[talks] ​​​​​Ben Jones will present his Generals Exam on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 11am in CS 302.

Nicki Gotsis ngotsis at CS.Princeton.EDU
Tue Jan 5 10:09:19 EST 2016

Ben Jones will present his Generals Exam on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 11am in CS 302.

The members of his committee are: Nick Feamster (adviser), Andrew Appel, and Prateek Mittal.

Everyone is invited to attend his talk, and those faculty wishing to remain for the oral exam following are welcome to do so.  His abstract and reading list follow below.

Censorship measurement is an important problem and social scientists, CS
researchers, and advocacy groups all aim to discover what governments
censor, how they restrict access, and how decisions about censorship
vary across regions, countries, and time. Unfortunately, existing
approaches cannot perform censorship measurements at a scale sufficient
to answer these questions; worse, users must perform these measurements
on-site, which is potentially risky due to the threat of retaliation
against citizens who perform measurements.

In my talk, I will present SPICE (Stealthy Panopticon for Internet
Censorship Exploration) [7], a tool designed to measure censorship and
evade the surveillance that puts users at risk. SPICE’s contributions
are modeling censorship and surveillance, developing two strategies for
reducing measurement risk, and implementing the measurements for one of
these strategies. We model censorship based on existing work on the
Great Firewall of China (GFC) and we model surveillance based on leaked
Snowden documents and our campus IDS. We observe that surveillance and
censorship systems have different goals, and thus certain types of
measurement techniques may be able to characterize a censorship system
without triggering a surveillance system. Although it is almost
certainly impossible to eliminate risk (or even determine if we have
succeeded in doing so), we posit that we may be able to reduce risk with
measurement techniques that are difficult to observe or distinguish from
innocuous network activity.

Reading List
L. L. Peterson and B. S. Davie. Computer Networks, Fifth Edition: A
Systems Approach. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., San Francisco, CA,
USA, 5th edition, 2011.

[1] Anonymous. Towards a Comprehensive Picture of the Great Firewall’s
DNS Censorship. In 4th USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications
on the Internet (FOCI 14), San Diego, CA, Aug. 2014. USENIX Association.

[2] A. Filasto` and J. Appelbaum. OONI: Open Observatory of Network
Interference. In Presented as part of the 2nd USENIX Workshop on Free
and Open Communications on the Internet, Berkeley, CA, 2012. USENIX.

[3] J. Geddes, M. Schuchard, and N. Hopper. Cover Your ACKs: Pitfalls of
Covert Channel Censorship Circumvention. In Proceedings of the 2013 ACM
SIGSAC Conference on Computer &; Communications Security, CCS ’13, pages
361–372, New York, NY, USA, 2013. ACM.

[4] A. Houmansadr, C. Brubaker, and V. Shmatikov. The Parrot is Dead:
Observing unobservable network communications. In Proceedings of the
2013 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, 2013.

[5] B. Jones, R. Ensafi, N. Feamster, V. Paxson, and N. Weaver. Ethical
concerns for censorship measurement. In Proceedings of the 2015 ACM
SIGCOMM Workshop on Ethics in Networked Systems Research, pages 17–19.
ACM, 2015.

[6] B. Jones and N. Feamster. Can Censorship Measurements Be Safe(R)? In
Proceedings of the 14th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks,
HotNets-XIV, pages 1:1–1:7, New York, NY, USA, 2015. ACM.

[7] M. Ku ̈hrer, T. Hupperich, J. Bushart, C. Rossow, and T. Holz. Going
Wild: Large-Scale Classification of Open DNS Resolvers. In Proceedings
of the 2015 ACM Conference on Internet Measurement Conference, IMC ’15,
pages 355–368. ACM, 2015.

[8] K. Schomp, T. Callahan, M. Rabinovich, and M. Allman. On Measuring
the Client-side DNS Infrastructure. In Proceedings of the 2013
Conference on Internet Measurement Conference, IMC ’13, pages 77–90, New
York, NY, USA, 2013. ACM.

[9] W. Scott, S. Berg, and A. Krishnamurth. Satellite: Observations of
the Internets Stars. Technical report, University of Washington, 2015.

[10] A. Sfakianakis, E. Athanasopoulos, and S. Ioannidis. CensMon: A Web
censorship monitor. In USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communication on
the Internet (FOCI), 2011.

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