College of Information and Computer Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst

I gave an invited talk at USENIX Security 2019 on sexual exploitation of children, including how Tor Hidden Services recklessly put journalists, dissidents, and abuse victims in harm's way.

Or see the article Brian Lynn and I wrote in Lawfare.

Since almost no paper in ACM CCS, IEEE S&P, ISOC NDSS, and USENIX Security admits that Tor and Freenet are used for child sexual exploitation, I also maintain the CSAM Bibliography website, which lists academic papers and government reports that discuss child sexual explotiation on Tor and Freenet, as well as criminal cases.

I work in the areas of security, privacy, and forensics applied to networking. Most recently my work has been focused child rescue (thwarting child sexual exploitation), an important non-partisan issue.

My work on thwarting child exploitation is often in collaboration with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force; through ICAC my group's work has had an international impact, including the rescue by law enforcement of many hundreds of children from sexual abuse based on our tools. In the networking area, my work includes mobile networking, disruption tolerant networks, cryptocurrency, and peer-to-peer networking. I am currently funded by the Department of Justice and the NSF.

You can see a list of all of my publications online. More information can be found on the UMass Amherst Rescue Lab website.

I am the founding Director of the UMass Amherst Cybersecurity Institute. And I am Co-Director of the Data Core, a UMass Core Facility that transitions research into practice.

Latest News

Milestones and news archive

  • Co-authors John Burgess, Brian Gallagher, David Jensen, and I have received the 2017 IEEE Infocom Test of Time Award for our paper, MaxProp: Routing for Vehicle-Based Disruption-Tolerant Networks published in IEEE INFOCOM 2006.
  • My lab's research is cited in the April 2016 Department of Justice Report to Congress, The National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction.
  • I was the opening keynote speaker at the Yahoo Tech Pulse conference in December 2015. I spoke about my research with Bissias, Liberatore, Lynn, Moore, Wallach, and Wolak on thwarting crimes against children.

    (Photo by Jeremy Waldorph. (c) All rights reserved.)

  • I gave an invited talk at the office of the National Coordinator for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction (ODAG) in October 2015.
  • Along with Stephen Chong and Christos Dimoulas, I helped to organize the Spring 2016 New England Security Day at Harvard.
  • I've been selected to be one of the 2016 UMass Spotlight Scholars.
  • I was an invited panelist at a symposium on privacy held by the Northeastern University Law Journal in Boston, MA on March 13, 2015.
  • Come to the New England Security Day at UMass on Sept 17, 2015! As an organizer of the event, I'll be giving the welcoming remarks.
  • Robert Walls graduates with a PhD! Now a PostDoc at Penn State.
  • Our paper Measurement and Analysis of Child Pornography Trafficking on P2P Networks, was the Runner-up for Best Paper at WWW 2013!
  • I've been invited to give a Keynote Talk at the SYSTOR 2013 Conference in Haifa, Israel, held in cooperation with USENIX and the Technion Center of Excellence (TCE) this June. The talk will be on "Fighting Internet-based Sexual Exploitation Crimes Against Children".
  • I've been invited to give a talk at the Center for Research on Computation and Society as part of its Seminar Series on Monday, April 8, 2013 at noon.
  • My group was honored to have our work referenced in a very important January 2013 New York Times Magazine article on victim restitution.
  • I was honored to give invited testimony to the US Sentencing Commission hearing on "Federal Child Pornography Offenses" in Washinton, DC on February 15, 2012.
  • Jim Partan graduates with a PhD! Now a Research Engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
  • Hamed Soroush graduates with a PhD! Now a lecturer at the Univ. of Virginia in the Dept. of Computer Science.
  • I was awarded a UMass College of Natural Sciences 2011 Outstanding Research Award. Presented each year to two faculty from across 15 departments.
  • TPC Co-Chair of the the DFRWS 2012 Annual Forensics Conference with Clay Shields.
  • In 2011, I was Co-Chair of ACM Mobicom 2011 with Thyaga Nandagopal, and Co-Chair of DFRWS 2011 with Florian Buchholz..
  • Aruna Balasubramanian graduates with a PhD! Now a postdoc at UW. Runner-Up for the ACM Sigcomm Disertation Award!
  • George Bissias graduates with a PhD!
  • We created a video about UMass DOME:
  • RoundUp software now a widely used to rescue children, toddlers, and infants from sexual abuse. Since August 2012, over 300 children have been rescued from sexually abusive situations by investigators using our tools.
  • Member of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Privacy Working Group (PWG); Massachusetts Secretary Mary Elizabeth Heffernan, Chair
  • My undergrad, The Univ. at Albany, has awarded me the 2008 Alumni Award for Excellence in Science and Technology. Go Danes!
  • Marc Liberatore graduates with a PhD!
  • I've been awarded a 2007 UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Outstanding Teacher Award.
  • I've been invited to give the Keynote Talk at the 2006 Workshop on Networking in Public Transport in Waterloo, Ontario.
  • I was an associate editor for IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking from 2005--2010.
  • Mark Claypool (WPI) and I are co-chairs of ACM NOSSDAV 2006.
  • My first PhD student, Matt Wright, has started as a tenure-track assistant professor at the Dept. of Computer Science at Univ. of Texas at Arlington. Go Matt!
  • I've been selected as a University of Massachusetts Lilly Teaching Fellow for the 2003-2004 academic year. The program "enables promising junior faculty to cultivate teaching excellence".
  • "An Analysis of the Degradation of Anonymous Protocols" (Wright, Adler, Levine and Shields) received the Outstanding Paper award at NDSS 2002.
  • 2002 NSF Career Grant recipient
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