Dr Joss Wright
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 FRESNEL project investigating the application of privacy enhancing technologies in wireless sensor networks.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Wright, J. (2013) Necessary and inherent limits to internet surveillance. Internet Policy Review.
- Wright, J. (2013) Regional Variation in Chinese Internet Filtering. Submitted.
- de Souza, T., Wright, J., O'Hanlon, P. and Brown, I. (2012) Set Difference Attacks in Wireless Sensor Networks. Proceedings of SecureComm, Italy, September 2012.
- Pham, V., Wright, J. and Dogan, K. (2011) A Practical Complexity-Theoretic Analysis of Mix Systems. Proceedings of ESORICS 2011, 12-15 September 2011, Leuven, Belgium.
- Wright, J., de Souza, T. and Brown, I. (2011) Fine-Grained Censorship Mapping: Information Sources, Legality and Ethics. FOCI'11 (USENIX Security Symposium), 8 August 2011, San Francisco.
- Wright, J. and Brown, I. (2010) Privacy Challenges in Delay-Tolerant and Restricted-Route Networks. Proceedings of the 2nd Extreme Workshop on Communication, Dharamsala, India, 4-10 September 2010.
- Wright, J. (2010) Obscured by Clouds: On the Privacy Implications of Cloud Computing. Proceedings of the 11th Czech Information Security Summit, Prague, Czech Republic, 24-26 May 2010.
- Pham, V. and Wright, J. (2009) Discussing Anonymity Metrics for Mix Based Anonymity Approaches. Proceedings of iNetSec 2009: Open Problems in Network Security. Zurich, Switzerland. 23-24 April 2009.
- Wright, J. and Stepney, S. (2008) Enforcing Behaviour with Anonymity. Proceedings of SecureComm 2008 / AlPaCa: Applications of Private and Anonymous Communications. Istanbul, Turkey. 22 September 2008.
- Zevenbergen, B., Brown,I., Wright, J., and Erdos, D. (2013) Ethical Privacy Guidelines for Mobile Connectivity Measurements. Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.
- Brown, I., Wright, J., et al. (2013) Comprehensive Study on Cybercrime. UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna. March 2013.
- Wright, J., Stepney, S., Clark, J.A. and Jacob, J. (2005) Formalizing Anonymity: A Review. University of York Technical (Yellow) Report. University of York, Heslington, York. YO10 5DD. UK.
- Wright, J. (2007) Characterising Anonymity Systems. University of York, Heslington, York. YO10 5DD. UK.
Courses taught at the OII
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.
Recorded on: 28 November 2012 Duration: 00:39:10
This lecture will cover the technology behind converging networks and diverging platforms, and the policy responses of regulators such as the US Federal Communications Commission, European Commission and UK Office of Communications.
Recorded on: 21 November 2012 Duration: 01:01:40
This lecture will look at the range of centralised, federated and user-centric identity management technologies being developed and how governments and business are implementing them.
Recorded on: 14 November 2012 Duration: 00:54:27
This lecture will cover key technological and legal trends in data protection and information security, and consider the two key drivers of security and efficiency in government use of personal data.
Recorded on: 7 November 2012 Duration: 00:58:29
This lecture will cover the blocking technologies used and the policies being developed in a range of nations including the UK, the US, China and Australia.
Recorded on: 10 October 2012 Duration: 01:48:24
This lecture covers the basic concepts and policy implications of the Internet technical architecture, including the end-to-end principle, the IP 'hourglass', and how real-time and best-effort reliable communications are carried over lossy networks.
Recorded on: 13 August 2012 Duration: 01:18:05
This lecture examines, from a technological angle, the problems involved with gathering, storing and accessing data about individuals in databases whilst preserving their individual privacy.
18 November 2013 Daily Telegraph
Joss Wright explains why the Google and Microsoft ban on online child abuse sites are unlikely to be enough to deter users.
