The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded a total of $1.7 million to Yale University. The funds are meant to aid in the development of technology that can protect an individual’s identity and location again malicious tracking and surveillance.
The project, “PriFi Networking for Tracking-Resistant Mobile Computing,” is part of a more extensive Data Privacy program led by DHS S&T’s Cyber Security Division. Amid the increasing sophistication of hackers and the proliferation of damaging cyber attacks, the program aims to create easy, innovative, and cost-effective technology that protects privacy and can be easily deployed.
The program aligns with DHS S&T’s long-time mission to protect the identity and location of their personnel via the development of accountable, anonymous communications.
“Keeping the homeland secure depends on both guarding and granting access to secure systems, facilities, and other resources,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “Protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is vital to the DHS mission and S&T has a long-standing interest in privacy-enhancing technologies.”
DHS S&T’s Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) Data Privacy program is alignedwith the Federal Cyber Security Research and Development (R&D) strategic initiatives to develop a targeted set of research priorities to ensure that cyberspace is safe, trustworthy and prosperous. Specifically, the program provides the federal R&D community with expertise and resources to enhance the security and privacy of future technology development.
“Cyber threats are rapidly shifting and privacy related breaches are increasing in frequency and impact,” said Anil John, S&T Data Privacy Program Manager. “S&T CSD is working to develop innovative solutions that ensure the protection of individual privacy is consistent with applicable law, policy and mission.”
The award will support the efforts of a Yale University team, led by Dr. Joan Feigenbaum, to potentially build an anti-tracking and location-private network access mechanism that protects members of an organization while they are both on and off-site. The project will build on recent advances of state-of-the-art anonymity technology.