“Automatically Learning how to Evade Censorship”

Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:00 PM

Location: LTS Auditorium, 8080 Greenmead Drive

Dave Levin
Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and UMIACS

Researchers and censoring regimes have long engaged in a cat-and-mouse game, leading to increasingly sophisticated Internet-scale censorship techniques and methods to evade them.

This talk will introduce a drastic departure from the previously manual evade-detect cycle: applying artificial intelligence techniques to automate the discovery of censorship evasion strategies. I will demonstrate that, by training AI against live censors, one can glean new insights into how censorship works around the world, and how to circumvent it.

I will present some of the counterintuitive strategies our technique has discovered, some of which exploit what appear to be bugs in the Great Firewall of China.

Speaker Bio:
Dave Levin is an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Maryland.

His research centers on network security, measurement, and building secure systems.

Levin has received multiple best paper awards, the IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize, the IEEE Cybersecurity Award for Innovation, and a Microsoft Live Labs Fellowship.

He is also co-chair of UMD’s CS Honors program and the founder of Breakerspace, a research lab for undergraduate students.