Thibault Meunier

Author Archives: Thibault Meunier

Privacy Pass: Upgrading to the latest protocol version

Enabling anonymous access to the web with privacy-preserving cryptography

The challenge of telling humans and bots apart is almost as old as the web itself. From online ticket vendors to dating apps, to ecommerce and finance — there are many legitimate reasons why you'd want to know if it's a person or a machine knocking on the front door of your website.

Unfortunately, the tools for the web have traditionally been clunky and sometimes involved a bad user experience. None more so than the CAPTCHA — an irksome solution that humanity wastes a staggering amount of time on. A more subtle but intrusive approach is IP tracking, which uses IP addresses to identify and take action on suspicious traffic, but that too can come with unforeseen consequences.

And yet, the problem of distinguishing legitimate human requests from automated bots remains as vital as ever. This is why for years Cloudflare has invested in the Privacy Pass protocol — a novel approach to establishing a user’s identity by relying on cryptography, rather than crude puzzles — all while providing a streamlined, privacy-preserving, and often frictionless experience to end users.

Cloudflare began supporting Privacy Pass in 2017, with the release of browser Continue reading