Overview of topics to be covered: Historical network anonymity and privacy protocols ndash; MIXes and MIXnets, various theoretical and practical attack strategies against high and low-latency anonymity networks, practical traffic analysis against modern anonymity systems like Tor, Freenet, GNUnet, JAP, defenses against traffic analysis attacks, performance vs anonymity trade-offs, side-channel attacks, covert channel communications, pseudonymity and privacy, Anonymous P2P communication systems (e.g. Oneswarm), traffic analysis against anonymous VoIP communications, Internet censorship and censorship resistance tools and strategies, large-scale Internet surveillance and anti-surveillance, decoy routing.
Good part of the first half of the class (about 5 weeks) would involve the instructor giving lectures to students in topics pertinent to the research areas. The remainder of the classes would involve the students presenting relevant papers (of their choice) to everyone in the class. Students (other than the presenter) would be expected to participate in productive discussion about to various challenges of the research topic being discussed. Moreover every week, each student would be expected to submit a weekly write-up which would mostly be either a review or critique of a paper, or some design questions, relevant to the topics covered in the class (e.g. what do you think could be vulnerabilities in the XYZ system that the authors didnrsquo;t mention upfront in the paper and could you suggest ways to defend the system against those vulnerabilities). There would be a mid-term where the students would be tested on topics covered during the lectures. For finals, the students would be expected to write a survey paper, reviewing several papers on a chosen topic.
- An appreciation of various research challenges in the area of Network Anonymity and Privacy (e.g. systems, capabilities, vulnerabilities, use cases etc.)
- Ability to undertake research efforts in Network Anonymity and Privacy and allied areas such as network surveillance, censorship and resistance.