Computer Science

CS Colloquium Speaker: Henry Corrigan-Gibbs from Stanford University

Speaker: Henry Corrigan-Gibbs, Stanford University
Title: Building Anonymous Messaging Systems that ‘Hide the Metadata’

When: Thursday, February 25th at 3:10pm

Where: 1131 Kemper Hall, UC Davis

Abstract: Encryption can protect the contents of a message being sent over an open network. In many situations, though, hiding the contents of a communication is not enough: parties to a conversation want to conceal the fact that they ever communicated. In this talk, I will explain how anonymity-preserving messaging systems can help ‘hide the metadata’ pertaining to a conversation and I will survey the state of the art in anonymous messaging protocols.

A limitation of existing protocols is that they exhibit computation and communication costs that scale linearly with the number of users (i.e., the anonymity set size) or they require expensive zero-knowledge proofs. In recent work, we have designed Riposte, a new system for anonymous messaging that applies private-information-retrieval and secure multi-party computation techniques to circumvent these limitations.

An implementation and experimental evaluation of Riposte demonstrates that, for latency-tolerant applications, the system can provide near-ideal anonymity for groups of millions of users—two orders of magnitude more than current systems support. I will conclude the talk with a discussion of open problems and directions for future work.

Joint work with: Dan Boneh and David Mazières

1131 Kemper Hall

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