Anonymity and Privacy -- Spring '06

COMS E6184
Thu 04:10P-06:00 PM
Computer Science Conference Room (CSB 453)
TA: None yet
Courseworks page

"Anonymity and Privacy" will be taught as a seminar class. Students will be expected to read a wide variety of papers; these will include technical papers, statutes, court opinions, and the like. Prerequisites include reasonable familiarity with networking and cryptography. Grading will be based on class presentations of these papers -- the exact number will depend on the total enrollment --class discussion, and on two papers, one in lieu of the midterm and one in lieu of the final. There will be no exams.

Topics will include:

The reading list is subject to change in response to current events.

Please subscribe to the class mailing list via the web at p>Homework assignments should be submitted by emailing them to smb+6184 at the obvious domain name.

Background Reading on Cryptographic Protocols

Those who have no background in cryptographic protocols should read

Jan 19
Introduction: What is Privacy?
Jan 26
The Web: Cookies

The first reading item is technical background to understand the how the privacy threats are implemented. The second is a description of how Doubleclick works. Today, they have a very complete privacy policy; years ago, they were a poster child for privacy misbehavior. The third section is to analyze the privacy policies of two different pairs of major Internet sites, Google and Amazon/A9.

Feb 2
The Web: Protecting Privacy on the Web

There are many more links about P3P at

Feb 9
Anonymous Connectivity For more papers, see

Feb 16
Traffic Analysis

Feb 23
Side Channels
March 2
Legal Foundations of Privacy
Mar 9
Legal Foundations; Wiretapping
Mar 23
Database Nation; Link Analysis
Mar 30
Privacy and Data Mining (technical)
April 6
Digital Cash

April 13

April 20

April 27

Final paper The final paper must be submitted by Thursday, May 11, at 7:00 pm. which is when the final for this class would be held.