In an effort to fight increased cyber-surveillance by authorities, more hackers and security experts are sharing their tips to online security with the public.
According to Russia Today, there has been an increase in “cryptoparties,” gatherings where newcomers can learn how to shield their online usage from detection, through programs like the Tor Project, which developers say protects internet users from “traffic analysis,” a process used to deduce who someone is communicating with on public networks.
Also among the programs being used is CryptoCat. The difference between this program and online messaging services like Facebook chat and Google Talk, said its’ creator, Nadim Kobeissi, is that the messages users send in the latter aren’t private — they go back to their respective hosts, and can easily be intercepted by either them or government forces.
“CryptoCat does the same thing,” said Kobeissi, a former hacker. “It tries to establish a similar web IM service that’s just as easy to use, but at the same time, there’s a transparent layer of encryption.”
The added encryption leaves messages looking like gibberish to outside observers.
SC Magazine reported that the parties began in Australia and rapidly spread around the world. One of the first U.S. events reportedly drew more than 100 people to its afterparty alone.
One online activist, who identified herself by her online handle, “Asher Wolf,” told the magazine the concept spread rapidly via a dedicated Wiki page.
“When I woke up in the morning, they were all there,” she said.
RT’s report on “cryptoparties,” published Friday on YouTube, can be seen below.