Thesis Defense, Sunoo Park: Cryptography for Societal Benefit

Monday, May 7, 2018 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm
Served at 1:00pm
Patil/Kiva G449
Seminar group: 
The deployment of cryptography in society has a range of effects that
are not always evident when studying cryptography as a technical construct in
isolation. This observation suggests two natural directions for examination: (1) to explore the potential societal impacts of use of cryptography, or (2) to study the design of systems that use cryptography specifically towards achieving desirable societal outcomes. This thesis focuses on the latter, and presents the results of six papers spanning the three broad contexts mentioned next.

    Institutional accountability
    Cryptography can enhance transparency and accountability of
    institutions seeking public trust, such as governmental agencies, judicial systems,
    and election infrastructure.

    Individual empowerment in oppressive environments
    Cryptography can empower individuals to communicate securely and unde-
    tectably and to preserve their anonymity, even in hostile

    Incentivizing collaboration
    Cryptography can facilitate collaboration between rational —
    possibly selfish and/or competing — parties in a way that is beneficial to all
    participants, by providing credible guarantees of secrecy and correct protocol
    execution to mutually distrustful parties.