The Nonproliferation Review

A refereed journal concerned with the spread of nuclear, chemical, biological, and conventional weapons. Featuring viewpoints, articles, and reports on programs, treaties and export controls, terrorism, and the economic and environmental effects of weapons proliferation.
Updated: Nov 25, 2013

2012-13 International Arms Control Essay Contest:
Innovation Through Open Source Technologies

Announcement - November 25, 2013

In accordance with the contest rules, the sponsors have decided to terminate the contest. We would like to thank all of the participants for their submissions and for their innovative and original ideas that inspire us to further explore the contest's topic.

The 2012-13 International Arms Control Essay Contest: Innovation Through Open Source Technologies, hosted by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) and the PIR Center with the support of the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (AVC), sought to generate and share across borders new ideas in the arms control policy arena.

Contest Sponsors

The 2012-13 International Arms Control Essay Contest is sponsored by the US State Department, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance; the Center for Policy Studies in Russia (PIR Center); and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).


This Contest will be hosted by the PIR Center (or http://пир-центр.рф) and CNS.

How To Enter

Compose an original prose essay in English or in Russian addressing the topic of international application of open source information and communication technologies (ICT) to arms control verification, compliance monitoring, and monitoring of sensitive facilities. US individuals may submit their essays to CNS and Russian individuals may submit their essays to the PIR Center. Individuals may submit no more than one essay each. Participation in the Contest is automatically deemed as acceptance of these Official Contest Rules. Once an entry is submitted, it is considered a final submission and may not be modified, edited, or replaced.

To enter, send an e-mail to either (for US individuals) or (for Russian individuals), including the contestant's (i) name, (ii) country, and (iii) e-mail address, and attaching the Contest entry as a separate Microsoft Word document.

Content Requirements

Submissions must not contain obscenity, explicit sexual material, nudity, profanity, graphic violence, calls or incitement to violence, commercial solicitation, or commercial promotion. Submissions also must not contain content or images that could be considered abusive, inflammatory, denigrating, or disrespectful to any of the Contest Sponsors, or to groups, individuals, or institutions. Submissions must adhere both in appearance and in fact to the norms of civil discourse. In other words, the content of all Submissions must be suitable for a global, public audience.

Submissions must be original content created by the Contestant and must not contain any elements that are protected by someone else's copyright or otherwise subject to third party intellectual property or proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights (except as expressly permitted below). Contest Sponsors recognize no allowance for "fair use" of copyrighted material, nor do Contest Sponsors recognize allowance of use of licensed materials created or owned by a third party.

The Contest Sponsors reserve the right to disqualify, at their sole and absolute discretion, any Submission that does not adhere to these criteria and to the intent and substance of these Official Contest Rules.

Submissions must follow technical format requirements for Microsoft Word documents and should not exceed a file size of 5MB. Submissions should not contain any visible watermarks, signatures, or personally identifiable information.

Submissions must be a minimum of 1,000 words and a maximum of 2,500 words (including citations), and include proper citation and attribution of sourced materials. No more than five supplementary materials (e.g. photos, graphics, schedules, etc.) are allowed and must contain proper citation and attribution to original authors or sources. Submissions must also adhere to the style guides outlined on the PIR Center and CNS websites.

In the event of any question or difference of view regarding compliance with, interpretation, or application of these Content Requirements or other provisions of these Official Contest Rules, the Contest Sponsors reserve the exclusive right to resolve such questions or differences of view in their sole discretion.


Contestants must be at least 18 years old on the date of commencement of the Contest. Contestants must be citizens of the United States or Russia.

The Contest commences at 17:00 GMT (12:00 EST), on December 3, 2012. UPDATED: Essays must be uploaded by 23:00 GMT (18:00 EST) Wednesday February 20, 2013.

The individual submitting the essay will be considered the Contestant and will be the only individual eligible to compete for the prize. Organizations or multiple authors are not eligible to compete for the prize, either as an entity, or through representation by an individual. In order to be eligible for the prize, the Contestant must provide complete and accurate information.

