CITS Researchers Develop Trusted, Anonymous Communication App

CITS Affiliate researchers at UCSB have developed a mobile application that gives minority groups under authoritarian regimes a trusted and anonymous way to communicate. CITS affiliated doctoral student Michael Nekrasov is the lead author on the article published  in the Journal of Internet Services and Applications. CITS Affiliates Elizabeth Belding and Miriam Metzger, along with past CITS Director Lisa Parks co-authored the article. By developing a secure way to maintain anonymous group membership and communication, the researchers aimed to enable safe communication for politically vulnerable groups. The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between UCSB’s Computer Science and Communication departments along with MIT’s Department of Comparative Media. Read the full article in UCSB’s The Current.

App Screenshot

The researchers created an internet browser extension that automatically verifies posts’ authenticity. The cryptographic signature, visible under each post on the left, is hidden when running the extension on the right.

Photo Credit: Michael Nekrasov

Caption Credit: The Current