Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2016/245

DEcryption Contract ENforcement Tool (DECENT): A Practical Alternative to Government Decryption Backdoors

Peter Linder

Abstract: A cryptographic contract and enforcement technology would guarantee release of a data decryption key to an authorized party if and only if predetermined contract requirements are satisfied. Threshold secret sharing can be used to eliminate the need for access to the hidden key under normal circumstances. It can also eliminate the liability and burden normally carried by device manufacturers or service providers when they store the decryption keys of their customers. Blockchain technology provides a mechanism for a public audit trail of the creation and release of the hidden key. The use of peer-to-peer mix-net network overlay technology can be added to insure that the blockchain audit trail documents the release of the key even if an all-powerful entity forces actors to act under duress.

Category / Keywords: applications / backdoor decryption escrow blockchain smart-contract mix-net overlay

Date: received 4 Mar 2016, last revised 1 Apr 2016

Contact author: peterlinder at alum mit edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: Prepended a 2-page brief with clarifications

Version: 20160401:160351 (All versions of this report)

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