Dear all,

As the DIAC workshop is coming, i thought i'd share a reflection on the
CAESAR competition.

We're having 3rd Round now, many interesting ciphers still in the
competition and some interesting had to be rejected. My concern is
basically there has not been any discussion. But my main point is that it's
not coincidence or laziness of people there is no discussion, comments,
remarks. It's rather how the feedback has (not) been given or a climate for
discussion has been set up.

CAESAR has been running by our (relatively) small symmetric crypto
community. I think we should strive for openness and a free flow of ideas.

After the second round, designers received (after several weeks) feedback
from the committee members on their algorithms. But privately. CAESAR is
not the conference and if our point becomes "let's avoid some unnecessary
discussion" something is clearly wrong. Yes, from time to time there might
be some heated discussion, but generally we gain much more from openness
and transparency.

Also, i believe this is a huge waste of committee members effort. Some
feedback were superficial but some were very detailed. Particularly, for
young researchers or PhD students it could be very useful and interesting
to see much experienced point of view. Or, perhaps, a good starting point
for a fruitful argument.

Ironically, FSE recently has moved to a new journal-conference model which
should provide much better use of reviewers feedback and introduce more
collaborative (authors + reviewers) responsibility for a submitted paper. i
hope it will work great. With CAESAR it looks like we end up with something


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