Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/1195

Do you feel a chill? Using PIR against chilling effects for censorship-resistant publishing

Miti Mazmudar and Stan Gurtler and Ian Goldberg

Abstract: Peer-to-peer distributed hash tables (DHTs) rely on volunteers to contribute their computational resources, such as disk space and bandwidth. In order to incentivize these node operators of privacy-preserving DHTs, it is important to prevent exposing them to the data that is stored on the DHT and/or queried for. Vasserman et al.'s CROPS aimed at providing plausible deniability to server nodes by encrypting stored content. However, node operators are still exposed to the contents of queries. We provide an architecture that uses information-theoretic private information retrieval to efficiently render a server node incapable of determining what content was retrieved in a given request by a user. We illustrate an integration of our architecture with the aforementioned system. Finally, we simulate our system and show that it has a small communication and performance overhead over other systems without this privacy guarantee, and smaller overheads with respect to the closest related work.

Category / Keywords: applications / Censorship-resistant publishing, query privacy, private information retrieval

Original Publication (with major differences): WPES 2021

Date: received 15 Sep 2021

Contact author: miti mazmudar at uwaterloo ca, tmgurtler at uwaterloo ca, iang at uwaterloo ca

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: This is an extended version of our paper that appeared in the 20th ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES ’21).

Version: 20210917:091156 (All versions of this report)

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