Saturday 15 September 2012

Cryptoparties are popular, so we started an online one

Well, where do I start. Since announcing the first London Cryptoparty last week, we quickly realised the space we had booked at the London Hackspace was way too small for our needs, so we quickly rearranged to use the google campus.

There seems to be a bit of irony that we're using the google campus as a venue for a Cryptoparty, given that google are one of the biggest data collectors in the big brother society. However, the essence of the Cryptoparty is to reveal only what you wish to reveal. In a city like London, there are cameras everywhere. Wherever we go, we will be watched and filmed and recorded. In this situation, why not take our campaign into the belly of the beast, so to speak, and show them we aren't afraid of them, and we can beat them at their own game.

There is one concern we had using the google campus. Everyone coming will have to give a name, and we greatly encourage you to not make that your real name, although please be a bit more creative than Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. We can get away with a lot, but they aren't complete idiots. We have already had over half the maximum allocation taken for this event, so please register fast to avoid disappointment. Once the tickets do sell out, we will be running a waiting list in case of people dropping out.

Another exciting addition recently is the Online Cryptoparty. This came about over a conversation on the Occpytalk Mumble platform on the subject. It turns out there are a lot of people who don't live in the locality of a Cryptoparty, or don't have enough local support to set one up. This will take place on Wednesday 26th September, and will be mainly focused as a skills sharing workshop, and making sure everyone has the tools and knowledge to be able to stay safe online. Everyone is welcome to attend this, and hopefully this can become a regular meeting.

I'm sure a lot of the workshops for both live and online Cryptopartys will seem very basic to people who have experience with cryptography and safety techniques before, but this has to be the case, and I urge everyone with any experience to be on hand to help people out. Certainly the online party will focus on the most basic systems at first, but we aim for this to become a regular event, with more advanced techniques being discussed at later events, when everyone has mastered the basics.