The Internet revolution enabled private users across the world to send and receive messages to one another. Coupled with cryptographic techniques like public key encryption and digital signatures, this gave rise to the development of the world wide web, e-commerce, and so many other technological changes that we routinely take for granted today. We are now facing a second revolution in which we are changing not just how we communicate, but how we compute. More and more we are sending large datasets to untrusted servers, having them perform calculations on our behalf. From our cell phones and our GPS units, we send compromising information to our service providers in order to outsource the computation that we cannot do on-the-go. Cryptography has a new role to play in these emerging environments.
The PI intends to explore the theoretical underpinnings of the cryptographic challenges that arise in this context. The proposed directions of research touch on the following questions: -- How can we safely allow others to perform computation on our encrypted data while maintaining its privacy? -- How can we verify that outsourced computation was done correctly? -- What stronger security models are needed in this new, highly interactive environment?
The PI will address the theoretical aspects of these problems, including modeling, protocol design, and negative results. As part of her investigations, PI will study the powerful cryptographic primitives of fully homomorphic encryption and functional encryption (in particular, the relationship between them and outsourced and verifiable computations), as well as the area of leakage-resilient cryptography.