Richard Clayton


The Internet and its protocols provide methods by which it is possible to determine "who did that?". In many ways, "traceability" should be seen as the opposite of "anonymity". The talk will explain how tracing is done on today's Internet and the assumptions and Best Practices that can make it more accurate. It will also explore the way in which traceability breaks down at the edges of the network and the practical operational and political challenges this poses.


Richard Clayton worked on word processors in the 1970s when they had 32K byte programs and cost $20,000 to buy. In the 1980s his company developed the system software for Amstrad's CPC home computers which sold millions in Europe and PCW word processor (a mere $500 in the shops). In the 1990s he designed the dialup Internet access software called "Turnpike". In 1995 UK ISP Demon Internet bought his company. He did various tasks within Demon where his job title was "Internet Expert". He was closely involved in the UK industry's campaign over the provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act.

In October 2000 he seized upon an opportunity to join Ross Anderson's Security Group at Cambridge where he is now studying for a PhD in "Anonymity and Traceability in Cyberspace".

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