Practice-Oriented Provable Security and the Social Construction of Cryptography

Author: Phillip Rogaway

Reference: Unpublished manuscript corresponding to an invited talk at Eurocrypt 2009 (April 27, 2009). Manuscript dated and made available on May 6, 2009.

Abstract: Traditionally, “provable security” was tied in the minds cryptographers to public-key cryptography, asymptotic analyses, number-theoretic primitives, and proof-of-concept designs. In this essay I survey some of the work that I have done (much of it joint with Mihir Bellare) that has helped to erode these associations. I will use the story of practice-oriented provable security as the backdrop with which to make the case for what might be called a “social constructionist” view of our field. This view entails the claim that the body of work our community has produced is less the inevitable consequence of what we aim to study than the contingent consequence of sensibilities and assumptions within our disciplinary culture.

Availability: pdf

Note: This is an essay and a viewpoint-oriented contribution; it is not a traditional academic paper. That is how it should be read.

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