Today on CLBR: Silicon Prairies and Silicon Valley’s Role in Net Censorship

Segment 1:  David Sandel and the Gigabit City Challenge

Segment 2: Sarah McKune on Planet Blue Coat,
Internet Censorship and Dual Purpose Technology

davidDavid Sandel

President – Sandel & Associates

Founder Gigabit City Summit 

David is an accomplished Gigabit City executive focused on leadership, planning and the successful execution of Gigabit Community or Smart City economic development initiatives. As President of Sandel & Associates. David and his team work with cities, community organizations and service providers to develop plans for the economic development of their Gigabit Community or Smart City. In this regard, David currently serves as an advisor to the Google Fiber Mayors Bi-state Innovation Team MBIT and Mid-America Regional Council MARC of Kansas City.

GCS_Logo-280x100David is also the founder of The Gigabit City Summit. The Gigabit City Summit is a Telepresence based global round-table which explores the issues of leadership, funding, economic development and collaboration that are central to the success of all Gigabit Community or Smart City initiatives. Cities that have participated in the global round-table thus far include San Francisco, Kansas City, St. Louis, Toronto, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Singapore.

From 2001-2008, David served as President of The St. Louis Regional Exchange Collaborative and was appointed by local government and Washington University to lead, fund and execute a plan for the economic development of the St. Louis metropolitan Internet – the first appointment of its kind in the United States. During this same period, David was also the co-founder of Datotel, a managed services and Cloud provider. As a result of these combined work experiences, David has significant business development and contractual experience in both the public and private sectors including municipal utilities, local government, education, public safety, healthcare, energy management and service provider Internet infrastructure.

From 1997 – 2001 David was a senior systems engineer in the Cisco Service Provider division located in Tulsa Oklahoma where he worked in the product development labs of WorldCom, Williams Communications and Brooks fiber. During this period, David was the lead designer of WorldCom’s MAE East and MAE West exchange points and Williams Communications private line backbone. While at Cisco Systems, David received several awards for Excellence, Product Development and Innovation.

David received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis where he also attended graduate school. He has also served on a variety of state and local government economic development councils as well as regional and entrepreneurial planning boards.

SarahSarah McKune

Citizen Lab /Senior Researcher

Sarah McKune is Senior Researcher at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. Her work includes comparative analysis of targeted cyber threats against human rights organizations, as well as research regarding international cyber security initiatives.

Sarah is a lawyer with a background in international human rights law. Prior to joining the Citizen Lab, she worked at the nongovernmental organization Human Rights in China (HRIC), where she focused much of her efforts on international advocacy. She was the principal drafter and researcher of the HRIC whitepaper Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights: The Impact of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Her previous experience also includes work as a litigation associate at the New York office of Morrison & Foerster LLP, and teaching English in China.

Sarah obtained her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 2002, and her B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University in 1999.


The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, Canada focusing on advanced research and development at the intersection of digital media, global security, and human rights.

We are a “hothouse” that combines the disciplines of political science, sociology, computer science, engineering, and graphic design. Our mission is to undertake advanced research and engage in development that monitors, analyses, and impacts the exercise of political power in cyberspace. We undertake this mission through collaborative partnerships with leading edge research centers, organizations, and individuals around the world, and through a unique “mixed methods” approach that combines technical analysis with intensive field research, qualitative social science, and legal and policy analysis methods undertaken by subject matter experts.

The Citizen Lab’s ongoing research network includes the OpenNet Initiative, OpenNet Eurasia, Opennet.Asia, and the Cyber Stewards Program. The Citizen Lab was a founding partner of the Information Warfare Monitor (2002-2012). The Citizen Lab developed the original design of Psiphon, a censorship circumvention software, which spun out of the lab into a private Canadian corporation (Psiphon Inc.) in 2008.

Financial support for the Citizen Lab’s research and development has come from the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)The Canada Centre for Global Security Studies the SecDev GroupPsiphon Inc., the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Donner Canadian Foundation, and the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation. The Citizen Lab has benefited by generous donations of software and support from Palantir Technologies and Oculus Info Inc

CBC Report on Citizen Lab

University of Toronto Profile

Cover Image by Leprecub at en.wikipedia