Private Information Retrieval Through Wiretap Channel II: Privacy Meets Security

by   Karim Banawan, et al.

We consider the problem of private information retrieval through wiretap channel II (PIR-WTC-II). In PIR-WTC-II, a user wants to retrieve a single message (file) privately out of M messages, which are stored in N replicated and non-communicating databases. An external eavesdropper observes a fraction μ_n (of its choice) of the traffic exchanged between the nth database and the user. In addition to the privacy constraint, the databases should encode the returned answer strings such that the eavesdropper learns absolutely nothing about the contents of the databases. We aim at characterizing the capacity of the PIR-WTC-II under the combined privacy and security constraints. We obtain a general upper bound for the problem in the form of a max-min optimization problem, which extends the converse proof of the PIR problem under asymmetric traffic constraints. We propose an achievability scheme that satisfies the security constraint by encoding a secret key, which is generated securely at each database, into an artificial noise vector using an MDS code. The user and the databases operate at one of the corner points of the achievable scheme for the PIR under asymmetric traffic constraints such that the retrieval rate is maximized under the imposed security constraint. The upper bound and the lower bound match for the case of M=2 and M=3 messages, for any N, and any μ=(μ_1, ..., μ_N).


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