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[liberationtech] CfP: USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (DC!)

Collin Anderson collin at
Wed Mar 13 08:01:22 PDT 2013


Libtech receives a fair number of call for papers on conferences and
journals every month, however, I wanted to direct special attention to
the Free and Open Communications on the Internet Workshop at USENIX, being
held in Washington, D.C. on August 13 this year. Participating in the first
FOCI was a pretty great opportunity personally and I am hopeful that the
location this time will help better connect researchers and the policy
process that takes place locally. Please, submit, participate and attend!



The 3rd USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet
(FOCI '13) seeks to bring together researchers and practitioners from
technology, law, and policy who are working on means to study, detect, or
circumvent practices that inhibit free and open communications on the

Internet communications drive political and social change around the world.
Governments and other actors seek to control, monitor, and block Internet
communications for a variety of reasons, ranging from extending copyright
law to suppressing free speech and assembly. Methods for controlling what
content people post and view online are also multifarious. Whether it's
traffic throttling by ISPs or man-in-the-middle attacks by countries
seeking to identify those who are organizing protests, threats to free and
open communications on the Internet must be addressed by the research
community in an interdisciplinary way that includes both policy and

We encourage submission of new, interesting work on a wide variety of
topics of interest, including but in no way limited to the following areas:

Evaluation or analysis of existing anti-censorship systems
Comparisons of existing tools that might be used to detect tampering,
blocking, or violations of net neutrality
Studies and findings on real-world censorship or tampering from field
deployments or other methods, such as the topics or content censored by
states or the extent to which ISPs are degrading certain types of content
or service
Metrics and benchmarks for content tampering or performance degradation
Detection, measuring, and analysis of the censorship of search results
Design of network protocols and topologies that resist tampering or
Techniques to counter mass surveillance or its effects
The role of private corporations in spreading or enabling surveillance and
Capabilities of deep packet inspection (DPI) and robust mechanisms to
circumvent DPI
Capabilities and constraints of censorship technologies
Legality of censorship-resistant systems or bypassing censorship
Economic considerations in the design and deployment of censorship or
censorship-resistant tools
Analysis of the economic impact of censorship
Usability in censorship-resistant systems
Effects of censorship on individuals, society, business, or political
We emphasize that this workshop seeks to draw submissions from a range of
disciplines. As such, non-technical work that examines the wider
implications of censorship and its effects will be considered favorably.

What to Submit
We invite two distinct tracks for papers: a technical track for
technically-focused position papers or works-in-progress; and a social
science track for papers focused on policy, law, regulation, economics or
related fields of study.

FOCI will favor interesting and new ideas and early results that lead to
well-founded position papers. We envision that work presented at FOCI will
ultimately be published at relevant, high-quality conferences. Papers will
be selected primarily based on originality, with additional consideration
given to their potential to generate discussion at the workshop. Papers in
the technical track will also be evaluated based on technical merit.

Submission Guidelines
Technical Track: Submitted papers must be no longer than six 8.5" x 11"
pages, based on the standard USENIX format. References will not count
towards the six-page limit.

Social Science Track: Submitted papers must be no longer than nine 8.5" x
11" pages, based on the standard USENIX format, but shorter papers are
encouraged. References will not count towards the nine-page limit.

The social science track aims to encourage submissions from fields such as
law and political science, where longer articles are traditional. Authors
should not submit technically-focused papers to the social science track in
order to avoid page limits—such papers may be rejected out of hand.

All papers should be in the standard USENIX format. Specifically, regarding
page limits, your paper should be typeset in two-column format in 10-point
type on 12 point (single-spaced) leading, with a text block no more than
6.5" wide by 9" deep. Papers must be submitted via the Web submission form,
which will be available here soon.

Paper submissions must be submitted in a form suitable for anonymous
review: no author names or affiliations may appear on the title page, and
authors should avoid revealing their identities in the text. When referring
to your previous work, do so in the third person, as though it were written
by someone else. Only blind the reference itself in the (unusual) case that
a third-person reference is infeasible. Contact the program co-chairs at
foci13chairs at if you have any questions.

Papers that do not comply with the submission requirements, including
length and anonymity, may be rejected without review.

All accepted papers will be available online to registered attendees before
the workshop. If your paper should not be published prior to the event,
please notify production at The papers will be available online to
everyone beginning on the day of the workshop, August 13, 2013.

Simultaneous submission of the same work to multiple venues, submission of
previously published work, or plagiarism constitutes dishonesty or fraud.
USENIX, like other scientific and technical conferences and journals,
prohibits these practices and may take action against authors who have
committed them. See the USENIX Conference Submissions Policy for details.
Note, however, that we expect that many papers accepted for FOCI '13 will
eventually be extended as full papers suitable for presentation at future
conferences. Questions? Contact your program co-chairs,
foci13chairs at, or the USENIX office, submissionspolicy at

Papers accompanied by nondisclosure agreement forms will not be considered.
Accepted submissions will be treated as confidential prior to publication
on the USENIX FOCI '13 Web site; rejected submissions will be permanently
treated as confidential.

*Collin David Anderson* | @cda | Washington, D.C.
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