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FOCI 2013 : 3rd USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet


When Aug 13, 2013 - Aug 13, 2013
Where Washington, D.C.
Submission Deadline May 6, 2013
Notification Due Jun 13, 2013
Final Version Due Jul 11, 2013
Categories    technology   internet   communications   censorship-resistant systems

Call For Papers

Sponsored by USENIX, the Advanced Computing Systems Association

FOCI '13 will be co-located with the 22nd USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security '13) and will take place on Tuesday, August 13, 2013.

Important Dates
Submissions due: Monday, May 6, 2013, 11:59 p.m. PDT
Notification to authors: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Final paper files due: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Conference Organizers:
Program Co-Chairs
Jed Crandall, University of New Mexico
Joss Wright, University of Oxford
Program Committee
Collin Anderson, Independent Researcher
Jacob Appelbaum, The Tor Project
Nikita Borisov, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Yana Breindl, Georg-August Universität Göttingen
Masashi Crete-Nishihata, Citizen Lab
George Danezis, Microsoft Research, Cambridge
Claudia Diaz, KU Leuven
Roger Dingledine, The Tor Project
Nick Feamster, Georgia Institute of Technology
Joan Feigenbaum, Yale University
Phillipa Gill, Citizen Lab
Minaxi Gupta, Indiana University Bloomington
Wenke Lee, Georgia Institute of Technology
Z. Morley Mao, University of Michigan
Steven Murdoch, University of Cambridge
Vern Paxson, University of California, Berkeley
Jon Penney, Dalhousie University
Wendy Seltzer, Berkman Center for Internet & Society; World Wide Web Consortium
Philipp Winter, Karlstad University
Eric Wustrow, University of Michigan
Steering Committee
Roger Dingledine, The Tor Project
Nick Feamster, University of Maryland
Wenke Lee, Georgia Institute of Technology
Joss Wright, University of Oxford

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.

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 technology.

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 censorship
Techniques to counter mass surveillance or its effects
The role of private corporations in spreading or enabling surveillance and censorship
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 processes
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 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 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,, or the USENIX office,

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.

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