Computer scientists named runners up for PET Award

Halderman, Wustrow, and Wolchock Enlarge
Halderman, Wustrow, and Wolchock

A team of computer science security researchers including Professor J. Alex Halderman, PhD students Eric Wustrow and Scott Wolchok, and Professor Ian Goldberg at the University of Waterloo have been recognized as a runner-up for the annual Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PET) award, which is given each year at the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium. The award is given for “Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies” and draws from the realm of papers published in any venue over the previous year.

The team was recognized for their paper, “Telex: Anticensorship in the Network Infrastructure,” which was originally presented at the 20th USENIX Security Symposium in 2011. Telex is a new approach to circumventing Internet censorship that is intended to help the citizens of repressive governments to freely access online services and information. Telex would place anticensorship technology into the Internet’s core network infrastructure, essentially turning the whole web into a proxy server and making it far more difficult than today for a censoring government to block individual sites.

More information about Telex is available at the researchers’ project website.

Prof. Halderman received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton in 2009 and joined the faculty at Michigan the same year. He is a noted security expert whose research spans applied computer security and tech-centric public policy. His research projects have dealt with electronic voting, software security, data privacy, anticensorship, digital rights management, and cybercrime. He has taught EECS 588, Computer and Network Security, and EECS 398, Introduction to Computer Security. In Fall 2012, he will teach Securing Digital Democracy, a massive open online course through Coursera.