Free and Open Communications on the Internet

FOCI gathers 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.

Register for FOCI '23

July 10, 2023
Lausanne - Switzerland

Colocated with PETS 2023


FOCI’23 Program

Explore our FOCI'23 in-person program colocated with PETS. Register through PETS conference for access info. Note, you can join us for free online!


The goal of FOCI is to bring together researchers, implementers, and activists working in the area of internet freedom. We recognize that control over online speech has become inherently interdisciplinary, so that studying these problems often involves adopting a holistic, interdisciplinary perspective. We aim to catalyze new research directions and in-depth discussions concerning free and open communications on the internet by providing a space for work that might not fit at conventional computer science measurement and security conferences. We particularly encourage early-stage research or extensions on previously published research.


We welcome studies on all aspects of digital speech control. Below are some examples of topics that we consider definitely relevant to FOCI, however we encourage community members to interpret this list broadly and feel free to submit works not specifically listed here.

  • Surveillance: e.g., analyses of corporate or government surveillance; anonymity systems that aim to protect users from surveillance; societal impacts of surveillance
  • Censorship: e.g., the measurement or evaluation of Internet censorship; tools or systems that circumvent censorship; ethics or risks towards users in the research of censorship measurement or circumvention
  • Content moderation systems: e.g., analyses of tools employed by social media
  • Disinformation and misinformation online: e.g., analyses of digital propaganda; social media trends
  • Press freedom: e.g., deployment of tools to protect whistleblowers; analysis of government or corporate repression of the press
  • Intellectual Property: e.g., right to repair; analyses of copyright/patent law

Advisory Board

  • Amir Houmansadr, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Cecylia Bocovich
  • Dave Levin, University of Maryland
  • Eric Wustrow, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Jed Crandall, Arizona State University
  • Jon Penney, The Citizen Lab, University of Toronto/Dalhousie
  • Joss Wright, University of Oxford
  • Nick Feamster, University of Chicago
  • Phillipa Gill, Google
  • Prateek Mittal, Princeton University
  • Rob Jansen, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
  • Roger Dingledine, Tor Project
  • Roya Ensafi, University of Michigan
  • Tariq Elahi, University of Edinburgh

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