Some of our lower bounds only apply to a restricted class of black-box reductions which we term “oblivious” (the existing upper bounds are of this restricted type), some apply to the broader but still restricted class of non-rewinding reductions, while our lower bound for proxy re-encryption applies to all black-box reductions. The fact that some of our lower bounds seem to crucially rely on obliviousness or at least a non-rewinding reduction hints to the exciting possibility that the existing upper bounds can be improved by using more sophisticated reductions.
Our main conceptual contribution is a two-player multi-stage game called the Builder-Pebbler Game. We can translate bounds on the winning probabilities for various instantiations of this game into cryptographic lower bounds for the above-mentioned primitives using oracle separation techniques.
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