SecurePost: Verified Group-Anonymity on Social Media


Michael Nekrasov, Daniel Iland, Miriam Metzger, Ben Zhao, and Elizabeth Belding, UC Santa Barbara


As Internet freedoms are increasingly threatened both at home and abroad, marginalized groups, such as journalists, activists, and government watchdogs require new tools to retain free and open discourse on-line. In this paper, we introduce SecurePost - a tool for verified group anonymity on social media. SecurePost gives social media posters anonymity while safeguarding group credibility through the use of revocable asymmetric keys and an anonymizing proxy. It provides trust to readers via the use of HMAC verification signatures appended to posts verifying integrity and authenticity of a post. We root our work in survey-based research and ethnographic interviews conducted with marginalized groups in Mongolia, Turkey, and Zambia from 2014 to 2016. SecurePost widens the toolkit of security applications, by giving vulnerable communities a way of balancing individual anonymity and safety with group credibility.

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@inproceedings {205918,
author = {Michael Nekrasov and Daniel Iland and Miriam Metzger and Ben Zhao and Elizabeth Belding},
title = {SecurePost: Verified Group-Anonymity on Social Media },
booktitle = {7th {USENIX} Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet ({FOCI} 17)},
year = {2017},
address = {Vancouver, BC},
url = {},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},