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[liberationtech] "Ibis: An Overlay Mix Network for Microblogging" by Ian Goldberg

Steve Weis steveweis at
Wed Sep 18 21:50:45 PDT 2013

It was an interesting talk. The gist is that they've shrunk the overhead of
the Sphinx mix net (
to 47 bytes. They've done this by removing the requirement for message
replies and using curve25519 for ECC. They've also encoded ciphertext with
CJK characters to make up most of the 47-byte overhead and let you post
close to 140 ASCII characters.

That lets them use Twitter as a medium for mix net messages. Users will
encrypt messages using a chosen path of Ibis mix net nodes, label them with
a hash tag, and either tweet the encrypted message or send it directly
through an Ibis node IP address.

Ibis nodes will watch for messages with specific tags. When they detect
them, they'll decrypt a mix net layer and pass them along to the next node.
The final node will post the payload as a retweet.

They are still trying to push through a security proof for the paper before
posting it, along with a command-line client. I think Ian Goldberg said it
would be up at

On Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 7:09 PM, Tom Ritter <tom at> wrote:

> This looks interesting!  Am I being dense, or is there a paper or
> slides or anything somewhere non-Stanfordites can read?
> -tom
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