Paul Grubbs earns Meta award to study interoperability in end-to-end encrypted messaging

Grubbs was one of ten awardees selected as part of the Privacy-Enhancing Technologies Award program.
Paul Grubbs
Paul Grubbs

Paul Grubbs, assistant professor in CSE, has received a 2022 Meta Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PET) Award to study the emerging issue of interoperability in end-to-end encrypted messaging. PET projects aim to minimize and secure the data collected, processed, and shared by Meta products. Grubbs is one of ten awardees among 161 proposals.

New legislation in the EU – the recent Digital Markets Act – requires encrypted messaging platforms to interoperate: someone using Signal must be able to message their friend on Whatsapp. But, Grubbs says, these encrypted messaging platforms were not designed to interoperate with each other. Making them interoperate securely and efficiently raises many challenging research questions. Grubbs’ research will tackle these questions.

Grubbs works at the intersection of cryptography and systems, designing and analyzing end-to-end encrypted systems using theoretical tools from cryptography, empirical methods, and practical knowledge of real systems.