Call for papers: Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI) Workshop
The 2nd USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI '12) 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.
The Internet offers great promise for improving the communication capabilities of citizens, but our increasing dependence on networked communications also makes it easier for organizations to control, monitor, and block communications. ISPs and governments routinely restrict access to Internet content and services, either by censoring access to information or by degrading the performance of services or blocking them entirely. Similarly, ISPs can degrade network performance for certain sets of users for some or all services, for arbitrary purposes. ISPs have been found to block or throttle certain application traffic routinely. This growing trend toward blocking, tampering, or otherwise restricting communications on the Internet calls for improved techniques both for monitoring the state of restrictions on Internet content and communications, in order to inform users, and for circumventing attempts to censor, degrade, or otherwise tamper with Internet communications.
The broadening scope of attacks on Internet freedom is forcing more disciplines to address the issue. Last year's workshop brought together four research communities:
- Those studying network neutrality and performance degradation
- Those measuring content censorship and blocking of resources and services
- Those designing and evaluating censorship circumvention tools
- Those who work on the wider implications of censorship, bringing perspectives from the worlds of policy, law, ethics, and political and social sciences
This second workshop aims to repeat and promote this critical interdisciplinary approach.
Six-page short-paper submissions are due April 26 (edit: May 3), and the workshop is August 6 near Seattle. See the full Call for Papers for details.