VSSE: application to FOIA


The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows citizens of a democracy to request access to documents- emails, memos, voice messages and so forth- concerning the functioning of the government. In this work, we address the problem of retrieving all the emails of a user- presumably an employee at a public institution obligated to respond to FOIA requests- containing a specific keyword while preserving the privacy of their emails. This is done using Verifiable Searchable Symmetric Encryption (VSSE). SSE schemes ensure that a curious Cloud Service Provider (CSP) learns nothing about the stored emails by suitably encrypting their plaintexts while maintaining the capability to search the stored data for specific tokens. The verifiability ensures that a CSP does not suppress a part of query response which is crucial to the FOIA setting. The result of our work is an open-source Python application that implements the desired VSSE scheme.

Dec 8, 2021 4:00 PM
Milind Kumar V
Milind Kumar V
PhD student, CSL

I am interested in 5G and the decentralization of wireless technology.