The Battle of Internet Censorship: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice
The Internet has become ubiquitous, bringing many benefits to people across the globe. Unfortunately, Internet users face threats to their security and privacy: repressive regimes deprive them of freedom of speech and open access to information, governments and corporations monitor their online behavior, advertisers collect and sell their private data, and cybercriminals hurt them financially through security breaches.
My research aims at making Internet communications more secure and privacy-preserving. In this talk, I will focus on the design, implementation, and analysis of tools that help users bypass Internet censorship. I will discuss the major challenges in building effective censorship circumvention tools, and will introduce several theoretical and empirical directions towards reliable censorship circumvention.
Amir Houmansadr is an associate professor at the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he joined in 2014. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012, and was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Texas at Austin before joining UMass. Amir's area of research is network security and privacy, which includes problems such as Internet censorship resistance, statistical traffic analysis, covert communications, machine learning security and privacy, and privacy in next-generation network architectures. Amir has received several awards including the Best Practical Paper Award at the IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy (Oakland) in 2013, a Google Faculty Research Award in 2015, and an NSF CAREER Award in 2016.