[Pearg] Reminder: Call for Papers: IAB workshop on Barriers to Internet Access of Services (BIAS)

IAB Executive Administrative Manager <execd@iab.org> Wed, 25 October 2023 15:46 UTC

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Subject: [Pearg] Reminder: Call for Papers: IAB workshop on Barriers to Internet Access of Services (BIAS)
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IAB workshop on Barriers to Internet Access of Services (BIAS)

Webpage: https://datatracker.ietf.org/group/biasws/about/

The Internet as part of the critical infrastructure affects many 
aspects of our society significantly, although it impacts different 
parts of society differently. The Internet is an important tool to 
reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)[1] and to globally support 
human rights. Consequently, the lack of meaningful access to digital 
infrastructure and services is also a form of disenfranchisement. 

Solely having Internet access is not enough. At the same time as we 
work to connect the next billion people and reduce the digital divide, 
it is also important to understand persistent and novel inequalities in 
the digital age when accessing content and services. There are more and 
more barriers to meaningful access to the services and applications 
that run on the Internet. Even if Internet connectivity is available, 
information and services access may remain challenged and unequal.

This workshop aims to collect reports about barriers to access content 
and services on the Internet, e.g based on filtering, blocking as well 
as due to general inequality of technological capabilities, like device 
or protocol limitations. The workshop aims to help the Internet 
community get a better understanding of how the Internet functions in 
different parts of the world and which technology or techniques need to 
be used to gain access to content. Further this workshop aims to build 
an understanding of what “being connected” to the Internet means: What 
is the Internet to users? What is needed to be meaningfully connected? 
What are the minimum requirements in order to be able to access certain 
parts of the content and services provided over the Internet?

The IAB is looking for short position papers on the following topics; 
however, this list is non-exhaustive and should be interpreted broadly:

  • Discussion of minimal requirements for meaningful Internet access 
    that enable use of content and services provided over the Internet
  • Discussion of current inequalities in Internet access in various 
    parts of the world
  • Measurements of content blocking, Internet shutdowns, or other 
    events that impact Internet access
  • Detailed analysis of filtering and blocking techniques
  • Description and evaluation of circumvention techniques, including 
    VPNs and application-level traffic diversion
  • Discussion and measurements of technologies that exacerbate the 
    digital divide beyond connectivity
  • Threat modeling for when connectivity and circumvention are 
    misaligned with jurisdictions and authorities

Interested participants are invited to submit position papers on the 
workshop topics. There are no restrictions on the format. Participants 
can choose their preferred format, including Internet-Drafts, text- or 
word-based documents, or papers formatted similar as used by academic 
publication venues. Submission as PDF is preferred. Paper size is not 
limited, but brevity is encouraged. Interested participants who have 
published relevant academic papers may submit these as a position 
paper, optionally with a short abstract explaining their interest and 
the paper’s relevance to the workshop. The workshop itself will be 
focused on discussions based on the position paper topics received.

All inputs submitted and considered relevant will be published on the 
workshop website. The organizers will issue invitations based on the 
submissions received. Sessions will be organized according to content, 
and not every accepted submission or invited attendee will have an 
opportunity to present; the intent is to foster an active discussion 
and not simply to have a sequence of presentations. A workshop report 
covering all submissions and the workshop discussion will be published 

The workshop will be by invitation only. Those wishing to attend should 
submit a position paper to address the above topics and questions. 
Position papers from those not planning to attend the workshop 
themselves are also encouraged.

Please indicate your interest by submitting a research proposal by 
November 24, 2023 to bias-workshop-pc@iab.org

The Program Committee members are Mallory Knodel (IAB, Center for 
Democracy and Technology), Mirja Kühlewind (IAB, Ericsson), Tommy Pauly 
(IAB, Apple), Chris Wood (IAB, Cloudflare), and Dhruv Dhody (IAB, 

Feel free to contact the program committee with any further questions: 

This workshop will be held online during the week of January 15, 2024, 
likely supporting three 2-3h sessions spread over the week based on 
submissions and the availability of the invited participants. 

[1] https://sdgs.un.org/goals