Towards Usable Dining Cryptographer Networks with Howl

Towards Usable Dining Cryptographer Networks with Howl – Tyler Kell


Anonymous communication is important for dissidents, activists, whistleblowers, journalists, and any individuals that might be under surveillance by other parties. Dining Cryptographer Networks (DC-Nets) provide the strongest anonymity protections and the lowest possible latency of any current cryptographic solution. Unfortunately DC-Nets are faced with three fatal flaws that prevent their deployment in the real world: prohibitive bandwidth consumption, denial of service attacks (DoS) by participants, and low fault tolerance. In this talk, I will present Howl, our new open source project and decentralized anonymity network that solves these issues to make DC-Nets usable in the real world. We leverage a new aggregation protocol for bandwidth and fault tolerance issues, and use trusted execution environments (TEEs) to prevent DoS. All privacy is handled by the DC-net protocol and at no point does broadcast privacy rely on the trusted execution environment or aggregation network.


Tyler Kell is a Research Engineer at Cornell Tech in New York City. In a prior life, before becoming a researcher, he worked as a penetration tester and security consultant.