Stephen Herwig

As multiple nations and enterprises embark on ambitious programs to explore our solar system, the success of their endeavor is intimately tied to the cooperative establishment of an efficient and secure Interplanetary Internet (IPN)—a deep space network designed for the challenges of long-distance and non-continuous communication. Unfortunately, the high latencies and low bandwidth of deep space stymie the IPN’s adoption of the Internet’s security protocols. In this paper, we advocate the construction of new security protocols specifically designed for the constraints of space networks and based in modern cryptographic constructs for functional encryption. We argue that such protocols could securely support a range of properties beneficial to space communication, including group messaging, in-network processing, and anonymity, and discuss the open questions and research challenges of this proposal.

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