There are many ways you can participate in an IACR virtual conference. Your participation is valuable and we encourage you to add to the discussion. Like a face-to-face conference, virtual conferences are only as good as the interactions that occur there.
We recognize that a virtual conference is not a 1:1 substitute for a physical conference. However, we believe there are distinct advantages to having a virtual conference. These include a lack of space constraints, travel is not required, and the ability to attend all talks since they are recorded.
All conference attendees must be IACR members. When you participate in Q&A, chat, etc, you must do so in such a way that you are readily identifiable (i.e. by using the name you are known by in your professional work). The code of conduct still applies in a virtual setting.
The conference is organized over 5 days, with approximately 4 hours per day. Sessions consist of live 5 minute presentations of the papers, which are grouped by topic, followed by a Q&A panel discussion with the speakers and session moderators. The conference will also feature two 25 minute best paper talks, two live 1 hour invited talks, rump session, panel discussion on contact tracing, and IACR membership meeting and Fellows ceremony. We recommend monitoring the conference program to see which sessions are upcoming.
We will be holding live Q&A panels with authors multiple times daily. At these panels, attendees will be able to ask questions of authors about their work, or to encourage interesting conversation amongst authors. These Q&As will be available on the Zoom platform with live Q&A, but also livestreamed on our YouTube channel and will be available for later viewing. Links to the webinars will appear on the program if you are registered.
If you cannot participate live, you will still have access to all talks on our YouTube channel. The authors should have pre-recorded their talks and you can view them at any time. Additionally, there will be copies of the live Q&A sessions available to watch.
Much like at a face-to-face conference, we know that the best conversations can happen in the hallways or at coffee breaks. We encourage you to make use of the IACR chat server running Zulip to connect with other conference attendees. There are a variety of streams, organized by topic. Links to streams will appear on the program. You can also start video chat rooms from this.
Jitsi is a videoconference platform that also allows you to host watch parties. You can start a small videoconference on a topic using the button in chat that is shown in the image.
One use of Jitsi is to host a "watch party" for a YouTube video of a talk, so that you and other attendee can watch a video together. Like chat, watch parties encourage discussion and interaction amongst attendees. Sharing of Jitsi links will occur through chat. This is where you click to start a video conference.
How to start a videoconference or watch party
We are using Zoom for our live Q&A sessions. You do not have to install Zoom software to attend a webinar. If you plan to attend a webinar session using your browser, it needs to be one of the following:
* Please note that if you use Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, you will not be able to ask a question using your computer audio. However, you can still ask questions using the text Q&A feature.
If you wish to use the desktop client, there are options available for all operating systems. However, there are serious security vulnerabilities for each. The IACR does not recommend the installation of Zoom desktop clients at this time (10 May 2020).
How to enter a webinar with the web client.
We offer entrance to our webinars for both attendees with Zoom accounts and those without. When you log in via the browser client, Zoom will ask for an email. This does not have to be a legitimate email address. However, if you plan to use the desktop client, you will need a Zoom account.
We strongly encourage you to use the Q&A function in Zoom webinar, but we will also make an effort to monitor the corresponding chat channel.
Unfortunately, due to the wide variety of time zones IACR members live in, we cannot accommodate everyone. We strongly encourage those who cannot attend live events to still participate in the conference asynchronously.
Live Q&A sessions and invited talks are streamed to YouTube and available for viewing after the fact. You can also watch any of the pre-recorded talks on YouTube, or participate via chat. If you don't want to watch the talks on YouTube alone, you could host a watch party for others in your time zone.
No. There was no perfect solution available, and we had a very quick turnaround time, so we opted for commercial options that had a high degree of reliability while offering the best user experience. The IACR acknowledges the security and privacy problems of each of these technologies, and our use of them is not to be considered an endorsement.
For future IACR virtual events, we hope to be able to host more services on our own servers.