CryptoParty

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CryptoParty (Crypto-Party) is a grassroots global endeavour[1] to introduce the basics of practical cryptography such as the Tor anonymity network, key signing parties, TrueCrypt, and virtual private networks to the general public.[2][3] The project primarily consists of a series of free public workshops.


History[edit]

A flyer for a CryptoParty in Santiago, Chile featuring Alice in Wonderland imagery.

A successor to the Cypherpunks of the 1990s,[4] CryptoParty was conceived in late August 2012 in a casual Twitter conversation between an Australian privacy advocate (who goes by the nom de plume Asher Wolf) with computer security experts following the passage of the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 and the proposal of a two-year data retention law in that country,[5] the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011.[6] The DIY, self-organizing movement immediately went viral,[7] with a dozen autonomous CryptoParties being organized within hours in cities throughout Australia, the US, the UK, and Germany. [8] “When I woke up in the morning, they were all there,” Wolf said in an interview.[9] Many more were soon organized or held in Chile,[10] The Netherlands, Hawaii, Asia, etc. Tor usage in Australia itself spiked,[11] and CryptoParty London with 130 attendees -some of whom were veterans of the Occupy London movement- had to be moved from London Hackspace to the Google campus in east London's Tech City.

As of mid-October 2012 some 30 CryptoParties have been held globally, some on a continuing basis, and CryptoParties were held on the same day in Reykjavik, Brussels and Manila. [12]

Media response[edit]

Sample promotional art work. The electromechanical computer in the background is the U.S. Navy Bombe which helped cryptanalyze the Enigma machine during WWII.

CryptoParty has received early messages of support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation[13] and (purportedly) AnonyOps,[14] as well as the NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, Wikileaks central editor Heather Marsh,[15][16] and Wired reporter Quinn Norton.[17] Eric Hughes, the author of A Cypherpunk's Manifesto nearly two decades before, delivered the keynote address, Putting the Personal Back in Personal Computers, at the Amsterdam CryptoParty on 2012-09-27.[18] Marcin de Kaminski, founding member of Piratbyrån which in turn founded The Pirate Bay, regards CryptoParty as the most important civic project in cryptography today,[19][20] and Cory Doctorow has characterized a CryptoParty as being "like a Tupperware party for learning crypto."[21]

Publications[edit]

The first draft of the 442-page CryptoParty Handbook (the hard copy of which is available at cost), was pulled together in three days using the book sprint approach,[22] and was released 2012-10-04 under a CC-BY-SA license; it remains under constant revision.[23]

Attack and site takedown[edit]

In April and May 2013, the movement's main wiki page, cryptoparty.org, was subject to a series of spam attacks that eventually resulted in the site being taken out of service. Protection against spam attacks was rendered more difficult than on other wikis by a site-specific policy permitting edits from users employing anonymization services. Spam attacks were also facilitated by the use of inappropriate mediawiki settings in ConfirmEdit plugin. The use of SimpleCaptcha is not recommended by the ConfirmEdit authors (" [...] used by very few wikis outside WMF if any, probably because of scarce effectiveness").[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Privacy in Ubuntu 12.10: Full Disk Encryption | Electronic Frontier Foundation". Eff.org. 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  2. ^ Pauli, Darren (2012-09-04). "Cryptoparty goes viral - Crypto - SC Magazine Australia - Secure Business Intelligence". Scmagazine.com.au. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  3. ^ "The Woman Behind CryptoParty". Rferl.org. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  4. ^ "CryptoParty Like It's 1993". Techdirt. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  5. ^ "Your Data Is Safe With Nicola Roxon". Newmatilda.com. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  6. ^ "Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 – Parliament of Australia". Aph.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  7. ^ "Ain't no party like a cryptoparty: privacy goes viral". YouTube. 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  8. ^ "Crypto Partys: Eins ist unsicher: Unsere Daten - Debatten". FAZ. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  9. ^ Pauli, Darren (2012-09-04). "Cryptoparty goes viral - Crypto - SC Magazine Australia - Secure Business Intelligence". Scmagazine.com.au. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  10. ^ "entodaspartes.net representando | Just another WordPress site". Entodaspartes.org. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  11. ^ "Tor Metrics Portal: Users". Metrics.torproject.org. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  12. ^ Name. "Cryptoparties Teach Data Privacy To The Public | Cryptoparty Sydney | SBS World News". Sbs.com.au. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  13. ^ cryptopartymelb. "Message from EFF". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  14. ^ cryptopartymelb. "Message from AnonyOps". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  15. ^ Marsh, Heather. "CryptoParty Melbourne". GeorgieBC's Blog. Retrieved September 22, 2012. 
  16. ^ 0.00 (2012-09-23). "cryptoparty's sounds on SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  17. ^ 0.00 (2012-09-23). "cryptoparty's sounds on SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  18. ^ "Twitter / DrWhax: I might as well reveal the". Twitter.com. 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  19. ^ "Cryptoparty-Bewegung: Die Cypherpunks sind zurück - SPIEGEL ONLINE". Spiegel.de. 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  20. ^ "Google Translate". Translate.google.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  21. ^ Cory Doctorow at 10:00 am Fri, Oct 12. "CryptoParty: like a Tupperware party for learning crypto". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  22. ^ "CryptoParty Like It's 1993". Techdirt. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  23. ^ "CryptoPartyHandbook". CryptoParty. 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  24. ^ ConfirmEdit, Mediawiki extension. mediawiki.org 15-06-2013. Retrieved 23-06-2013

External links[edit]