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Cryptoparties

As seen both through the Edward Snowden revelations, and our recent campaign against PRISM and Tempora, something needs to be done to protect our email, IM chat and web browsing from the prying eyes of GCHQ and the NSA.

CryptopartyThere's currently a great deal of interest surrounding these issues and as a result people are looking for tools to help them protect their privacy and security online.

Cryptoparties are a great way for anyone to learn how to install and use tools to help secure their online communications.

To organise a Cryptoparty near you, contact us here.

What happens at Cryptoparties?
When you go to a Cryptoparty you learn about programs like GPG which allow you to send secure, encrypted messages using an ingenious system of key exchanges. You can also learn about secure messaging, anonymous web browsing and general tips for a safer web experience.

Importantly, doing your bit to make your online life a little less transparent to the NSA/GCHQ makes it more expensive for them to spy on everyone by default.

These tools are very useful but cannot guarantee that you will be completely safe. For starters they generally protect the content of documents, but not all the 'metadata' which is one of the limitations of encryption.

Will it just be geeks? Is it for people like me?
Cryptoparties are open to everyone from complete beginners to technical experts.

Activists, lawyers, journalists, doctors, small businessmen and the general public will come together to understand how to protect their documents, emails and passwords from being accessed.

How can I organise one?
Anyone can organise one! All you need are a few technical experts who are willing to teach others, and a venue with internet access and power sources, such as a pub, your local community centre, or a church or school hall. Detailed advice on how to organise a Cryptoparty can be found here.

Please let us know if you'd like to put on a Cryptoparty.

ORG will support you in organising the event by providing the essential materials, posting the list of upcoming cryptoparties on our website, and publicising the event via our email lists.

But you should give yourself a couple of weeks to plan the party as this will allow you to publicise it in your local area.

I know all this stuff already. Can I help teach?
Yes please! We're looking for technical experts to provide tutorials and technical assistance at the Cryptoparties. We need people who know how to:

  • Install and run GPG in a range of mail clients and platforms
  • Implement key exchange and signing
  • Install, configure and use TOR for anonymous browsing.
  • Install and use OTR (Off The Record) secure messaging.
  • Set up VPN for safe browsing at hotspots
  • Secure Filesharing

If you think you would be able to provide technical advice at a party, please let us know!

What if there's a Cryptoparty in my town already?
It's always worthwhile organising a party, even if there's already one in the same town or city. There's a Cryptoparty in London on 30th November but if you live in London please do organise another!

Having lots of Cryptoparties gets even more people involved and those who were able to download the programs at the first event, will be able to develop their knowledge of key signing at the second.