“There are times when the highest levels of privacy and security are required to protect a piece of information, but there is still a need to prove the information’s existence and accuracy.” A press release published by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) on July 18th, 2019, expanded upon their opening statement, in saying that the needs for information integrity, confidentiality, authentication manifest themselves most immediately within the U.S. Department of Defense’s communications. The release goes on: “For the Department of Defense (DoD), the proof could be the verification of a relevant capability. How can one verify this capability, without revealing any sensitive details about it?”
It appears that the DoD and DARPA are seeing eye-to-eye with cryptocurrency. Specifically, they are seeing that the technology being developed, within privacy tech, does indeed solve a very tangible problem. If you’ve been wondering what all of the fuss about privacy coins has been about recently — here is your answer.
Round Two of US Gov’t Solicitation within Privacy Coin Technology
This is not the first time that the U.S. Government has solicited the public for assistance within the realm of private cryptocurrencies. As recently as this past December, a similar solictation was posted to investigate the tracking of cryptocurrencies similar to Monero and Zcash (to name only two).
This second embodiment of government interest in privacy coins should serve as a disambiguation of their objectives, in restrospect. Many speculated that the government was attempting to track currencies such as these, for the sole purpose of catching criminals or de-anonymizing transaction histories. It is now clear: while that may have been a portion of it, the primary motive has shifted toward ensuring security and privacy of internal communications, much more than an interest in the contents of external ones.
Scope of the SIEVE Program
DARPA’s press release concludes in stating, “SIEVE aims to develop computer science theory and software that can generate mathematically verifiable statements that can be shared publically without giving sensitive information away. Under the program, researchers will explore the creation of verifiable public statements about software, general computations, as well as social-technical interactions.”
The solicitation can be read, as well as proposals submitted, via the FedBizOps.org portal located here. Abstracts for proposals must be submitted by July 31st, 2019, under the “pre-solicitation” period. Final proposals must be submitted by September 20th, 2019.