Course Info


We’ll take a first principles approach to learning about the cryptography and protocols that are widely used on the Internet. If you’re likely to see something in a PCAP or the physical layer of an Internet hop, we want to understand why things work the way they do all the way down the physics, history, and mathematics that define it. E.g., to understand the crypto behind applications and protocols such as HTTPS (i.e., TLS), Tor, Signal/WhatsApp, WPA3, etc. we’ll drill all the way down into classical and quantum physics. To understand why IP and TCP fields such as the IPID, TTL, source port, and flags are set in certain ways (e.g., randomized) we’ll cover the major side channel attacks that shaped these protocols and implementations over the past 50 years. To understand why Internet censorship and circumvention tools and techniques work the way they do, we’ll start with how basic results from distributed systems and Einstein’s theory of special relativity define the parameters of this adversarial relationship.

Midterm and Final dates


Monday Readings

If you’re interested in more cenroship-related papers, check out CensorBib

Homework assignments