Dr Joss Wright

 Dr Joss Wright

Joss Wright's research interests lie in cryptography, privacy-enhancing technologies and anonymous communications. His current research focuses on analysing Internet censorship, and data anonymization.


Dr Joss Wright gained his PhD in Computer Science at the University of York, where his work focused on the description and analysis of anonymous communication mechanisms. Following this, he spent time at the University of Siegen in Germany examining security and privacy issues in cloud computing.

Joss's interests lie in the area of anonymous and censorship-resistant communications, cryptographic fundamentals and in the wider field of privacy enhancing technologies, their applications and their implications.

At the OII, Joss is working on the "Being There" project, which looks at privacy in public spaces, and a Google-funded project analysing Internet censorship.

Areas of Interest for Doctoral Supervision

Censorship, computational social science, cryptography, ethics, governance, privacy, public policy, security, surveillance, machine learning

Research interests

Internet censorship, privacy, anonymity, cryptography, security, social implications of surveillance and privacy technologies, data minimisation

Positions held at the OII

  • Research Fellow, November 2012 -
  • Fresnel Research Fellow, January 2010 - November 2012


Current projects

Past projects

  • Ethical Privacy Guidelines for Mobile Connectivity Measurements

    May - August 2013

    This project is developing concrete guidance with regards to privacy and data protection for researchers using Internet measurement tools for mobile phones in a usable and understandable format.

  • Future Home Networks and Services

    May 2011 - April 2014

    This project is addressing home network and service security by researching and developing security frameworks for sharing between networks and devices, protocols to connect devices with cloud services, and security analysis of remote management systems.

  • FRESNEL: Federated Secure Sensor Network Laboratory

    January 2010 - April 2013

    FRESNEL aims to build a large scale federated sensor network framework with multiple applications sharing the same resources, where reliable intra-application communication is guaranteed, as well as a scalable and distributed management infrastructure.

  • SUBITO: Surveillance of Unattended Baggage and the Identification and Tracking of the Owner

    July 2009 - October 2011

    SUBITO is designed to research and further develop automated real time detection of abandoned luggage, fast identification of the individual responsible and his/her subsequent path and current location.

  • IMSK: Integrated Mobile Security Kit

    March 2009 - March 2013

    IMSK integrates information from legacy and novel sensor technologies into common operational picture where information is fused into intelligence, in a mobile system suitable for rapid deployment at venues which temporarily need enhanced security.



Conference papers




Courses taught at the OII

  • Internet Technologies and Regulation

    Exploring the interplay between social and technological shaping of the Internet, and associated policy implications. It outlines the Internet's origins and technical architecture and its embeddedness in a long history of communication technologies.

DPhil students supervised at the OII

Current students




  • A Quick Investigation of EdgeCast CDN Blocking in China

    Joss Wright on 18 Nov 2014 21:05PM

    This morning, GreatFire.org published a story stating that EdgeCast CDN, one of the more popular content distribution networks that handles content for a number of large websites, has been blocked by the Chinese national filter. As a result, a friend [...]

  • Open Rights Group Report: “Digital Surveillance”

    Joss Wright on 16 May 2013 21:33PM

    The Open Rights Group have recently released “Digital Surveillance – Why the Snoopers’ Charter is the wrong approach: A call for targeted and accountable investigatory powers”. The report sets out various arguments as to why the proposed [...]

  • Chinese Internet Filtering: The Curious Case of the Florida Pet Club

    Joss Wright on 23 Dec 2012 16:22PM

    Of the various ways to filter the internet, manipulating DNS is probably the simplest and cheapest in terms of resources. DNS, the Domain Name Service, is the mapping between the human-readable URLs that we use, like https://www.pseudonymity.net, and the [...]

  • Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI’12)

    Joss Wright on 31 Mar 2012 14:04PM

    Following on from the fantastically interesting FOCI workshop last year, I am co-chairing this year’s FOCI workshop along with Roger Dingledine of the Tor Project. The workshop will again be co-located with USENIX Security, which is being held this [...]

  • Discussing Online Privacy in the Observer, with Tom Chatfield

    Joss Wright on 4 Mar 2012 20:12PM

    I was recently approached by the Observer to take part in an email-based discussion with Tom Chatfield about online privacy and the direction that companies like Facebook and Google are taking us. It was a lot of fun to write, over the course of a day, [...]

  • Presentation on Mapping Chinese Censorship

    Joss Wright on 29 Dec 2011 11:37AM

    I recently presented my work on censorship mapping to my colleagues at the OII, including a couple of maps with early analysis of DNS manipulation in Chinese cities. The analysis is very preliminary, and there are considerable caveats even for the early [...]

  • Freedom of Communication on the Internet Workshop (FOCI): Fine-Grained Censorship Mapping — Information Sources, Legality and Ethics

    Joss Wright on 2 Nov 2011 23:25PM

    This year saw the first workshop on Freedom of Communications on the Internet, co-located with USENIX Security in San Francisco. My contribution, co-authored with Ian Brown and Tulio de Souza, focused both on the means for mapping censorship in greater [...]

  • Experiences of Chinese Internet Censorship

    Joss Wright on 12 Sep 2011 15:51PM

    I was recently invited to speak at Dalian Technical University, in Liaoning Province in Northern China, and took the opportunity afterwards to spend three weeks travelling around China with my family. (Finally putting several years of studying Mandarin [...]

  • Freedom of Communications on the Internet (FOCI) Workshop

    Joss Wright on 27 Feb 2011 18:08PM

    I’m on my way back from the Workshop on Free and Open Communication on the Internet (FOCI) that was held in the last few days at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Hosted by Nick Feamster, FOCI brought together a number of computer scientists, activists, [...]

  • Contentious Connections

    Joss Wright on 6 Jan 2011 18:07PM

    I have a comment piece in the Guardian today about network neutrality and BT’s Content Connect service. The online version is here. I’ll let the article stand largely by itself, whilst pleading the difficulty of putting the net neutrality [...]

  • Wikileaks Lessons for Privacy-Enhancing Technologies

    Joss Wright on 10 Dec 2010 14:33PM

    I had been studiously avoiding writing about Wikileaks. I’ve been interviewed a couple of times in the last few days on various aspects of the ongoing saga, though, and it has highlighted some points that I think are worth mentioning. (Slightly [...]

  • Media reports on Chinese Internet ‘hijacking’

    Joss Wright on 19 Nov 2010 01:09AM

    Another media story on China and the Internet has been widely reported today, although with a somewhat depressing lack of detail and excess of hysteria. I was interviewed today on the BBC about the story (my comments start around 01:34) and so spent a [...]

  • Amazon’s Kindle and Anti-Censorship in China

    Joss Wright on 9 Nov 2010 23:36PM

    There's been quite a media buzz in the last few days regarding the ability of Amazon's new 3G Kindle to bypass China's Great Firewall[1]. I was recently interviewed on BBC World News about how the Kindle does this, and what some of the implications are. [...]