionality), as well as countering terrorism, violent extremism, and hate speech online. Southeast Asia is my geographic area of focus. Read more about my research.

Photo of Irene Poetranto and Yosi Mokalu
With Yosi Mokalu, the 2020-2022 National Chairman of Siberkreasi (Indonesia’s national digital literacy movement) and a member of the music group Project Pop.

I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Master’s degree in Political Science and Asia Pacific Studies (now called the Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies program) from the University of Toronto. My Master’s thesis (major research paper) was on the topic of autonomy arrangements and secessionist conflicts in Indonesia, specifically the regions of Aceh and Papua.

Previously, I worked for the Human Security Report Project at Simon Fraser University, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), and UBC’s Centre for Southeast Asia Research. I was also an intern for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – Southeast Asia Regional Office in Bangkok, Thailand.

I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia and currently reside in Toronto, Canada. I am a native speaker of Bahasa Indonesia and fluent in English.