20 June 2013 BBC Online, Technology
BBC Radio 5 live has been investigating claims of webcam hackers using malicious software remote access sites that hack into webcams and can then exchange pictures and videos of people without their knowledge. Joss Wright comments.
3 April 2013 Talk Radio News Service
Joss Wright is quoted in an article on the US news service site on the hacktivist phenomenon. He says 'in one sense the actions of Anonymous are themselves ... censoring websites in response to positions with which they disagree'.
30 November 2012 New Scientist
A report on Joss Wright’s work on internet censorship in China notes that among his findings on how censorship is applied was the surprising fact that visitors to one site that prevents online tracking were sent to the site of a pet spa in Miami.
9 May 2012 ZDNet
Making policy on combined access to Internet interactions based on old communications technology is 'dangerously simplistic' says Joss Wright, quoted in ZDNet's coverage of the draft Communications Data Bill.
8 May 2012 British Politics and Policy at LSE
Joss Wright argues in a blog post that Government proposals to allow law enforcement officials unprecedented access to Internet communications will only be minimally effective and will be both expensive and invasive.
9 March 2012 BBC News
The Antisec movement has reacted to an FBI crackdown on hackers by attacking the site of a company selling equipment to US law enforcers. Joss Wright says that the long term consequences of a symbolic victory for the FBI are hard to predict.
3 March 2012 The Observer
Joss Wright exchanges views with Tom Chatfield on protecting our privacy on-line as Google unveils its new policy on use of personal information. He warns that "We do not yet fully understand the power of the data we have shared".
1 March 2012 Channel 4 News
The EU is concerned that Google's new policy on personal information may breach privacy. Although Internet abstinence is a sure way to avoid being watched, Joss Wright says that we are forced to use these services because they're so ubiquitous.
2 February 2012 BBC News
Google can now selectively block access in individual countries after a legal removal request. Joss Wright told the BBC that these changes are a positive step, striking a good balance between free speech, legality and practicality.
30 January 2012 BBC News
A report on cyberdefence concludes that sharing of information globally is needed to keep ahead of threats. Joss Wright questions the likelihood of a change in military thinking from a culture of secrecy to one of sharing.
23 January 2012 Radio Free Europe
Interviewed by Radio Free Europe, Joss Wright responds to questions about closing file sharing websites and proposed anti-piracy acts (SOPA/PIPA) by the US. "It's difficult to draw the line between what is censorship and what is enforcing our laws".
20 January 2012 BBC News
The US government has been targeted by Anonymous in retaliation for the shutdown of the Megaupload file sharing site. Joss Wright says it might be argued that Anonymous themselves are censoring websites.
31 October 2011 BBC Radio 4
As protest throughout the world is on the rise, so online activism is increasing. Joss Wright discusses hactivism and how it might affect the development of the Internet and government responses on Radio 4 (from 24:15 on the iPlayer clock).
Wednesday 12 February 2014 17:00 - 18:30
These seminars will examine the current state of information privacy in genomic medicine.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Joss Wright on 10 May 2011 14:59PM
Cairo (May 10, 2011) – A new initiative to counter Egyptian’s state torture – Piggipedia - is now facing challenges despite going viral on the internet, raising many ethical questions about information sharing. Developed on Flickr by [...]
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, [...]
Joss Wright on 6 Feb 2011 00:42AM
What would happen if the Internet was cut off for five days in a country? What if those five days witnessed the country’s biggest protests in 30 years? This is the situation 23 million Egyptian internet users - or more than a quarter of [...]
Joss Wright on 28 Jan 2011 08:08AM
What happened on Jan 27, 2011 in Egypt was by all means remarkable. In the largest attempt in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet. ‘Critical [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. I was recently interviewed on BBC World News about how the Kindle does this, and what some of the implications are. [...]
Joss Wright on 3 Aug 2010 10:43AM
This is the first post on my blog, and I wanted to wish everyone a blessed Ramadan.
Last updated on: 11 December 2013