Title: Privacy in Mobile Agent Systems: Untraceability
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC36444
Other Identifiers: EUR 22485 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC36444
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: Agent based Internet environments are an interesting alternative to existing approaches of building software systems. The enabling feature of agents is that they allow software development based on the abstraction (a "metaphor") of elements of the real world. In other words, they allow building software systems, which work as human societies, in which members share products and services, cooperate or compete with each other. Organisational, behavioural and functional models etc applied into the systems can be copied from the real world. The growing interest in agent technologies in the European Union was expressed through the foundation of the Coordination Action for Agent-Based Computing, funded under the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The action, called AgentLink III is run by the Information Society Technologies (IST) programme. The long-term goal of AgentLink is to put Europe at the leading edge of international competitiveness in this increasingly important area. According to AgentLink "Roadmap for Agent Based Computing"; agent-based systems are perceived as "one of the most vibrant and important areas of research and development to have emerged in information technology in recent years, underpinning many aspects of broader information society technologies"; However, with the emergence of the new paradigm, came also new challenges. One of them is that agent environments, especially those which allow for mobility of agents, are much more difficult to protect from intruders than conventional systems. Agent environments still lack sufficient and effective solutions to assure their security. The problem which till now has not been addressed sufficiently in agent-based systems is privacy, and particularly the anonymity of agent users. Although anonymity was studied extensively for traditional message-based communication for which during the past twenty five years various techniques have been proposed, for agent systems this problem has never been directly addressed. The research presented in this report aimed at filling this gap. This report summarises results of studies aiming at the identification of threats to privacy in agent-based systems and the methods of their protection.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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