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EBSIS Scientific Seminar

AN.ON - Lessons learned from developing and operating an anonymous communication service
Dr. Stefan Köpsell (TU Dresden)

  • Friday, 31 March 2017, 12:00, C308 (Faculty of Computer Science, C Building, UAIC)—map


AN.ON is an anonymous communication system allowing the users to browse the Web anonymously. It is based on Mixes and strives to protect against strong attackers. We operate AN.ON as a public service since 2000. In my talk I will explain the design and the related design considerations of AN.ON. Additionally I will report about the lessons we have learned from operating the service including conflicts with law enforcement. Finally, I will raise open research question regarding issues of AN.ON (as well as many other anonymous communication systems) which still need to be solved by the research community. Thereby I will also introduce our new collaborative research project AN.ON-Next that tries to address these open issues.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Stefan Köpsell received his diploma in computer science from TU Dresden in 2000. Since this time he is working at the chair of Privacy & Data Security at the Faculty of Computer Science of TUD. In 2010 he received his doctoral degree from the same institution. He has been working in the field of anonymous communication, especially anonymous Web-browsing, for more than 15 years. He has developed and operated a Mix-based anonymous communication system (AN.ON) which is used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world and is commercialised by the SME JonDos. He has worked in the EU projects like PrimeLife and the network of excellence FIDIS and gained knowledge in the area of privacy-preserving identity management. Recently he worked in the joined German-Brazilian TruEGrid project, which was dedicated to trustworthiness and privacy in Smart Grids. Currently he is involved in several project in the area of privacy and security, e.g. the H2020 EU-Brazilian project SecureCloud. This project deals with secure computation in untrusted clouds utilising hardware based security mechanisms like Intel SGX. Another project is AN.ON-Next which is a successor project of the AN.ON project and tries to develop usable anonymous communication systems and privacy enhancing technologies including solutions for the upcoming 5G mobile network.

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