BFOC ’13 (Boston Freedom in Online Communications Day)


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 and governments to control, monitor, and block communications. The 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.

Many researchers and practitioners in the Boston area are engaged in studying, detecting, or circumventing practices that inhibit free and open communications on the Internet. Building on the success of many recent Boston and NYC “Days” (e.g. this, this and this), the main purposes of BFOC is to encourage collaboration between local researchers and practitioners in technology, law, and policy that are working in this area.

Date / Location
BFOC 2013 will be held at the Photonics Center, Colloquium Room (Room 906), Boston University, 8 St. Mary’s St., 9th floor, Boston, MA on Friday, March 8, 2013 from 9:00 AM. to 5:00 PM.

Attendance is free and onsite registration is available. Register online now

Call for presentations
For short talks and posters, send an email to by Thursday, February 21 2013, including a brief (<300 word) description of your work, along with an indication of a preference for the work to be presented as a short talk or a poster, or be considered for both. We will select a number of short talks and put together a poster session.

Organizing Information
BFOC 2013 is generously hosted by the Hariri Institute and the Center for Reliable Information Systems and Cyber Security at Boston University. The organizing committee is Sharon Goldberg (Boston University) and Nick Feamster (Georgia Tech).

Program: To be held at the Photonics Center, Colloquium Room (Room 906), Boston University, 8 St. Mary’s St., 9th floor, Boston, MA

Deb Nicholson, MediaGoblin. “We are Legion: Decentralizing the Web”

9:00 – 9:20 Breakfast.
9:30 – 9:40 Welcome.
9:40 – 10:20 Andrew Lewman, Executive Director, The Tor Project. “Internet
Surveillance, Freedom, and You. Or everyone on the Internet knows you’re a dog.” video1 video2
10:20-11:00 Timothy Edgar. The Watson Institute, Brown University. “Cyber Conflict, Privacy and Internet Freedom”
11:00-11:25 Coffee Break.
11:25 – 12:45 Network measurement: short talks (10 minutes each).
Phillipa Gill, Citizen Lab, University of Toronto & Stonybrook University. “Characterizing Web Censorship Worldwide”
Sam Burnett, Georgia Tech. “Measuring network censorship from BISmark home routers”
Greg Wiseman, Citizen Lab, University of Toronto & Jeffrey Knockel, University of New Mexico.“Chat Program Censorship and Surveillance in China: Tracking TOM-Skype and Sina UC”
Aniko HannĂ¡k, Northeastern. “Measuring Personalization of Web Search”
Nick Feamster, Georgia Tech. “Exposing Inconsistent Web Search Results with Bobble”
12:00 – 1:30 Lunch.
1:45 – 3:20 Circumvention: short talks (10 minutes each).
Adam Holland, Chilling Effects. “The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse”
Eric Wustrow, University of Michigan. “Telex”
Danny Cooper, Boston University.
“Impacting IP Prefix Reachability via RPKI Manipulations”
Adam ONeill, Boston University.“Bi-Deniable Encryption”
Lakshmi Subramanian , NYU. “Cryptagram”
3:20 – 3:50 Coffee Break.
3:50 – 4:20 Hans Klein, Georgia Tech School of Public Policy. “The New Challenge to Online Freedom: Information Manipulation and Propaganda”
4:20 – 5:00 Discussion & Wrap-up.

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