Huang, Z., Joshi, S.K., Aktas, D. et al. Experimental implementation of secure anonymous protocols on an eight-user quantum key distribution network. npj Quantum Inf 8, 25 (2022).
Anonymity in networked communication is vital for many privacy-preserving tasks. Secure key distribution alone is insufficient for high-security communications. Often, knowing who transmits a message to whom and when must also be kept hidden from an adversary. Here, we experimentally demonstrate five information-theoretically secure anonymity protocols on an eight user city-wide quantum network using polarisation entangled photon pairs. At the heart of these protocols is anonymous broadcasting, which is a cryptographic primitive that allows one user to reveal one bit of information while keeping their identity anonymous. For a network of n users, the protocols retain anonymity for the sender, given that no more than n − 2 users are colluding. This is an implementation of genuine multi-user cryptographic protocols beyond standard QKD. Our anonymous protocols enhance the functionality of any fully-connected Quantum Key Distribution network without trusted nodes.