SAM SIG: Architecting Anonymity: Two Case Studies



  • The Monthly Meeting of the SAM SIG


    Presentation Overview

    A lot of time, energy, and thought is devoted to security and authentication when architecting modern software systems, while the other side of the coin, anonymity, is often ignored or seen as an outright negative. Yet anonymity, either intentional or implicit, is an important part of most social and business systems. This talk covers two projects that focused specifically on anonymity.

    Rumor Monger was developed and distributed within Apple Computer circa 1990. It was an early peer-to-peer instant messaging system with some unique features, built on an “epidemic” algorithm for information distribution developed at Xerox PARC. Rumor monger was widely, if informally, used within Apple for a number of years. It was not initially intended to be about anonymity, but was quickly and forcefully moved in that direction by the users.

    The second system to be described was developed very explicitly to be anonymous for an experiment introducing anonymity into face-to-face meetings at Microsoft Research. Unlike Rumor Monger, it was built and used only within a tightly focused experiment and in very controlled settings.

    The decisions that went into the architecture, design, development, and deployment of both systems will be discussed, as well as the results achieved and some of the implications.


    About the Presenter

    Harry Chesley

    Harry Chesley has over thirty years of experience developing networked, multimedia, and social computing applications. He has worked at SRI, Apple Computer, Macromedia, and Microsoft.


    Event Logistics


    Cubberley Community Center

    4000 Middlefield Road, Room H-1

    Palo Alto, CA


    6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Registration/Networking/Refreshments/Pizza

    7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Presentations



    $15 at the door for non-SDForum members

    No charge for SDForum members

    Please call 408.494.8378 for student memberships

    No registration required

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