May 23, 2017

Archives for July 2014

Why were CERT researchers attacking Tor?

Yesterday the Tor Project issued an advisory describing a large-scale identification attack on Tor hidden services. The attack started on January 30 and ended when Tor ejected the attackers on July 4. It appears that this attack was the subject of a Black Hat talk that was canceled abruptly.

These attacks raise serious questions about research ethics and institutional responsibilities.
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Are We Rushing to Judgment Against the Hidden Power of Algorithms?

Several recent news stories have highlighted the ways that online social platforms can subtly shape our lives. First came the news that Facebook has “manipulated” users’ emotions by tweaking the balance of happy and sad posts that it shows to some users. Then, this week, the popular online dating service OKCupid announced that it had deliberately sent its users on dates that it predicted would not go well. OKCupid asks users questions, and matches them up based on their answers (for example, “do you like horror movies?”), using the answers to compute a “match percentage” showing how likely two people are to get along.
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A Scanner Darkly: Protecting User Privacy from Perceptual Applications

“A Scanner Darkly”, a dystopian 1977 Philip K. Dick novel (adapted to a 2006 film), describes a society with pervasive audio and video surveillance. Our paper “A Scanner Darkly”, which appeared in last year’s IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (Oakland) and has just received the 2014 PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies, takes a closer look at the soon-to-come world where ubiquitous surveillance is performed not by the drug police but by everyday devices with high-bandwidth sensors. [Read more…]