SecurePost: Verified Group-Anonymity on Social Media presented at FOCI 2017

by Ben Y. Zhao, Michael Nekrasov, Daniel Iland, Miriam Metzger, Elizabeth Belding,

Summary : As Internet freedoms are increasingly threatened both at home and abroad, marginalized groups, such as journalists, activists, and government watchdogs require new tools to retain free and open discourse on-line. In this paper, we introduce SecurePost - a tool for verified group anonymity on social media. SecurePost gives social media posters anonymity while safeguarding group credibility through the use of revocable asymmetric keys and an anonymizing proxy. It provides trust to readers via the use of HMAC verification signatures appended to posts verifying integrity and authenticity of a post. We root our work in survey-based research and ethnographic interviews conducted with marginalized groups in Mongolia, Turkey, and Zambia from 2014 to 2016. SecurePost widens the toolkit of security applications, by giving vulnerable communities a way of balancing individual anonymity and safety with group credibility.