International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Ian Miers


Asymmetric Message Franking: Content Moderation for Metadata-Private End-to-End Encryption 📺
Content moderation is crucial for stopping abusive and harassing messages in online platforms. Existing moderation mechanisms, such as message franking, require platform providers to be able to associate user identifiers to encrypted messages. These mechanisms fail in metadata-private messaging systems, such as Signal, where users can hide their identities from platform providers. The key technical challenge preventing moderation is achieving cryptographic accountability while preserving deniability.In this work, we resolve this tension with a new cryptographic primitive: asymmetric message franking (AMF) schemes. We define strong security notions for AMF schemes, including the first formal treatment of deniability in moderation settings. We then construct, analyze, and implement an AMF scheme that is fast enough to use for content moderation of metadata-private messaging.
Updatable and Universal Common Reference Strings with Applications to zk-SNARKs 📺
By design, existing (pre-processing) zk-SNARKs embed a secret trapdoor in a relation-dependent common reference strings (CRS). The trapdoor is exploited by a (hypothetical) simulator to prove the scheme is zero knowledge, and the secret-dependent structure facilitates a linear-size CRS and linear-time prover computation. If known by a real party, however, the trapdoor can be used to subvert the security of the system. The structured CRS that makes zk-SNARKs practical also makes deploying zk-SNARKS problematic, as it is difficult to argue why the trapdoor would not be available to the entity responsible for generating the CRS. Moreover, for pre-processing zk-SNARKs a new trusted CRS needs to be computed every time the relation is changed.In this paper, we address both issues by proposing a model where a number of users can update a universal CRS. The updatable CRS model guarantees security if at least one of the users updating the CRS is honest. We provide both a negative result, by showing that zk-SNARKs with private secret-dependent polynomials in the CRS cannot be updatable, and a positive result by constructing a zk-SNARK based on a CRS consisting only of secret-dependent monomials. The CRS is of quadratic size, is updatable, and is universal in the sense that it can be specialized into one or more relation-dependent CRS of linear size with linear-time prover computation.