Restructuring the NSA Metadata Program

I just got back from Barbados where I attended the Financial Cryptography and Data Security conference. It was a great event overall with many interesting talks and two great workshops. One workshop was on Bitcoin and was the most successful Financial Crypto workshop in history! Though I haven't personally worked on Bitcoin, one of the things I enjoyed most about the conference and workshops was the presence of the Bitcoin community.

Are Compliance and Privacy Always at Odds?

Chris Soghoian points to an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It describes mounting pressure on the NSA to re-design its phone-data program---the program under which it compels telecommunications companies (telcos) like Verizon to turn over their phone record data. In the article, Timothy Edgar, a former privacy lawyer who served in the Bush and Obama administrations is quoted as saying: Privacy technology under development would allow for anonymous searches of databases, keeping data out of government hands but also preventing phone companies from learning the purpose of NSA searches.

Applying Fully Homomorphic Encryption (Part 2)

This is the second part of a series on applying fully-homomorphic encryption. In the first post we went over what fully-homomorphic encryption (FHE) and shomewhat-homomorphic encryption (SHE) were and how they relate. In this post we' ll discuss actual applications. To structure the discussion, I' ll refer to some applications as direct and others as indirect. Indirect applications will refer to applications where FHE is used as a building block---usually with other components---to construct something else of interest.