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[liberationtech] CryptoParty Handbook

Asher Wolf asherwolf at
Sun Oct 7 16:40:10 PDT 2012

The argument everyone is politely avoiding - while pondering the
numerous ways CryptoParty will expose already compromised individuals -
is whether the masses SHOULD use crypto.

Rain-check: it's happening - or at least, the users are are trying -
regardless of whether they're are doing it right, or regardless of
whether more experienced ppl are willing to offer their advice or not,
and completely separate to the philosophical, technical and security
related-discussions that are currently swirling.

Basically: hello crypto, the users are here.

>From experience, most of the non-tech ppl who attended Melbourne's
Cryptoparty had previously attempted to install various tools by
themselves and had either (a) failed (b) installed them incorrectly (c)
couldn't figure out how to configure them (d) given up 'til now.

CryptoParty is essentially the user saying: We are working together to
trying to figure out how to do it better. We need these tools.

Whatever the best-practice model actually is, it'll be crowdsourced,
because people are unwilling to wait for easy 'crypto manna from
heaven', offered up on a plate.

And frankly, the users have much to learn from the crypto experts and
it'd be a damn shame if knowledgeable people refused to teach or share
their expertise because ppl are "doing it wrong."

We've known we've been doing it wrong for a long time now and going back
to Facebook to organise is no longer an option.

The creation of CryptoParty was a spontaneous, viral storm. It was NOT a
concerted, centrally-organised campaign, with funding or even a
best-practice model. My hope is that experts contribute to eventually
provide a best-practice model, and that users give the necessary
feedback allowing for tweaks in tools and creation of more accessible


On 8/10/12 8:35 AM, Brian Conley wrote:
> Greg its called orbot and it runs on Android. Secondly I used to agree with
> you, but I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that user education, not
> simplification, is the more important piece of the user security and
> privacy problem. That said, the tools do need to get more accessible, but
> we are getting there. I don't believe there has been as sizable a change in
> public health and user information campaign efforts.
> I'm looking forward to digesting the cryptoparty manual and seeing whether
> I can contribute anything in the form of copyediting or other assistance to
> increase accessibility.
> On 7 Oct 2012 21:10, "Greg Norcie" <greg at> wrote:
> --
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