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FOCI 2014 : 4th USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet


When Aug 18, 2014 - Aug 18, 2014
Where San Diego, CA
Submission Deadline May 13, 2014
Notification Due Jun 26, 2014
Final Version Due Jul 17, 2014
Categories    open communications   censorship   USENIX   free communication

Call For Papers

The 4th USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI '14), to be held on August 18, 2014, seeks to bring together researchers and practitioners 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 organizing protests, threats to free and open communications on the Internet raise a wide range of research challenges.

We encourage submission of new, interesting work on a wide variety of topics of interest, including but not 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
* Techniques for measuring the prevalence and operation of deployed censorship systems
* 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 blocking
* 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
* Analysis of the economic impact of censorship
* Usability in censorship-resistant systems
* Effects of censorship on individuals, society, business, or political processes

FOCI favors interesting and new ideas and early results. We envision that work presented at FOCI will ultimately lead to more mature publications at relevant, high-quality conferences. Papers will be selected primarily based on originality, significance, and technical merit, with additional consideration given to their potential to foster productive discussion at the workshop.

Submission Guidelines:
Submitted papers must be no longer than six 8.5" x 11" pages, based on the standard USENIX format. References do not count towards the six-page limit. Specifically, 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 18, 2014.

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 '14 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 '14 Web site; rejected submissions will be permanently treated as confidential.

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