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[liberationtech] CryptoParty Handbook

Asher Wolf asherwolf at
Tue Oct 9 05:47:55 PDT 2012

On 9/10/12 10:36 PM, Jacob Appelbaum wrote:
>> > I did not work on the technical aspects of the book. I cannot. I do not
>> > have the right skill set.

> This attitude, I think, is a key issue this community and many others
> face. You cannot? Or you will not?
> I believe that you are totally able to learn and I think that it is very
> demoralizing when people say they are *unable* or *unwilling* to learn.
> That isn't to say that you will become a developer of cryptographic
> protocols. It is to say that many people will need to make choices about
> security and trusting a vanguard is dangerous. We're always trusting
> someone and I realize that reality. I didn't write my own compiler to
> compile my email client before sending this email with hand crafted
> electrons... However the high level view of most of this stuff is well
> within the grasp of each person - it just requires an interest and
> *educational resources* that empowers *all people* to learn.

Wait, I'm just trying to remember when I last slept more than 4 hours in
a night while trying to educate myself.

I've gone from being a Facebook user to running OTR, PGP and Tor all in
under a month.

I'm trying to put in the time I have free - mostly between 1am and 4am -
towards learning.

Note: I'm a sole parent, without access to child support, no childcare
and trying to support myself, my son, put myself through postgraduate
studies and contribute to social movements.

1 year ago I didn't own a laptop. Everything I created online in the
past 2 years prior was on the only thing I could afford - a phone.

The CryptoParty peeps in Germany wrote the book during a time frame that
coincided mostly between 12 midnight and 4am my time here in Australia.
I tried to contribute where I could.

But I can't spot issues I don't even understand yet. I don't know what I
don't know. It takes time to learn.

I outlaid the costs on CryptoParty Melbourne from my own pocket, to
educate myself, as much as other people.

Am I unable or unwilling to learn? Am I demoralizing others by being
unwilling to learn? You decide.

Am I always trusting others rather than trying to understand for myself?
Well, I cannot read the code (yet) behind certain platforms. When I try
to develop an informed decision around security based on the best info I
have at hand - usually by watching the tech journos and tech experts on
twitter - and then I am often called to account - personally - for my
decisions to use or not use certain platforms.

Am I being empowered to learn? Am I empowering others to learn? I hope
so. I'm trying to be the best example I can be, and to be honest it is
not easy.

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