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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, I2P, Freenet, key signing parties, disk encryption and virtual private networks to the general public.[2][3] The project primarily consists of a series of free public workshops.


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

As a successor to the Cypherpunks of the 1990s,[4] CryptoParty was conceived in late August 2012 by the Australian journalist Asher Wolf in a Twitter post[5] following the passing of the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 and the proposal of a two-year data retention law in that country,[6] the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011.[7] The DIY, self-organizing movement immediately went viral,[8] with a dozen autonomous CryptoParties being organized within hours in cities throughout Australia, the US, the UK, and Germany. [9] Many more parties were soon organized or held in Chile, The Netherlands, Hawaii, Asia, etc. Tor usage in Australia itself spiked,[10] 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.[11]

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, and was released 2012-10-04 under a CC BY-SA license.[12]

Edward Snowden involvement[edit]

In May 2014, Wired reported that Edward Snowden, while employed by Dell as an NSA contractor, organized a local CryptoParty at a small hackerspace in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 11, six months before becoming well known for leaking tens of thousands of secret U.S. government documents. During the CryptoParty, Snowden taught 20 Hawaii residents how to encrypt their hard drives and use the Internet anonymously. The event was filmed by Snowden's then-girlfriend, but the video has never been released online. In a follow-up post to the CryptoParty wiki,[13] Snowden pronounced the event a "huge success."[14]

Media response[edit]

CryptoParty has received early messages of support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation[15] and (purportedly) AnonyOps, as well as the NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, WikiLeaks central editor Heather Marsh,[16][17] and Wired reporter Quinn Norton.[18] 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.[19] 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,[20][21] and Cory Doctorow has characterized a CryptoParty as being "like a Tupperware party for learning crypto."[22] Der Spiegel in December 2014 mentioned "crypto parties" in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks in an article about the NSA.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Privacy in Ubuntu 12.10: Full Disk Encryption | Electronic Frontier Foundation". 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  2. ^ Pauli, Darren (2012-09-04). "Cryptoparty goes viral". Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  3. ^ "The Woman Behind CryptoParty". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  4. ^ "CryptoParty Like It's 1993". Techdirt. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  5. ^ "Asher Wolf on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  6. ^ "Your Data Is Safe With Nicola Roxon". Archived from the original on 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  7. ^ "Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 – Parliament of Australia". Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  8. ^ "Ain't no party like a cryptoparty: privacy goes viral". YouTube. 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  9. ^ Küchemann, Fridtjof. "Crypto Partys: Eins ist unsicher: Unsere Daten - Debatten". FAZ. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  10. ^ "Tor Metrics Portal: Users". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  11. ^ "Cryptoparties Teach Data Privacy To The Public | Cryptoparty Sydney | SBS World News". Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  12. ^ "CryptoParty Like It's 1993". Techdirt. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  13. ^ "Snowden's Post in the CryptoParty Wiki". 2012. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
  14. ^ Poulsen, Kevin (2014-05-21). "Snowden's First Move Against the NSA Was a Party in Hawaii". Wired. Retrieved 2014-05-21.
  15. ^ Schoen, Seth (2013-12-28). "2013 in Review: Encrypting the Web Takes A Huge Leap Forward". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  16. ^ Marsh, Heather (2012-09-22). "CryptoParty Melbourne". GeorgieBC's Blog. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  17. ^ "cryptoparty's stream on SoundCloud". 2012-09-23. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  18. ^ "cryptoparty's sounds on SoundCloud". 2012-09-23. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  19. ^ "Twitter / DrWhax: I might as well reveal the". 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  20. ^ "Cryptoparty-Bewegung: Die Cypherpunks sind zurück". Der Spiegel. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  21. ^ "Google Translate". Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  22. ^ Doctorow, Cory (2012-10-12). "CryptoParty: like a Tupperware party for learning crypto". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  23. ^ /inside-the-nsa-s-war-on-internet-security

External links[edit]