COMP 590/790: Privacy Enhancing TechnologiesSpring 2022
Instructor: Saba Eskandarian
Lectures: Mon/Wed 2:30-3:45pm, FB009
Office Hours: by appointment
Gradescope (Entry Code GEXYZY)
This class covers a combination of fundamental tools and recent developments in privacy-enhancing technologies. The first half of the course will cover cryptographic tools that can be used to build privacy-preserving systems, and the second half will cover various privacy-enhancing technologies, including both research contributions and deployed systems. Along the way we will discuss how to think about the technology we create and its impact on society.
This class is intended for undergraduate or graduate students who are interested in thinking about what technology can do to protect privacy and why modern technology so often fails to do so. Prior experience in cryptography or security, while welcome, is by no means required.
Class meetings will consist of a mix of lectures and discussions, with discussion participation being an important component. Students will also complete a semester-long project on a relevant topic of their choosing. See the syllabus for more details.
Course ScheduleClass titles followed by required readings for the discussion that day. Lecture days do not have assigned readings.
A Crash Course in Cryptography
Jan 10: How to Share a Secret
Jan 12: Cryptography Concepts: Data Confidentiality
Jan 19: Cryptography Concepts: Data Integrity
Jan 24: Cryptography Concepts: Prime Time
Private Computation Tools
Jan 26: Privacy and Anonymity Today
Jan 31: Multiparty Computation
Feb 2: Differential Privacy
Feb 7: Introductions
- Optional: How to Read a Paper
Feb 9: MPC and DP Deployments
Feb 14: Hardware Enclaves
Guest Lecture: Yan Michalevsky
Feb 16: Bitcoin, Blockchains, and Cryptocurrencies
Project proposals due
Feb 21: Bitcoin, Blockchains, and Cryptocurrencies continued
Feb 23: More Blockchains
Feb 28: Side Channel Attacks
Mar 2: Internet Attacks
Mar 7: Story Time!
The history of cryptography is full of amazing stories. Today we will each take turns telling one such story. The following books are good places to consider looking for a story. They are all available in the university libararies, and I also have copies in my office that you can use.
- The Codebreakers, by David Kahn
- Code Girls, by Liza Mundy
- Crypto, by Steven Levy
- The Code Book, by Simon Singh
Mar 9: Crypto for the People
Project update 1 due
We'll watch and then discuss Seny Kamara's CRYPTO 2020 talk Crypto for the People.
Mar 21: The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work
Privacy, Anonymity, and Surveillance
Mar 23: Anonymity, Mixnets, DC-nets
Mar 28: Surveillance
Mar 30: Anonymity and Censorship
Apr 4: Private Messaging Today
Project update 2 due
Apr 6: More Deployed Privacy Technologies
- Messenger Secret Conversations Whitepaper
- Prio: Private, Robust, and Scalable Computation of Aggregate Statistics
- Mozilla and ISRG blog posts about Prio deployment
Apr 11: Other Real-World Threat Models
Apr 13: Research on Metadata-Hiding Communication
Apr 18: Policy Questions
Project Presentations and Conclusion
Apr 20: Project Presentations
Apr 25: Project Presentations
Apr 27: Story Time 2!
Just like the previous Story Time, but this time you can tell us about anything vaguely crypto or security related, not necessarily just history.
Project final report due