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The use of a Third Party Proxy in Achieving GSM Anonymity

Croft and Olivier


(Citation)Citation information

N. J. Croft and M. S. Olivier. “The use of a Third Party Proxy in Achieving GSM Anonymity”. In: Southern African Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference 2004 (SATNAC 2004). Ed. by D. Browne. Published electronically. Stellenbosch, South Africa, Sept. 2004


Mobile communications have grown tremendously over the last decade; however little attention has been directed to addressing privacy concerns around mobile interactions. Few mobile subscribers are aware that their serving GSM Network holds sensitive information regarding ever aspect of the mobile users interactions which is monitored, logged and could potentially be compromised. Such information includes personal banking details, place of residence, location, movement and — in particular — with whom the user interacts on a daily basis.

Sender anonymity refers to the ability of a sender of a message to remain anonymous. Receiver anonymity refers to the ability to contact a receiver, while the receiver remains anonymous or pseudonomynous.

This paper focuses on how sender and receiver anonymity can be obtained in a GSM network through the use of a Trusted Third Party Proxy. Emphasis is placed on shifting the control and collection of personal information away from a subscriber’s serving GSM network. This is based on the fact that violations of privacy are known to frequently perpetrated by individuals who are ‘insiders’ and authorised to access sensitive information. By allowing anonymous calls where the GSM network cannot obtain call details, this insider threat is effectively eliminated.

Our solution still provides for appropriate billing even though calls can be made anonymously.

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(BibTeX record)BibTeX reference

author={Neil J Croft and Martin S Olivier},
title={The use of a Third Party Proxy in Achieving {GSM} Anonymity},
booktitle={Southern African Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference 2004 (SATNAC 2004)},
editor={David Browne},
address={Stellenbosch, South Africa},
note={Published electronically} )