DARPA Wants Research into Resilient Anonymous Communications

DARPA is funding research into resilient anonymous communications systems.

Posted on July 26, 2018 at 6:04 AM • 17 Comments

Comments

echoJuly 26, 2018 6:57 AM

I'm not sure picking the name "RACE" is a good idea. There's too much scope for unfunny jokes and search engine confusion.

PeterJuly 26, 2018 7:00 AM

Great, then next time "somebody" wont have to "delete" 30.000 emails from a "private" server used to conduct State-affairs, like selling 20% of the US uranium to PUTIN and receiving a nice hefty "donation" for ones "Charity-fund" .

stineJuly 26, 2018 7:22 AM

It'll be great until Director Wray gets his Law Enforcement Backdoor built into it, but I'm sure the military will be ok with that.

David RudlingJuly 26, 2018 9:40 AM

The document makes clear that
"The RACE program will research technologies for a distributed messaging system that
a) can exist completely within a given network, ....."

Unless I misunderstand that phrase, the scope of those who can benefit from the research may be more limited than one might otherwise have hoped.


Impossibly StupidJuly 26, 2018 9:47 AM

Not "wants", but "wanted". Posted on the 12th with a response expected by the 19th. Makes me think they had already picked a winner before it even got published.

Clive RobinsonJuly 26, 2018 10:48 AM

The crux of the request is,

    RACE advances will be based on rigorous security arguments, such as those found in the academic cryptography community or statistical arguments based on realistic simulations. RACE will create advances in communication protocol encapsulation methods as well as efficient, oblivious, distributed system tasking, possibly via secure multiparty computation, to build a system that cannot be compromised even with limited participant compromises and large-scale, real-time deep packet inspection.

The first problem with that is "rigorous security arguments" these have in the past been found to be wanting. likewise "realistic simulations".

As for the rest it does not realy say what sort of "physical layer" they are looking at...

In a standard "broadcast model" all nodes within range of a transmitting node pick it's signals up unless they are being jammed, this does not require routing or for nodes to identify themselves. To help maintain the covert nature of a receiver the traditional ACK response model can be replaced with the likes of Forwared Error Correction (FEC) of various forms. The question then arises as to how to deal with more distant nodes, to avoid the likes of "self jamming" in a network, routing becomes necessary as well as discovery which means nodes are not anonymous.

For obvious reasons some of this does not translate well to a wired network, where all links are one-to-one not one-to-many and all fully participitaating nodes are "known".

Then with a wired network you have a choice of circuit or packet switching, circuit switching on it's own is not fault tollerant but does have some advantages such as fixed bandwidth operation.

The big problems to solve though are how nodes participate anonymously yet communicate with each other across more than one node hop distance.

I have ideas to do this but the question arises "Why give them to an organisation that is only going to rip you off and make them secret?" I'd rather give the ideas away for free so everybody can benifit.

AlejandroJuly 26, 2018 11:58 AM

@Clive
Re: "Why give them to an organisation that is only going to rip you off and make them secret?"

There was a time I thought DARPA was really a cool thing. Not anymore.

It cannot be trusted. If they did come up with the system they propose I assume NSA would have an opportunity to backdoor it long before it saw the light of day among mere mortals. Current laws would allow if not mandate that anymore.

I am pretty happy with the way SIGNAL works right now. Problem is, getting other people to join. They've been conditioned to ignore privacy and security.

Anon Y. MouseJuly 26, 2018 3:53 PM

@Peter

When you're ready to join the rest of us in the reality-based
community, I suggest you stop getting your "news" from
Faux/Breitbart/Alex Jones. All that nonsense you spewed
has been debunked.

John SmithJuly 26, 2018 5:37 PM

Briar project. Decentralized peer 2 peer communications with full end to end encryption over tor. About as resilient and anonymous as it gets.

PeaceHeadJuly 26, 2018 5:46 PM

Communication is a good idea.
Talk is cheaper than (stealth) bomb(er)s.

It's just too bad that communication itself was recently weaponised so virulently.
As an outsider, it doesn't seem like it it's ever worth it.

We need to be saving the bees, butterflies, etcetera. All the wars in the world do nothing to protect the world's food supplies.

I intend to revisit these topics later.

Peace is the only way to survive long term.

justinacolmenaJuly 26, 2018 10:38 PM

@echo

I'm not sure picking the name "RACE" is a good idea.

TOR stinks. TOR is broken. There is at present no other way to communicate outside the surveillance of Nazis and other white supremacists.

Black people need to learn how to hack and program computers. No, they are not hiring blacks in Silicon Valley for all their EEO, DOE, and affirmative action bullshit. Blacks need to learn computer programming in spite of that.

The Nigerian 419ers may not be on the right side of the law, but they are certainly proof that the black race is sufficiently intelligent for the job. Or are they getting to be like the Ashkenazi Jews, too intelligent for their own good? This ain't the Liberty Bell we're talking about.

It's 1/√(2πex2/2) and a whole bunch of other shrink-head nonsense.

Impossibly StupidJuly 26, 2018 10:52 PM

@Anon

Perhaps they should just use their own web site as a prime example of the "communication obfuscation" they seek. I particularly like their use of Microsoft documents, and then supplying a broken link for document viewers of that type.

Andre Maciel de AmorimJuly 27, 2018 3:44 AM

I like the name RACE, did they used Acronym Creator ?
Thanks @me for the link. I like ricochet. I did not know about cwtch (a Welsh word roughly translating to “a hug that creates a safe place”) sounds like a catchy name for a software. :-)

justina.colmenaJuly 27, 2018 9:41 AM

1/√(2πex2/2)

And that isn't even right.

It's 1/√(2πex2) if we leave the exponent under the radical, or

(1/√(2π))e-x2/2

as it's more commonly expressed. But no matter. These things are met with nothing but stone silence and brutal censorship. Not a single email, comment, or bug report in the "free" and "open" source software world. They don't practice what they preach.

PeaceHeadAugust 1, 2018 7:00 PM

@justinacolmena

To indulge your non-sequitor just a bit...
By the time Black (Ops) People embrace computer science as it's spoonfed to them via silverware molded out of uranium, it will be already obsolete.

A few Russians were kind to re-encourage Black (Ops) People to learn self-defense. It's not a foreign nor abstract idea to anybody who has ever been targeted, and neither are any of the other types of literacy.

In my opinion, most everyone around the world needs to be learning some aspect of non-commercial organic (non-toxic/non-GMO) gardening, some aspects of home repair, some aspects of legal exchanges of goods and services independent of financial systems and computers (bartering and trading posts, shared resources, and gift-exchanges).

Water purification techniques is also worth knowing as well as how to repair clothing and how to dodge the many covert battles being waged on the backs of the bruised.

I still don't know why people aren't developing solar-powered waterwells and organic food greenhouses shielded from pollution and interlopers instead of taking handouts of "bread and cheese and mad cow disease vector meats". This is not about Black People of any kind. This is about the perpetuated dependency upon the most archaic and inefficient forms of survival.

Recycling, refurbishing, repurposing, reusing, raw-resource mining, and how to dismantle hostile electronics I believe will be more important than any corporate, religious, or MIL-INT-INDUSTRY-COMPLEX stuff.

Also, Black (Ops) People would be wise to study population demographics as a guide to how not be sitting ducks for the next several attempts at genocide.

How's that for sustainability meets security.
No need to blame any type of victim anywhere on the planet.

"By the time CRISPR hits the fan, your traditional cultural beauty will be obsolete and you'll be a 4th-class citizen just like I'm NOT. "

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