Project B5

Anonymous and Censorship-Resistant
Communication

Principal Investigators


Christian Rossow

E9 1 3.07
66123 Saarbrücken

+49 681 302 70797
christian.rossow(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)cispa.saarland

PhD Students


Giorgi Maisuradze

E9 1 3.05
66123 Saarbrücken

+49 681 302 70755
giorgi.maisuradze(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)cispa.saarland

Project Summary

Anonymous communication networks (like Tor and I2P) are essential to protect user privacy. Despite their popularity, these networks are affected by a fundamental weakness, undermining their functionality: potential adversaries can determine which traffic enters an anonymous communication network, enabling them to censor “undesired” communication. In such an environment, users have to resort to non-anonymous communication, severely affecting their privacy (and, in case of further censoring activities, their freedom of speech). This project aims at making anonymous communication networks censorship-resistant: Can we reliably enable censored users to bootstrap anonymous communication? How to evade address-based filters (such as blacklists)? How to evade content-based filters (such as signature matching)? We will devise a decentralized trust metric and privacy-preserving trust networks, in combination with honeypots to identify and track the behavior of censoring adversaries, to solve the problem of anonymous communication bootstrapping. We will explore machine learning methods to evaluate and harness the potential of covert communication methods for hiding communication content. We will integrate our technologies to design practical censorship-resistance plugins for the popular anonymous communication networks Tor and I2P.

Role Within the Collaborative Research Center

cdB5

Open Positions

In the context of this project we are looking for two qualified PhD students with a track record in topics relevant to the project. If you are interested please send a letter of intent together with your short CV to the PIs of the project.