Due to Burning Man last week, I missed the real first week of classes. Thus, this week was the first for me.
Jean's class was a blast - and covered such fun topics as:
rightwing nutjobs posting the names of abortion doctors,
the right to privacy of john/jane doe in lawsuits,
the right of consenting adults to engage in non-typical sexual behavior,
and more craziness on the part of republicans.
It's really really cool to be taking a security related class with someone who is actually willing to talk about the societal + legal related issuesthat come along for the ride.
It's also awesome to be able to bring up Lawrence v. Texas and data protection in the same discussion.
Major high hopes for this class.
Markus's class proved to be exceedingly cool - mainly due to the fact that Roger Dingledine and Paul Syverson are in town for the next 2 weeks doing a guest lecture/visiting researcher thing.
They spent the class giving an intro to Tor, which wasn't too informative - due to the fact that I'm an avid Tor user, and implemented the v1 onion routing protocol as a class project back at Hopkins.
Markus's class is going to involve significant amounts of groupwork - which I'm always weary of. You never know who you're going to end up with, and how lazy/incompentent they'll be.
I've been assigned to a group doing something Phishing related.
The other half of the class is working on Click-Fraud - which is easily much much sexier and hot. However, it's probably a good idea for me to keep away from click-fraud related stuff for the near future, just to keep on the good side of my Google NDA.
My 3rd and final class is a security seminar. 4 students, one professor, we each present 2 papers - which we are assigned from a shortlist of 5 papers we give to the prof.
It doesn't look too bad. I'm just hoping my peers don't choose insanely boring papers.
The evening was wrapped up with a 3 hour dinner with Paul and Roger over turkish food.
Quite a few things were discussed - including open problems facing the Tor project.
Roger and I still don't see eye to eye on the future of Tor - but thats ok, because its his project ;)
To be able to sell my case, I need a sexy story.
The problem here, is that Chinese pro-democracy dissidents don't currently need to be able to use Bit Torrent anonymously. In fact, they really don't need to exchange multiple gigabytes of data on a regular basis...
Thus, I need to find a new and improved story - one that is better than Chinese Dissidents, and involves vast amounts of anonymous data.