CHES 2020

14–18 Sep 2020

Virtual Conference

Participation Guidelines

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.

Schedule Structure

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 include invited talks, AMAs (ask me anything), a rump session, and social events. We recommend monitoring the conference program to see which sessions are upcoming.

Ways to Participate

Join the main event

Live Sessions

We will be holding live Q&A panels over Zoom 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 also be livestreamed on our YouTube channel and are available for later viewing. Links to the sessions will appear in the conference program if you are registered.

Text and Video Chat

We encourage you to make use of the Zulip instance we have set up on to connect with other conference attendees. There are a variety of channels, organized by topic. Chat is available via browser, but there are also desktop and mobile apps.

You can also start small video chat rooms from Zulip.

If you attended PKC, Eurocrypt, or Crypto this year and have already made an account on, you can still use that account.

If you're joining chat for the first time: you need to click on any of the chat buttons in the program. After you do that once, you'll be able to just go straight to

Social Events

We are planning social events for each day of the conference, and they will be listed in the program. Some of the social events will use a special app developed for IACR.

If you'd like to start your own social events, and want to allow other attendees to join, post a link on Zulip at


If you cannot participate live, you will still have access to all talks on our YouTube channel. The authors have pre-recorded their talks and you can view them at any time. Additionally, there will be copies of the live sessions available to watch.

Attending a Session

We are using Zoom for our live Q&A sessions. You do not have to install Zoom software to attend! If you plan to attend a session using your browser, it needs to be one of the following:

  • Internet Explorer* 10 or higher
  • Chromium-based Microsoft Edge 80 or higher
  • Google Chrome 53.0.2785 or higher
  • Safari* 10.0.602.1.50 or higher
  • Firefox 76 or higher
  • Chromium (not officially supported by Zoom, but the IACR has tested it and it appears to work similarly to Chrome)

* Please note that Zoom officially recommends Chrome, Edge, or Firefox for full functionality.

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 Zoom meeting with the web client.

Do I need a Zoom account?

We offer entrance to our sessions 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 to attend sessions, you will need a Zoom account.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ask a question during the live Q&A sessions?

We strongly encourage you to use the corresponding Zulip stream on or to ask it verbally during the session (when called on by moderators). Note that Zulip allows for other attendees to see your question and upvote it by reacting with emojis. Authors may answer verbally during the session or have a longer discussion on Zulip. Zoom chats are not automatically saved, so do not count on conversations held in Zoom chat to be available for future perusal or posterity.

The session times are not convenient for me. What can I do?

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 in chat via Zulip. If you don't want to watch the talks alone, we suggest you to host a watch party for others in your time zone. Post watch party links on Zulip if you'd like to encourage others to join.

Zoom and YouTube have security and privacy issues. Does this mean the IACR endorses these technologies?

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.