The invention, by Professor Nigel Smart, addresses the problem of how to outsource data storage to two or more parties (as in a cloud computing) without any one storage party being able to read the information (technically, a problem of Multi-Party Computation). The idea is that each party has a simple trusted hardware module that outputs random numbers correlated via a linear secret sharing scheme (LSSS). In such a scheme each party has part of the secret (it is split between them) and no-one (except the client, at the point at which the data is stored or retrieved) has the whole secret. Client queries of any complexity can be computed using the new scheme. In a computer network each server has a module, which could be extremely small (say the size of a USB stick). The modules do not communicate with each other, just to the server to which they are attached.
US patent application 12/827,247; Priority date 30/6/2010
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