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|Born||1955 (age 62–63)|
|Residence||Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Alma mater||University of California Berkeley|
|Known for||DigiCash, ecash, IACR, mixes, voting systems|
|Doctoral advisor||Bernard Marcel Mont-Reynaud|
David Lee Chaum (born 1955) is an American computer scientist and cryptographer. He is famous for developing ecash, an electronic cash application that aims to preserve a user’s anonymity. He has also invented many cryptographic protocols and founded DigiCash, an electronic money corporation.:65–70 His 1981 paper, "Untraceable Electronic Mail, Return Addresses, and Digital Pseudonyms", laid the groundwork for the field of anonymous communications research.
Chaum gained a doctorate in computer science and business administration from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982. Also that year, he founded the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR), which currently organizes academic conferences in cryptography research.:47 Subsequently, he taught at the New York University Graduate School of Business Administration and at the University of California. He also formed a cryptography research group at the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He founded DigiCash, an electronic cash company, in 1990.:119
Chaum received the Information Technology European Award for 1995. In 2004, he was named an IACR Fellow. In 2010, he received the RSA Conference award for excellence in the field of mathematics.
Chaum is credited as the inventor of secure digital cash for his 1982 paper, which also introduced the cryptographic primitive of a blind signature. These ideas have been described as the technical roots of the vision of the Cypherpunk movement that began in the late 1980s. Chaum's proposal allowed users to obtain digital currency from a bank and spend it in a manner that is untraceable by the bank or any other party. In 1988, he extended this idea (with Amos Fiat and Moni Naor) to allow offline transactions that enable detection of double-spending.
In 1990, he founded DigiCash, an electronic cash company, in Amsterdam to commercialize the ideas in his research.:119 The first electronic payment was sent in 1994. In 1999, Chaum left the company.
In the same 1982 paper that proposed digital cash, Chaum introduced blind signatures. This form of digital signature blinds the content of a message before it is signed, so that the signer cannot determine the content. The resulting blind signature can be publicly verified against the original, unblinded message in the manner of a regular digital signature.
In 1989, he (with Hans van Antwerpen) introduced undeniable signatures. This form of digital signature uses a verification process that is interactive, so that the signatory can limit who can verify the signature. Since signers may refuse to participate in the verification process, signatures are considered valid unless a signer specifically uses a disavowal protocol to prove that a given signature was not authentic.
In 1991, he (with Eugene van Heyst) introduced group signatures, which allow a member of a group to anonymously sign a message on behalf of the entire group. However an appointed group manager holds the power to revoke the anonymity of any signer in the case of disputes.
In 1981, Chaum proposed the idea of an anonymous communication network in a paper. His proposal, called mix networks, allows a group of senders to submit an encryption of a message and its recipient to a server. Once the server has a batch of messages, it will reorder and obfuscate the messages so that only this server knows which message came from which sender. The batch is then forwarded to another server who does the same process. Eventually, the messages reach the final server where they are fully decrypted and delivered to the recipient. A mechanism to allow return messages is also proposed. Mix networks are the basis of some remailers and are the conceptual ancestor to modern anonymous web browsing tools like Tor (based on onion routing). Chaum has advocated that every router be made, effectively, a Tor node.
In 1988, Chaum introduced a different type of anonymous communication system called a DC-Net, which is a solution to his proposed Dining Cryptographers Problem. DC-Nets is the basis of the software tool Dissent.
Chaum has made numerous contributions to secure voting systems, including the first proposal of a system that is end-to-end verifiable. This proposal, made in 1981, was given as an application of mix networks. In this system, the individual ballots of voters were kept private which anyone could verify that the tally was counted correctly. This, and other early cryptographic voting systems, assumed that voters could reliably compute values with their personal computers. In 1991, Chaum introduced SureVote which allowed voters to cast a ballot from an untrustworthy voting system, proposing a process now called "code voting" and used in remote voting systems like Remotegrity.
In 1994, Chaum introduced the first in-person voting system in which voters cast ballots electronically at a polling station and cryptographically verify that the DRE did not modify their vote (or even learn what it was). In the following years, Chaum proposed (often with others) a series a cryptographically verifiable voting systems that use conventional paper ballots: Pret a Voter, Punchscan, and Scantegrity. The city of Takoma Park, Maryland used Scantegrity for its November, 2009 election. This was the first time a public sector election was run using any cryptographically verifiable voting system.
In 2011, Chaum proposed Random Sample Elections. This electoral system allows a verifiably random selection of voters, who can maintain their anonymity, to cast votes on behalf the entire electorate.
A near eye display patent application authored by David Chaum has been updated. "PERSPECTIVA - All styles of eyeglasses can be upgraded to overlay, anywhere you can see through them, digital imagary that is of unbeatable quality." "Invented then founded and led an effort that has demonstrated feasibility of a new paradigm for delivering light that digitally deconstructs images so that they can be reconstructed on the retina with dynamic focus and exquisite clarity." This augmented reality technology seems similar to Magic Leap, Hololens, and Oculus.
In 1985, Chaum proposed the original anonymous credential system, which is sometimes also referred to as a pseudonym system. This stems from the fact that the credentials of such a system are obtained from and shown to organizations using different pseudonyms which cannot be linked.
In 1988, Chaum with Gilles Brassard and Claude Crepeau published a paper that introduced zero-knowledge arguments, as well as a security model using information-theoretic private-channels, and also first formalized the concept of a commitment scheme.
Chaum contributed to an important commitment scheme which is often attributed to Pedersen. In fact, Pedersen, in his 1991 paper, cites a rump session talk on an unpublished paper by Jurjen Bos and Chaum for the scheme. It appeared even earlier in a paper by Chaum, Damgard, and Jeroen van de Graaf. The scheme is widely used as it is a simple perfectly hiding commitment, that is binding assuming the hardness of the discrete logarithm problem.
In 1993 with Stefan Brands, Chaum introduced the concept of a distance-bounding protocol. Using round-trip delay based on the speed of light, it allows one party to establish an upper-bound on the physical distance from another in an authenticated way.