Visible to the public Building Trust in an Untrustworthy World


The past decade has seen a remarkable acceleration in the deployment of encryption and privacy technologies designed to protect computing systems and end-users. Yet developments during this same period have made us increasingly aware of how fragile these advances may be. These include revelations around mass surveillance and subversion of encryption standards; overt and politically-motivated nation state attacks; and increasing pressure from law enforcement to avoid disruption of lawful surveillance systems. Without significant additional work, these issues have the potential to threaten and even reverse the progress we have made. In this talk I will provide an overview of our progress in several key areas, and some likely improvements still to come. I will also highlight several key research problems that must be solved in order to develop a workable and stable secure communications infrastructure.


Matthew Green is a cryptographer and security researcher. Green is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute. He specializes in applied cryptography, privacy-enhanced information storage systems, and anonymous cryptocurrencies. He is a member of the teams that developed the Zerocoin anonymous cryptocurrency and Zcash. He has been involved in the groups that exposed vulnerabilities in numerous TLS, Apple iMessage and Mobil Speedpass. He is a co-author of the paper Keys under Doormats that argues against universal encryption backdoors.

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Building Trust in an Untrustworthy World