CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy

This speaker series is made possible by an anonymous charitable donation in memory of cypherpunks and privacy advocates Len Sassaman, Hugh Daniel, Hal Finney, and Caspar Bowden.

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New adversary models for censorship circumvention schemes

Nicholas Hopper, University of Minnesota

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August 5, 2014 3:00pm, in DC 2585


Internet censorship is the widespread practice, by state and corporate entities, of blocking access to some kinds of internet content deemed objectionable. Large-scale internet censors like the Chinese and Iranian governments have been engaged in an arms race with privacy and circumvention systems such as the Tor network that seek to allow users to circumvent this blocking and (privately) access arbitrary Internet content. This talk will discuss the current state of this arms race, some "next steps" proposed by circumvention researchers, and counterattacks that we should anticipate from Internet censors. In addition, we'll speculate about some new approaches that can withstand these counterattacks.


Nicholas Hopper is an Associate Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Minnesota, and the 2013–2014 Visiting Research Director for the Tor Project. He received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1999 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004. His research interests include online privacy, applied cryptography, and computer security.