Every year, Forbes magazine recognizes 600 individuals under the age of 30 who are changing the world at the forefront of their sector. In the latest installment of the Top 30 Under 30, Claudio Guarnieri, senior research fellow at the University of Toronto, earned a spot in the Enterprise Technology sector.
Aside from his position at the Citizen Lab at U of T, Guarnieri is the creator of open-source malware analysis tools Cuckoo Sandbox, Viper, and malwr.com. This year marks Guarnieri’s second nomination for the award, having been previously nominated in the law and policy sector. Guarnieri told The Varsity that he was surprised to win in the field of enterprise technology, as his work does not relate directly to enterprise. He views the win, however, as recognition from mainstream media for the work of the Citizen Lab and its impact beyond its direct sphere of influence. Guarnieri is a graduate from the University of Milan and is a remote senior research fellow with the Citizen Lab, housed at the Munk School of Global Affairs.
The Citizen Lab uses interdisciplinary research and skills to make international information publicly available, with recent reports focusing on Iraq information controls, China’s Great Cannon, and Vimeo blocks in Indonesia. “I focus on investigating and reporting on targeted digital attacks against activists, dissidents, and journalists around the world. The Citizen Lab is [an] inter-disciplinary laboratory that bridges technical research with political analysis,” said Guarnieri on his work. “[The Citizen Lab] is a very unique place where people with very diverse backgrounds come together to produce some of the most outstanding and revealing research projects in technical and internet policy communities.” Guarnieri works in this capacity alongside Morgan Marquis-Boire, John Scott Railton, and Bill Marczak to spearhead initiatives that expose information about the commercial spyware market.
Citizen Lab director Ron Deibert said that “Claudio is an extraordinary researcher and a very gifted malware analyst with a strong commitment to human rights. This mix of characteristics is exactly what we aim to attract at the Citizen Lab.” When asked what the future holds for him, Guarnieri said that he intends to “keep fighting the fight, exposing oppression and oppressors, and making it more costly for them to hinder social change through digital means.”
The rigorous selection process for the Top 30 Under 30 begins with open online nominations on both social media and the Forbes website, in which over 15,000 individuals were nominated this year. Of the nominees, 600 earn top spots in the competition’s 20 different categories. Upon making it to the final round, contestants are interviewed by a judging panel comprised of Forbes reporters and experts in various fields, including Ta-Nehisi Coates and Sarah Jessica Parker, who make the final decision.