Blindspot: indistinguishable anonymous communications

Joseph Gardiner, Shishir Nagaraja

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

Communication anonymity is a key requirement for individuals under targeted surveillance. Practical anonymous communications also require indistinguishability - an adversary should be unable to distinguish between anonymised and non-anonymised traffic for a given user. We propose Blindspot, a design for high-latency anonymous communications that offers indistinguishability and unobservability under a (qualified) global active adversary. Blindspot creates anonymous routes between sender-receiver pairs by subliminally encoding messages within the pre-existing communication behaviour of users within a social network. Specifically, the organic image sharing behaviour of users. Thus channel bandwidth depends on the intensity of image sharing behaviour of users along a route. A major challenge we successfully overcome is that routing must be accomplished in the face of significant restrictions - channel bandwidth is stochastic. We show that conventional social network routing strategies do not work. To solve this problem, we propose a novel routing algorithm. We evaluate Blindspot using a real-world dataset. We find that it delivers reasonable results for applications requiring low-volume unobservable communication.
LanguageEnglish
Place of PublicationIthaca, N.Y.
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2014

Fingerprint

Communication
Bandwidth
Network routing
Routing algorithms

Keywords

  • communication anonymity
  • targeted survellance
  • anonymous communications

Cite this

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title = "Blindspot: indistinguishable anonymous communications",
abstract = "Communication anonymity is a key requirement for individuals under targeted surveillance. Practical anonymous communications also require indistinguishability - an adversary should be unable to distinguish between anonymised and non-anonymised traffic for a given user. We propose Blindspot, a design for high-latency anonymous communications that offers indistinguishability and unobservability under a (qualified) global active adversary. Blindspot creates anonymous routes between sender-receiver pairs by subliminally encoding messages within the pre-existing communication behaviour of users within a social network. Specifically, the organic image sharing behaviour of users. Thus channel bandwidth depends on the intensity of image sharing behaviour of users along a route. A major challenge we successfully overcome is that routing must be accomplished in the face of significant restrictions - channel bandwidth is stochastic. We show that conventional social network routing strategies do not work. To solve this problem, we propose a novel routing algorithm. We evaluate Blindspot using a real-world dataset. We find that it delivers reasonable results for applications requiring low-volume unobservable communication.",
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Blindspot : indistinguishable anonymous communications. / Gardiner, Joseph; Nagaraja, Shishir.

Ithaca, N.Y., 2014.

Research output: Working paper

TY - UNPB

T1 - Blindspot

T2 - indistinguishable anonymous communications

AU - Gardiner, Joseph

AU - Nagaraja, Shishir

PY - 2014/8/4

Y1 - 2014/8/4

N2 - Communication anonymity is a key requirement for individuals under targeted surveillance. Practical anonymous communications also require indistinguishability - an adversary should be unable to distinguish between anonymised and non-anonymised traffic for a given user. We propose Blindspot, a design for high-latency anonymous communications that offers indistinguishability and unobservability under a (qualified) global active adversary. Blindspot creates anonymous routes between sender-receiver pairs by subliminally encoding messages within the pre-existing communication behaviour of users within a social network. Specifically, the organic image sharing behaviour of users. Thus channel bandwidth depends on the intensity of image sharing behaviour of users along a route. A major challenge we successfully overcome is that routing must be accomplished in the face of significant restrictions - channel bandwidth is stochastic. We show that conventional social network routing strategies do not work. To solve this problem, we propose a novel routing algorithm. We evaluate Blindspot using a real-world dataset. We find that it delivers reasonable results for applications requiring low-volume unobservable communication.

AB - Communication anonymity is a key requirement for individuals under targeted surveillance. Practical anonymous communications also require indistinguishability - an adversary should be unable to distinguish between anonymised and non-anonymised traffic for a given user. We propose Blindspot, a design for high-latency anonymous communications that offers indistinguishability and unobservability under a (qualified) global active adversary. Blindspot creates anonymous routes between sender-receiver pairs by subliminally encoding messages within the pre-existing communication behaviour of users within a social network. Specifically, the organic image sharing behaviour of users. Thus channel bandwidth depends on the intensity of image sharing behaviour of users along a route. A major challenge we successfully overcome is that routing must be accomplished in the face of significant restrictions - channel bandwidth is stochastic. We show that conventional social network routing strategies do not work. To solve this problem, we propose a novel routing algorithm. We evaluate Blindspot using a real-world dataset. We find that it delivers reasonable results for applications requiring low-volume unobservable communication.

KW - communication anonymity

KW - targeted survellance

KW - anonymous communications

UR - https://arxiv.org/abs/1408.0784

M3 - Working paper

BT - Blindspot

CY - Ithaca, N.Y.

ER -