International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research

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PhD Student (funded)
The Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday. Royal Holloway University,Egham
Project Title: Social and Societal Foundations of Cryptography: The Case of Large-Scale Protests. The Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday at Royal Holloway seeks to recruit PhD students who will explore the social and societal foundations of cryptography. Cryptography is a field that actively interrogates its foundations. These foundations are, unsurprisingly and sensibly, understood to be of the complexity-theoretic and mathematical variety. However, cryptographic security notions -- and everything that depends on them -- do not exist in a vacuum, they have reasons to be. While the immediate objects of cryptography are not social relations, it presumes and models them. This fact is readily acknowledged in the introductions of cryptographic papers which illustrate the utility of the work by reference to some social situation where several parties have conflicting ends but a need or desire to interact. Yet, this part of the definitional work has not received the same rigour from the cryptographic community as complexity-theoretic and mathematical questions. This project aims to take first steps towards remedying this situation by grounding cryptographic security notions in findings emerging from ethnographic fieldwork in adversarial situations. In particular, it considers protesters in large-scale protests and aims to understand their security needs, practices and the technologies they rely upon. The project then also analyses these technologies, i.e. attempts to break their security, and proposes new solutions based on the findings from fieldwork. By bringing cryptographic security notions to *the field*, the project provokes a series of security questions about, for example, confidentiality and anonymity in online and offline networks, trust relations and how to establish them, onboarding and authentication practices. We seek applicants with either a background in mathematics and/or computer science or related disciplines or a background in ethnography or experience using related qualitative social science methods
Contact: The studentship includes * Tuition fees: * Maintenance: £21,285 for each academic year. The CDT in Cyber Security for the Everyday can offer up to ten studentships per year, three of which can be awarded to international students (which includes EU and EEA.) contact Prof Martin Albrecht
Last updated: 2020-12-11 posted on 2020-12-10