ExpressVPN teams up with Yale researcher to kickstart new digital security initiative

Digital Security Lab
(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

Over the past 11 years ExpressVPN has evolved from simply being a consumer VPN service to becoming one of the most vocal advocates for internet rights and freedom with the ambitious goal of building a safe, private and open internet for everyone.

To help facilitate this efforts, the company has announced that it will create a new Digital Security Lab that will be led by Yale's Sean O'Brien who will serve as its principal researcher. O'Brien is an esteemed privacy and cybersecurity expert best known for founding and leading the Yale Privacy Lab. 

Going forward, he will conduct research for ExpressVPN full-time while also continuing his scholarly work for Yale and Oxford, where he is a fellow and affiliate. O'Brien praised the company's ongoing efforts to provide consumers with information about their digital rights and security in a blog post, saying:

“ExpressVPN has long been an industry leader in consumer privacy and security, and I have always been a fan of their work. I’m excited to bring my research expertise to further empower consumers with useful information about their digital rights and security.” 

Digital Security Lab

ExpressVPN's Digital Security Lab plans to investigate digital rights and security issues and educate consumers about them, create tools and resources to empower individuals and conduct community outreach to share its work.

The company's new digital security initiative will focus on high-quality, original research in the areas of digital privacy, cybersecurity, access to knowledge and information flows. ExpressVPN has chosen to focus on these topics because they impact the greatest number of internet users and they are also O'Brien's area of expertise. It also plans to simplify complex technical research so that it is accessible to everyone and its first research results will be published in the next few months.

Just as it did with its open source leakproofing tools back in 2017, ExpressVPN's Digital Security Lab will provide more useful resources, tips and tools to users that want to take better control of their digital privacy and security. However, O'Brien won't be alone in these efforts as the company's engineering, security, product and content teams will also contribute to research ideas and projects.

Finally ExpressVPN will conduct community outreach to share its work as the research lab's goal of discovering and building useful tools capable of changing consumer behavior cannot be achieved without strong awareness and education.

Vice president of ExpressVPN Harold Li provided further insight on the company's new Digital Security Lab, saying:

“The launch of the Digital Security Lab is an important milestone for the company. We have ambitious plans ahead, and research helps us more deeply understand the threats people face online and how we can together better protect digital privacy, security, and rights. Ultimately, we think that will help us build a better digital future. We’re thrilled to have someone of Sean’s caliber join us to lead these efforts and accelerate our goals of empowering everyone with the knowledge and tools to take control of their online data and experience.”

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Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.