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Hiding from Whom? Threat-models and in-the-making encryption technologies

Abstract : Following the Snowden revelations, end-to-end encryption is becoming increasingly widespread in messaging tools-solutions that propose a large variety of ways to conceal, obfuscate, disguise private communications and online activities. Designing privacy-enhancing tools requires the identification of a threat-model that serves to agree upon an appropriate threshold of anonymity and confidentiality for a particular context of usage. We discuss different use-cases, from "nothing-to-hide" low-risk situations, to high-risk scenarios in war zones or in authoritarian contexts, to question how users, trainers and developers co-construct threat-models, decide on which data to conceal and how to do it. We demonstrate that classic oppositions such as high-risk versus low-risk, privacy versus security, should be redefined within a more relational, processual and contextual approach.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02320706
Contributor : Francesca Musiani <>
Submitted on : Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 11:35:24 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 10:16:07 AM
Document(s) archivé(s) le : Monday, January 20, 2020 - 12:26:07 PM

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Ksenia Ermoshina, Francesca Musiani. Hiding from Whom? Threat-models and in-the-making encryption technologies. Intermédialités : Histoire et théorie des arts, des lettres et des techniques / History and Theory of the Arts, Literature and Technologies, Erudit, 2018, Cacher/Concealing, ⟨10.7202/1058473ar⟩. ⟨halshs-02320706⟩

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