In year 2011, after coming from the United Kingdom I submitted a PHD Proposal to the Security Group of Cambridge University (to Dr. Steven J. Murdoch) which was rejected by him (Reason: not known. But probably my PHD research proposal was not well written in the eyes of Dr. Steven J. Murdoch). Dr. Murdoch  had worked in the Tor Project  and his PHD was on the topic of Anonymous Communication. I attended Security Principle module in University of Oxford, where I was taught by Dr. Andrew Martin . I read books of Dr. Ross Anderson  and Bruce Schneier . I had a vague vision but my motivation was to come up with something new and unbreakable.
Title of my research: Anonymous Communications and Privacy Enhancing Technologies
Proposed research topic: How to communicate anonymously using privacy enhancing technologies
Objective of the research: To build a secure communication application/system / method / protocol that can enhance privacy. This will be done in response to risk posed by new wiretapping technologies.
Background: In November 2010, “FBI director Robert Mueller travelled to Silicon Valley to persuade technology companies to build “backdoors” into their products. If Mueller’s wish were granted, the FBI would gain undetected real-time access to suspects’ Skype calls, Facebook chats, and other online communications—and in “clear text,” the industry lingo for unencrypted data. Backdoors, in
other words, would make the Internet—and especially its burgeoning social media sector— “wiretappable.” “ .
Last three years historical news with facts and dates (When PHD proposal was written):
- On Thursday, 25 June 2009, British Prime Minister said “UK ‘has cyber attack capability” .
- On 22nd Feb 2010, Cyber attacks will ‘catastrophically’ spook public, warns GCHQ .
- 13th Oct 2010: Cyber attacks on UK hit 1,000 a month, says GCHQ chief .
- 18 Oct 2010: Cyber attack threat ‘could be next Pearl Harbor’ .
- On November 2010, FBI Director visited Silicon Valley .
- 4th Feb, 2011: William Hague: UK is under cyber-attack .
What was the purpose of my research
Since the dawn of wars and cold wars, anonymous communications has always been one of the main weapons for the protection of the national security of any country. The goals of anonymous communication system(s) were successful communication between one party with another without the interception and interruption of a third party. In the past, products of anonymous communication were designed for security reasons. With the advancement in technologies and availability of free software, some of these products can now be used by anyone with little know how to use these products. Unfortunately, nowadays, a handful of bad people are using these products for wrong purposes. Individuals/Securities companies who build those communication systems should learn lesson from history. Privacy of these products can be compromised, and to avoid it, I will do research to enhance the privacy of anonymous communication systems.
. BBC World News. UK ‘has cyber attack capability’. BBC News. [Online] 25 06 2009. [Cited: 28 10 2011]. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8118729.stm.
. Williams, Chris. Cyber attacks will ‘catastrophically’ spook public, warns GCHQ. The Register. [Online] 22 02 2010. [Cited: 28 10 2011.] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/22/csoc_report/.
. Shipman, Tim. Cyber attacks on UK hit 1,000 a month, says GCHQ chief. The Daily Mail. [Online] The Daily Mail, 13 10 2010. [Cited: 28 10 2011.] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1319995/Cyber-attacks-UK-hit-1-000-month-says-GCHQ-chief.html.
. Gardham, Murray Wardrop and Duncan. Cyber attack threat ‘could be next Pearl Harbor’. The Telegraph. [Online] The Telegraph, 18 10 2010. [Cited: 28 10 2011.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/8070236/Cyber-attack-threat-could-be-next-Pearl-Harbor.html.
. Morozov, Evgeny. Bugger Off, Spying Online Is Perilous and Unnecessary. Boston Review. [Online] Boston Review. [Cited: 28 10 2011.] http://www.bostonreview.net/BR36.5/evgeny_morozov_internet_spying_privacy.php.
. BBC News. William Hague: UK is under cyber-attack. BBC News. [Online] BBC News, 04 02 2011. [Cited: 28 10 2011.] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12371056.
. Professor Steven J Murdoch, https://www.christs.cam.ac.uk/college/people/fellows/professor-steven-j-murdoch, Date of publication: unknown, Date of access: 21st Dec, 2022.
. Andrew Martin (computer scientist), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Martin_(computer_scientist), Date of publication: 21st Oct
2009, Date of access: 28th Oct 2011.
. Ross J. Anderson – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_J._Anderson/, Date of publication: 12th Jul 2002, Date of access:28th Oct 2011.
. Bruce Schneier – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Schneier, Date of publication: unknown, Date of access: 21st Dec 2022.
. Tor Project, https://www.torproject.org/, Date of publication: unknown, Date of access: 21st Dec 2022.
One comment on “PHD Proposal – Privacy Enhancing Technologies to Support Anonymous Communication”
Amazingly written, a pack of fully loaded knowledge with some extra facts!!
Cheers to the most learnt & experienced person I know individually. Wish you all the biggest success in the future:)