AnonimityCommunication - 5 On Anonymity in an Electronic...

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Unformatted text preview: 5 On Anonymity in an Electronic Society: A Survey of Anonymous Communication Systems MATTHEW EDMAN and B ULENT YENER Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute The past two decades have seen a growing interest in methods for anonymous communication on the Internet, both from the academic community and the general public. Several system designs have been proposed in the literature, of which a number have been implemented and are used by diverse groups, such as journalists, human rights workers, the military, and ordinary citizens, to protect their identities on the Internet. In this work, we survey the previous research done to design, develop, and deploy systems for enabling private and anonymous communication on the Internet. We identify and describe the major concepts and technologies in the field, including mixes and mix networks, onion routing, and Dining Cryptographers networks. We will also review powerful traffic analysis attacks that have motivated improvements and variations on many of these anonymity protocols made since their introduction. Finally, we will summarize some of the major open problems in anonymous communication research and discuss possible directions for future work in the field. Categories and Subject Descriptors: C.2.0 [ Computer-Communication Networks ]: General Security and protection (e.g. firewalls) ; C.2.2 [ Computer-Communication Networks ]: Network Protocols Applica- tions (SMTP, FTP, etc.) ; C.2.4 [ Computer-Communication Networks ]: Distributed Systems Distributed applications ; K.4.1 [ Computers and Society ]: Public Policy Issues Privacy General Terms: Security Additional Key Words and Phrases: Anonymity, anonymous communication, DC-nets, mixes, mix networks, onion routing, privacy, traffic analysis ACM Reference Format: Edman, M. and Yener, B. 2009. On anonymity in an electronic society: A survey of anonymous communication systems. ACM Comput. Surv. 42, 1, Article 5 (December 2009), 35 pages. DOI = 10.1145/1592451.1592456, http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1592451.1592456 1. INTRODUCTION A famous cartoon in The New Yorker once carried the caption, On the Internet, nobody knows youre a dog [Steiner 1993]. This phrase symbolizes the general publics percep- tion that the Internet allows one to communicate in relative obscurity and anonymity. Quite the contrary, todays modern communications infrastructure is indeed capable of identifying and recording what we do, where we go, and even sometimes what we say on the Internet. Authors address: Department of Computer Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8 th Street, Troy, NY 12180; email: { edmanm2,yener } @cs.rpi.edu. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies show this notice on the first page or initial screen of a display along with the full citation. Copyrights forcopies show this notice on the first page or initial screen of a display along with the full citation....
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AnonimityCommunication - 5 On Anonymity in an Electronic...

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