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The Father of Online Anonymity Has a Plan to End the Crypto War


David Chaum

Cryptographic protocol developer David Chaum has developed a new encryption scheme.

Credit: Julian Berman/WIRED

David Chaum, who has invented many cryptographic protocols, today will present PrivaTegrity, a new encryption scheme designed to allow fully secret, anonymous communications that no eavesdropper can crack.

PrivaTegrity is meant to be both more secure than existing online anonymity systems and also more efficient.

In future versions, Chaum and his collaborators at Purdue, Radboud, and Birmingham universities plan to add features such as larger file sharing for photos and video, the ability to follow Twitter-like feeds, and financial transactions.

"It's a way to create a separate online reality in which all the various things we now know people like to do online can be done in a lightweight manner under a completely different and new and very attractive privacy and security model," Chaum says.

He notes PrivaTegrity also features a carefully controlled backdoor that allows anyone doing something "generally recognized as evil" to have their anonymity and privacy stripped completely. The power to decide who counts as "evil" is too great for any single company or government, so Chaum gave the task to a council system of nine server administrators from nine different countries who would all need to work together to trace criminals within the network and decrypt their communications.

From Wired
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