cryptoparties for learning essential survival skills

Eugen Leitl eugen at
Thu Sep 6 02:38:41 PDT 2012

Cryptoparties For Learning Essential Survival Skills

An interesting movement gaining momentum is cryptoparties, which is about
learning and sharing fundamental survival skills.

I say bsurvival skillsb, because it is about learning the fundamentals of
communicating securely and privately. In some places in the world, this is a
very tangible survival skill b right here, right now. People who donbt master
this survival skillb& disappear. In several places, it is outright social
darwinism: people who master these skills survive, others donbt.

In other parts of the world, it can very quickly become a survival skill. The
European Union and the United States alike are going down a path towards
similar societies quickly b and Odin knows what will happen on the United
Statesb impending collapse 5-10 years from now when it runs out of new


    CryptoParties are meetups to share and learn basic cryptographic tools
such as PGP/GPG, Tor, OTR, TrueCrypt, etc. At CryptoParty, we teach, learn
and share.

These are skills that will never be taught in official curriculums, so they
must spread in the underbrush by necessity b just like the skills for sharing
culture and knowledge using BitTorrent and similar tools have spread in the
underbrush and now have reached 250 million Europeans and 150 million
Americans, just like the skills on reflashing your Android phone with
Cyanogenmod has spread to over a million in the underbrush.

It is all our duty to support that underbrush. Our own survival depends on
other people we can communicate with securely, so it is in our interest that
other people, too, know how to communicate without being wiretapped andb&

This movement has significant similarities to the early PGP keysigning
parties, where people would meet to sign each otherbs keys to establish a
so-called cryptographic trust chain, but those assumed a much higher level of
up-front knowledge about cryptography and public-key technology. The
cryptoparties are more about learning the necessary skills from a fundamental

If you want a cryptoparty in your home town, why donbt you request one and
tap into the community?

All my devices are walk-away safe: no confidence placed in me will be leaked
if my phone, pad or notebook are stolen or forgotten. All my firewire ports
are glued shut and disabled at the bios level. All my iron locks up on power
loss and requires manual unlocking. I use encrypted, unwiretappable and
untraceable voice communications and text communications. I use my own mail
server and encrypt anything sensitive I put on Dropbox. I use Bitcoin for
unseizable funds and money transfers. Today, these are survival skills. If
you donbt know why, you should attend a cryptoparty.

(Hat tip to Asher Wolf and several others.)

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