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Faceless: Decentralized Anonymous Group Messaging for Online Social Networks

Xiaoxiao Song, David Isaac Wolinsky, and Bryan Ford
Yale University

5th Workshop on Social Network Systems
April 10, 2012


Social networks (SNs) enable physically distributed groups to communicate seamlessly. Unfortunately such communi- cation can be easily mined by adversaries in attempts to breach users’ privacy or suppress open discussion on sensi- tive topics. While anonymous posting can help protect users by hiding the link between individuals and the messages they post, existing anonymization schemes are centralized or vul- nerable to well-known attacks. To offer stronger protection for free speech online, we propose a method for anonymous group communication using SNs called Faceless. Faceless leverages existing Internet-based SNs for convenience in managing groups and users’ public identities, but augments these centralized services with a decentralized anonymous posting overlay offering provable anonymity guarantees, re- sisting even group infiltration and traffic analysis attacks.

Paper: PDF

Topics: Privacy Anonymity Social Networks Bryan Ford