The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the Contest: Employees, directors, and officers of: the Contest Sponsors, the Platforms, the U.S Government, or contractors of the US Government; or distribution agencies, web design agencies, advertising agencies, fulfillment agencies, as well as judging and Contest agencies involved in the administration, development, fulfillment, and execution of this Contest, and the immediate family members (defined as spouse, recognized partner, parent, child, sibling, and spouse or "step" of each) and those living in the same households of each such individual.

Once an essay has been accepted for entry into the Contest, the Contestant's name and country may be publicly identified by the Contest Sponsors.

Selection of Winners—Judging Criteria

All essays will be pre-screened by the Contest Sponsors to ensure compliance with these Official Contest Rules and Terms of Service of CNS and the PIR Center. The Contest Sponsors reserve the right in their sole and absolute discretion to verify in the final analysis whether a potential finalist or potential winning Submission has fully complied with these Official Contest Rules before posting to the Contest site, awarding a prize, recognizing as a winner, etc. The judges of the entries will be from the Contest Sponsors, the PIR Center, CNS and the US Department of State's Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. Judging criteria will be based upon a clearly described idea being discussed or proposed by the author; rational and feasible ideas and thoughts relating to the topic of the Contest; and the supplementary information, publications, or examples supporting the essay's main idea.


Four US and four Russian finalists will be selected by CNS and the PIR Center, respectively. Each finalist will be required to sign and return to the Contest Sponsors an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release before he/she will be eligible to compete for the prize. The inability of Contest Sponsors to contact a potential finalist may result in disqualification.

PIR Center and CNS may at their discretion select some or all of the final eight essays to be posted or published, with the author's permission, on either PIR or CNS websites or in their respective publications.


One US and one Russian winner will be selected. Each winner will be required to sign and return to the Contest Sponsors an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release and a short biography; otherwise, he/she will be ineligible to receive the prize. The inability of Contest Sponsors to contact a potential winner may result in disqualification and/or selection of an alternate winner from among all remaining eligible finalists.

Winners will be announced on the US Department of State, PIR Center, and CNS websites. The US Department of State's Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance will post summaries of the two winning essays on the AVC website and have links to the PIR Center and CNS websites, which will host the full text of the winning essays. The PIR Center will host the winning US essay, and CNS will host the winning Russian essay. The winning US essay will be published in the PIR Center's Security Index and the winning Russian essay will be published in CNS's Nonproliferation Review.


Winners will receive an Apple iPad 2.

The winner must provide a valid physical mailing address where a prize is to be shipped. The Contest Sponsors are not responsible for any problems related to the shipping of any prize, including, but not limited to, theft, delay, damage, or destruction/accidental loss by the shipping carrier.

Any unused portion of the prize is not transferable, convertible, or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash. All taxes on or in connection with any prize, and the reporting consequences thereof, are the sole and exclusive responsibility of the winner.

Liability and Rights

The Contest Sponsors do not necessarily endorse any submitted essay, messages, or advice expressed therein, and the Contest Sponsors expressly disclaim any and all liability in connection with the submitted essays, including disputes between collaborators related to a Submission.

The Contest and its Sponsors do not permit copyright infringing activities or infringement of any other intellectual property rights, and Contest Sponsors reserve the right to remove and disqualify any Submission they deem to be in violation of another party's copyright or other intellectual property rights.

Contestants retain sole ownership of their original work. Submissions remain the intellectual property of the Contestants, and the Contest Sponsors and US Government make no claim of copyright as to the work of any individual who enters the Contest. Contestants specifically agree to give the US Department of State, the PIR Center, and CNS permission to use all content contestants submit for purposes of judging the contest. Finalists will be required to grant Contest Sponsors, with proper attribution through whatever means they deem appropriate, a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sub-licensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, and/or display the essay submission, in any media formats and through any media channels in perpetuity in connection with the activities and operations of the Contest.

The Contestant assumes sole responsibility for the Contest Submission and the material contained in it, and also for the consequences of submitting it to the CNS and PIR Center websites.

