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How To CryptoParty

  • Throw a party. All you need is a time, a date and a location. Add it to the wiki:

  • 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 it better.

  • 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 policy.

  • 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:

    • hurtful or offensive comments
    • deliberate intimidation
    • direct or indirect threats
    • stalking
    • following
    • inappropriate physical contact
    • unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Encourage a culture of sharing. Encourage advanced users to help not-so advanced ones. Delegate.

  • Use online meeting platforms like mumble (e.g. #cryptoparty room on 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 CryptoPartiers.

  • 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 utilize.

  • 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 the love.

  • 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 fundamental right.

  • 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 prying eyes.

  • 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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