IDSS Distinguished Seminar – Phillip Rogaway (UC Davis)
Title: The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work
Abstract: Cryptography rearranges power: it configures who can do
what, from what. This makes cryptography an inherently political tool,
and it confers on the field an intrinsically moral dimension. The Snowden
revelations motivate a reassessment of the political and moral positioning
of cryptography. They lead one to ask if our inability to effectively
address mass surveillance constitutes a failure of our field. I believe that
it does. I call for a community-wide effort to develop more effective means
to resist mass surveillance. I plead for a reinvention of our disciplinary
culture to attend not only to puzzles and math, but, also, to the societal
implications of our work.
Bio: Phillip Rogaway studied cryptography at MIT (1991), then
worked as a security architect for IBM before joining the
faculty at the University of California, Davis in 1994.
Co-inventor of “practice-oriented provable security,” Phil’s
work seeks to meld cryptographic theory and cryptographic
practice in a mutually beneficial way. Beyond his technical
work, Phil is also interested in social and ethical problems
associated to technology.