Last month, Associate Professor Seny Kamara of Brown University's Computer Science Department (Brown CS) delivered an invited talk ("Encrypted Search: From Theory to Practice") at the Computing Community Consortium (CCC)'s Computing Research: Addressing National Priorities and Societal Needs workshop. Held in Washington, DC, the event was a "research visioning" workshop to imagine, discuss, and debate the future of computing and its role in addressing social needs.
Seny delivered his talk on Tuesday, May 10, and served with two other colleagues on the "Privacy via Cryptography" panel, which discussed secure multi-party computation, fully-homomorphic encryption, and Seny's talk, which anticipates his Fall 2016 teaching at Brown CS. "Encrypted search," he explains, "is one of the most potentially impactful research topics in cryptography. Secure and efficient encrypted search could change how we store and process data, allowing us to design cloud services, databases, and storage systems that are both privacy-protecting and usable."
Research in encrypted search is now 15 years old and is more active and relevant than ever due to the emergence of cloud computing and consumer, enterprise, and government concerns over data privacy. Seny's talk begins with the evolution of the field from its inception until the current day and describes the theoretical and practical advances that pushed the field forward. He also discusses where research in encrypted search is headed and surveys the latest and most exciting directions, including the design of inference attacks and the expansion of encrypted search techniques to graph and relational databases. Finally, he highlights some of the most important theoretical and practical open problems in the area.
"This was a great event," Seny says. "It touched on some of the most exciting and potentially impactful developments in all areas of computing, and I'm really looking forward to expanding on some of the topics in my talk when we start CSCI2950-V Topics in Applied Cryptography this fall."
For more information, please click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.