The Contest Sponsors reserve the right at any time, to verify the validity of entries and of Contestants and to disqualify any Contestant or entry deemed not in compliance or any entry deemed not in accordance with these Official Contest Rules. The Contest Sponsors also reserve the right to request further documentation, at their sole and absolute discretion, to verify eligibility and compliance with these Official Contest Rules. If a prize or any portion thereof, is unavailable, the Contest Sponsors, in their sole discretion, reserve the right to substitute the prize with another prize of equal or greater value and/or specification.

If this Contest is interfered or tampered with in any way by a Contestant, or a person acting on the Contestant's behalf, or, if, as a consequence of such interference, the Contest is not capable of being reasonably conducted in the manner anticipated by the Contest Sponsors, the Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion and to the fullest extent permitted by law, to disqualify any interfering Contestant and/or to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the Contest.

In addition, the Contest Sponsors reserve the right, at any time and in their sole discretion, to disqualify and/or deem ineligible any individual who they reasonably believe (a) has failed to agree to the Official Contest Rules or has violated the Official Contest Rules; (b) has violated the terms of use as outlined by the Contest Sponsors' websites; (c) is acting in a bad faith, unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.

If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including without limitation, infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Contest, the Contest Sponsors reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to cancel, modify, or terminate the Contest.

Contest Sponsors reserve the right to modify, suspend, terminate, or cancel the Contest, as appropriate, including due to any other reason beyond the control of the Contest Sponsors.

Contestants agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Contest Sponsors and Platform hosts, their parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies, officers, directors, employees and agents, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees) arising from (a) Contestants use and access to the CNS and the PIR Center websites, in connection with the Contest; (b) Contestants violation of these Official Contest Rules or the CNS and PIR Center websites' Terms of Service; (c) Contestants violation of any third party right, including without limitation any copyright, trademark, intellectual property, privacy, publicity, or other proprietary right in connection with the Contest; or (d) any claim that Contestant's Contest Submission caused harm to a third party. This defense and indemnification obligation will survive indefinitely beyond the conclusion of the Contest and Contestants' use of the CNS and PIR Center websites in connection with the Contest.

The conduct, judging, and awarding of prizes will be carried out in full compliance with applicable US law and host country law.

The personally identifiable information sought is pursuant to 22 USC Sec. 2652c. Contest Sponsors will take reasonable measures to protect personal data including storage of information on password-protected computer servers, access to which is limited to authorized individuals. In the event of a breach of sensitive personal information, the Department of State will comply with OMB M-07-16, Safeguarding Against and Responding to the Breach of Personally Identifiable Information and CNS and the PIR Center will adhere to their respective breach notification policies and procedures and will inform the other of the breach incident and remediation plan and implementation. The personal information solicited for the Contest may be used by the Contest Sponsors to administer the Contest and to notify Contest winners. Providing this information is voluntary. Failure to provide the information requested for the Contest may result in the disqualification of the Submission.

Neither Contest Sponsor nor Platform Host is liable for any disputes related to a Contest Submission.

At their sole discretion, Contest Sponsors may contact Contestants to propose collaboration on additional projects.

Limitations of Liability and Release

Contest Sponsors assume no liability or responsibility for any loss or harm resulting from any user's participation in or attempt to participate in the Contest or ability or inability to upload, download, or otherwise access any information in connection with participating in the Contest.

Contest Sponsors assume no responsibility or liability for technical problems, or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Contest: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity, or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any email transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted email transmissions; inaccessibility of the Contest site in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the Contest site; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Contest, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Contest, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the Contest.

Contest Sponsors are not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of prizes or these Official Contest Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the contest site.

Use of Contest site is at user's own risk. Contest Sponsors are not responsible for any personal injury, property damage, or losses of any kind which may be sustained to user's or another person's computer equipment resulting from participation in the Contest, use of the Contest site or the downloading of information from the Contest site. By participating in the Contest, the Contestant releases Contest Sponsors from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to such Contestant's participation in the Contest.

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