[HacktionLab] How to CryptoParty
mickfuzz at clearerchannel.org
Thu Dec 5 11:57:58 UTC 2013
There are lots of good things in that Handbook however!
How To CryptoParty
Throw a party. All you need is a time, a date and a location. Add it
to the wiki: https://cryptoparty.org.
Make sure you have Internet connectivity and enough power sources
for all devices. If you do not have a place to hold a CryptoParty,
find a pub or park where you can meet and squeeze the public
bandwidth. That will really hone your skills!
Bring USB sticks and printed handouts for those who need them, and
set up old computers for people to fiddle with and try out new skills.
Talk about Linux to everyone you meet at your CryptoParty. If you
are new to CryptoParties - ask someone "what is Linux?" ASAP.
Make entry free for all if possible - CryptoParties are
not-for-profit, not commercially aligned and especially important
for those without other resources.
Teach basic cryptographic tools to the masses. Crowd-source the best
crypto. We suggest PGP, OTR, and Tor as the first tools to install.
Invite experts and non-experts from all fields. Everyone is an
expert on something.
If you want CryptoParty to do something, start doing it. Organise
organically and chaotically. Have no clear leadership. Urge people
to take on a sudo leadership role - take a tutorial, fix the wifi,
update the wiki, or organise the next CryptoParty. If someone claims
others are doing it wrong - invite them to nominate themselves to do
Ask for feedback. Assimilate critics - ask them for their help in
creating a better CryptoParty. Do not be scared to troll the trolls
back or boot them from your space. Share feedback on the wiki. Iterate.
A successful CryptoParty can have as many or as few as two people.
Size doesn't count, it's what you do with it that matters. The
criterion for success should be that everyone had fun, learned
something and wants to come to the next party.
Think of the CryptoParty movement as a huge Twitter hive ready to
swarm at any moment. Tweet a lot, and make your tweets are
meaningful. ReTweet other CryptoPartiers frequently.
Make sure the way crypto is taught at your party could be understood
by a 10 year old. Then have the 10 year old teach it to an 80 year
old. Breach the digital divide with random acts of awesomeness such
as unfettered use of images of kittens in all CryptoParty
literature. Red underpants on heads is only mandatory if you wish to
bid in our spectrum auction.
Consider hosting private, off-the-radar CryptoParties for activists,
journalists and in individuals working in dangerous locations.
Don't scare non-technical people. Don't teach command lines before
people know where the on-off buttons are located on their laptops.
Everyone learns at their own pace - make sure there is support for
those in need of help.
Doing excellent stuff at CryptoParty does not require permission or
an official consensus decision. If you're uncertain about the
excellence of something you want to do, you should ask someone else
what they think.
Consider the need for a bouncer, particularly if your CryptoParty
expects over 50 people. Dress the bouncer up as a Sumo wrestler. Do
not be afraid bounce people who breach CryptoParty's anti-harassment
CryptoParty is dedicated to providing a harassment-free sharing
experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation,
disability, physical appearance, body size, heritage, or religion.
Behaving like an arsehole may mean you are permanently uninvited to
CryptoParties events. Harassment includes:
o hurtful or offensive comments
o deliberate intimidation
o direct or indirect threats
o inappropriate physical contact
o unwelcome sexual attention.
Encourage a culture of sharing. Encourage advanced users to help
not-so advanced ones. Delegate.
Use online meeting platforms like mumble, or even chatrooms (e.g.
#cryptoparty room on http://occupytalk.org/) when physical meetups
are not possible or impractical.
Copy from other cryptoparties. Remix, Reuse and Share. Create a
basket of old devices people are willing to donate to more needy
Get the word out! Print posters and/or flyers and distribute them in
your neighbourhood, post online versions to social networks and mail
them to friends, for them to distribute the info even further.
Don't sell out to sponsors for pizza and beer money. Ask people to
try and bring food and drink to share. Host CryptoPicnics as often
as possible. Make friends with librarians. They wield power over
keys to local, public meeting rooms that may be free of charge to
Invite all the people. Bring people together who have a wide range
of skills and interests - musicians, political pundits, activists,
hackers, programmers, journalists, artists and philosophers. Spread
Invite the graphic designers and illustrators you know to contribute
new ways to help people understand crypto.
Invite everyone to share their knowledge and their skills.
Individuals with little or no coding, programming, hacking or crypto
skills can change cultures by promoting the idea that privacy is a
Share music, beers, & chips. Bond together over eclectic music,
cheeseballs, installing GPG, TrueCrypt, OTR and Tor, as well as
watching movies together. We recommend Hackers, The Matrix,
Bladerunner, Tron, Wargames, Sneakers, and The Net.
Do not work too hard. Take breaks. Eat popcorn together. Create
slang, phrases, memes.
When people at CryptoParties ask for advice on "hacking the Gibson"
refer them to episodes of 'My Little Pony'.
Create fliers and advertise using slogans like: "CryptoParties: If
there is hope, it lies in the proles" and "CryptoParty like it's
1984." CryptoParty all the things to avoid oppression and depression.
Seed CryptoParties in your local communities - at nursing homes,
scout groups, music festivals, universities, schools. Take
CryptoParty to isolated and remote communities. Make friends in far
away places and travel whenever possible. Ask people in rural
farming communities if they'd like to CryptoParty.
Share shimmering opportunities of crowd-sourced privacy: swap cheap,
pre-paid SIMs, handsets and travel cards.
Create logos in bright pink and purple, with hearts all over them.
Promote CryptoParties to rebellious 13 year old girls. Declare
success if rebellious 13 year old girls demand to attend your parties.
Become friends with journalists. Invite them to your parties. Teach
them crypto. Do not scare them by discussing Assassination Markets.
Strew CryptoParty sigils across your city in 3am post-party raids.
Make lots of stickers, paste them everywhere.
Experiment, constantly. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Encourage
people to tinker. Assume all mistakes are meant to made. Most people
under intel agency scrutiny have electronic devices already
compromised before they walk in the door. Teach people to install
tools from scratch, so they can do it on a new machine, away from
Assume intel agencies send representative to CryptoParties.
Acknowledge their presence at the start of your meeting, ask them to
share their crypto skills. Joke about paranoia as often as possible
without instilling panic. Wear tinfoil hats.
Be excellent to each other and CryptoParty on.
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