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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 information controls (e.g., Internet censorship and filtering) in the Global South. I also participate in various Internet governance-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 currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto in the Comparative Politics field. My research interests include 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 National Chairman of Siberkreasi (Indonesia’s national digital literacy movement) and member of the music group Project Pop.

I obtained my 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 and my research project was on autonomy arrangements and secessionist conflicts in Indonesia, specifically the regions of Aceh and Papua. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

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 with 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.