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(  ´ ∀`)< hi i'm mona! i do research, art, and puzzles
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bird site | code site | cv | monaw at princeton dot edu


I’m currently a Ph.D. Candidate at Princeton’s Center for IT Policy and previously a Research Fellow at The Citizen Lab. I used to be a Staff Technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where I maintained Certbot and wrote a bit about tech policy.

chinese app and network security ecosystem

Collaborating with The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, I studied various privacy and security aspects of Chinese applications, including WeChat and its application ecosystem, and popular Chinese IME keyboards. I'm currently conducting a larger-scale network security analyses of the broader Chinese mobile application ecosystem.

network censorship and circumvention

I've worked extensively on leveraging native traffic-splitting capabilities of modern networking protocols like QUIC for thwarting traffic analysis and circumventing censorship. I also collaborated with Censored Planet to study the deployment of network filters across the Internet.

tech & labor

I’m working on a few projects investigating post-COVID use of surveillance software in the workplace. I've researched how labor organizers threat model for privacy and security in online workplaces. I also co-ran a reading group that reads papers about global trends in algorithmic management and the effect of tech development on modern labor practices, centering the worker perspective.







I make oil paintings, murals, and lots of other things from wood and metal. In 2023, I led the design and fabrication of a large-scale wooden sculpture. Currently, I'm working on a kinetic sculpture based on Islamic parquet deformations.

I've been training in Thuluth Arabic calligraphy since 2017 and Sinii-style Arabic calligraphy since 2022 with Haji Noor Deen 米广江.


I love doing puzzles. I also love writing puzzles! I've designed several puzzlehunts and escape rooms.

I helped Teammate write the 2023 MIT Mystery Hunt, where I also designed the character and art for the Ascent round, vaguely based on "biblically accurate angel" memes and the Tower of Babel. The puzzles I am most proud of constructing are Book of Fixed Stars, a puzzle which utilizes Arabic, and Fountain.

My current puzzle obsession is the new wave of Chinese-language Mystery-hunt-style puzzlehunts written and run by Chinese universites' puzzle clubs!