Science on Tap
Season 2 • The Fun Continues
Thursday, August 1, 2013
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
4200 Central Ave SE
Watching the watchmen: Can you "see" Internet surveillance?
This talk will explore a question in the science of information and computation, which is: can you see when somebody is performing surveillance on you online? I'll start with some background about the global scene of Internet censorship and surveillance, explaining some of the techniques that we've used to document these two distinct, but related, phenomena. Censorship is relatively easy to detect. For example, if you try to post something sensitive on a social media site and your friends can't see the post, then it has probably been censored. Surveillance is much harder to detect, however, and in most cases detection is virtually impossible. I'll describe some on-going research at UNM about how to infer through scans what's going on deep in the bowels of the Internet, which may provide clues about different kinds of Internet surveillance infrastructures around the world.
Jed Crandall is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico. With the goal of protecting free and open communications online, Crandall's research group develops cutting-edge techniques for inferring what's really going on the Internet and in software that connects to the Internet. This entails things like network scanning techniques, reverse-engineering of machine code, and automated Asian-language natural language processing.