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Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Tor: Anonymous communications for government agencies, corporations, journalists... and you

Paul Syverson & Roger Dingledine - U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)

Jan 16, 2008

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Abstract

What do the Department of Defense and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have in common? They have both funded the development of Tor (torproject.org), a free-software anonymizing network that helps people around the world use the Internet in safety. Tor's 1500 volunteer servers carry traffic for several hundred thousand users including ordinary citizens who want protection from identity theft and prying corporations, corporations who want to look at a competitor's website in private, law enforcement and government intelligence agencies who need to do operations on the Internet without being noticed, and aid workers in the Middle East who need to contact their home servers without fear of physical harm.

We'll give an overview of the Tor architecture, and talk about why you'd want to use it, what security it provides, and policy and legal issues. Then we can open it up for discussion about open research questions, wider social implications, and other topics the audience wants to consider.

About the Speaker

Paul Syverson is a Mathematician at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's Center for High Assurance Computer Systems, where he has been working on the theory, design, and analysis of security and privacy systems for over eighteen years. His inventions include the award winning Onion Routing, and he is designer of all onion routing systems to date, including the latest system, Tor. Dr. Syverson has been chair of nine international conferences and workshops on security and privacy including the 2007 ACM Computer and Communications Security Conference. He is author of the book Logic, Convention, and Common Knowledge, editor of many volumes on security and privacy, and author of many dozens of papers published in refereed conferences and journals. He has served on boards and steering committees of various technical organizations and has been visiting scholar or faculty at academic institutions in the United States, England, and Italy. Degrees: PhD and MA in Philosophy (Logic), MA in Mathematics (all three from Indiana), AB in Philosophy from Cornell. More at http://www.syverson.org/

Roger Dingledine is project leader for The Tor Project, a US non-profit working on anonymity research and development. While at MIT he developed Free Haven, one of the early peer-to-peer systems that emphasized resource management while maintaining anonymity for its users. He works with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the US Navy, Voice of America, and other organizations to design and develop systems for anonymity and traffic analysis resistance. He organizes academic conferences on anonymity, speaks at such events as Blackhat, Defcon, Toorcon, CCC congresses, and What the Hack, and also does tutorials on anonymity for national and foreign law enforcement. Roger was honored in 2006 as one of the top 35 innovators under the age of 35 by Technology Review magazine. http://freehaven.net/~arma/cv.html

Unless otherwise noted, the security seminar is held on Wednesdays at 4:30P.M. STEW G52, West Lafayette Campus. More information...

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