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A CryptoParty History: Party Like It's 1984

Because everything sounds better when someone promises there'll be beer.

What is CryptoParty?

Interested parties with computers, devices, and the willingness to learn how to use the most basic crypto programs and the fundamental concepts of their operation! CryptoParties are free to attend, public and commercially non-aligned.

CryptoParty is a decentralized, global initiative to introduce basic cryptography tools - such as the Tor anonymity network, public key encryption (PGP/GPG), and OTR (Off The Record messaging) - to the general public.

The CryptoParty idea was conceived on August 22nd 2012 as the result of a casual Twitter conversation between information activist and Twitter identity Asher Wolf and computer security experts in the wake of the Australian Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011.

"The DIY, self-organizing movement immediately went viral, with a dozen autonomous CryptoParties being organized within hours in cities throughout Australia, the US, the UK, and Germany."

Currently sixteen CryptoParties have been held in a dozen different countries worldwide, and many more are planned. Tor usage in Australia has spiked after four CryptoParties, and the London CryptoParty had to be moved from London Hackspace to the Google Campus to accommodate the large number of eager participants, with 125 ticketed guests and 40 people on the waiting list. Similarly, CryptoParty Melbourne found interest outstripped venue capacity - originally planned for approximately 30 participants - over 70 people turned up.

CryptoParty has received messages of support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, AnonyOps, NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, former WikiLeaks Central editor Heather Marsh, and Wired reporter Quinn Norton. Eric Hughes, the author of A Cypherpunk's Manifesto twenty years before, delivered a keynote address at Amsterdam's first CryptoParty.

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