[talks] Anne Edmundson will present her PreFPO on December 7th, 2017 at 3pm in CS 402.

Nicki Gotsis ngotsis at CS.Princeton.EDU
Wed Nov 29 14:01:53 EST 2017

Anne Edmundson will present her PreFPO on December 7th, 2017 at 3pm in CS 402.  

The members of her committee are as follows:
Advisor: Nick Feamster
Readers: Ed Felten, Jen Rexford
Non-readers: Prateek Mittal, Arvind Narayanan

Everyone is invited to attend her talk.  The talk title and abstract follow below.

Overhauling the Internet Infrastructure for Private Content Delivery and Communications

Citizens' privacy is coming under greater threat as an increasing number of entities can access user data.  A powerful adversary, such as a nation-state, can gain access to user data using a broad range of techniques, from privately tapping wires and collecting traffic  to serving warrants or subpoenas for user data.  Protecting user privacy in the face of these types of activities is challenging. Existing protocol encryption such as TLS is not sufficient, since a wide range of data, from DNS lookups to server access logs, may be visible to eavesdroppers or subject to data requests. In this dissertation, I develop new techniques that demonstrate that three aspects of the existing Internet infrastructure, specifically routing, hosting, and naming, can be used to counter surveillance.

First, I study the current state of routing by measuring which countries are on the paths between users and  popular websites. I then evaluate different methods for routing Internet traffic around unfavorable countries based on these findings, I design and implement RAN, a lightweight system that routes a client's web traffic around specified countries with no modifications to client software (and in many cases with little performance overhead).  

Second, I describe modifications to content hosting that prevent a powerful adversary such as a nation-state from gaining access to a user’s requests for certain Web content. In today’s Internet, Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) have rich information both about the content they are serving and the users who are requesting that content. Access to this type of information makes CDNs a target for requests for data about users’ browsing activities. To counter this threat, I developed Oblivious CDN (OCDN), which hides from the CDN both the content it is serving and the users who are requesting that content. OCDN is compatible with the existing Web ecosystem of publishers and clients.

In the last part of this talk, I will touch on how naming currently compromises client privacy, and present design suggestions for naming techniques that protect clients from surveillance activities.

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