Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

UC Berkeley

Rangzen: Circumventing Government-Imposed Communication Blackouts

Giulia Fanti, Yahel Ben David, Sebastian Benthall, Eric Brewer and Scott Shenker

EECS Department
University of California, Berkeley
Technical Report No. UCB/EECS-2013-128
July 6, 2013

http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2013/EECS-2013-128.pdf

A challenging problem in dissent networking is that of circumventing large-scale communication blackouts imposed by oppressive governments. Although prior work has not focused on the need for user anonymity, we contend that it is essential. Without anonymity, governments can use communication networks to track and persecute users. A key challenge for decentralized networks is that of resource allocation and control. Network resources must be shared in a manner that deprioritizes unwanted traffic and abusive users. This task is typically addressed through reputation systems that conflict with anonymity. Our work addresses this paradox: We prioritize resources in a privacy-preserving manner to create an attack-resilient, anonymity-preserving, mobile ad-hoc network. Our prioritization mechanism exploits the properties of a social trust graph to promote messages relayed via trusted nodes. We present Rangzen, a microblogging solution that uses smartphones to opportunistically relay messages among citizens in a delay-tolerant network (DTN) that is independent of government or corporate-controlled infrastructure.


BibTeX citation:

@techreport{Fanti:EECS-2013-128,
    Author = {Fanti, Giulia and Ben David, Yahel and Benthall, Sebastian and Brewer, Eric and Shenker, Scott},
    Title = {Rangzen: Circumventing Government-Imposed Communication Blackouts},
    Institution = {EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley},
    Year = {2013},
    Month = {Jul},
    URL = {http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2013/EECS-2013-128.html},
    Number = {UCB/EECS-2013-128},
    Abstract = {A challenging problem in dissent networking is that of circumventing large-scale communication blackouts imposed
by oppressive governments. Although prior work has not focused on the need for user anonymity, we contend that it is essential. Without anonymity, governments can use communication networks to track and persecute users. A key challenge for decentralized networks is that of resource allocation and control. Network resources must be shared in a manner that deprioritizes unwanted traffic and abusive users. This task is typically addressed through reputation systems that conflict with anonymity. Our work addresses this paradox: We prioritize resources in a privacy-preserving manner to create an attack-resilient, anonymity-preserving, mobile ad-hoc network. Our prioritization mechanism exploits the properties of a social trust graph to promote messages relayed via trusted nodes. We present Rangzen, a microblogging solution that uses smartphones to opportunistically relay messages among citizens in a delay-tolerant network (DTN) that is independent of government or corporate-controlled infrastructure.}
}

EndNote citation:

%0 Report
%A Fanti, Giulia
%A Ben David, Yahel
%A Benthall, Sebastian
%A Brewer, Eric
%A Shenker, Scott
%T Rangzen: Circumventing Government-Imposed Communication Blackouts
%I EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley
%D 2013
%8 July 6
%@ UCB/EECS-2013-128
%U http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2013/EECS-2013-128.html
%F Fanti:EECS-2013-128