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Just before the holiday break, partners from across Harvard, including the Wolbach Library, came together to host a Holiday CryptoParty. CryptoParties are, at their core, workshops at which attendees learn about privacy, security, and cryptography concepts and tools. This first (we think!) annual Harvard CryptoParty featured a theme: “Privacy, surveillance, and the scholarly enterprise.”

Attendees were able to visit tables staffed by “angels,” volunteer experts who each spoke about a particular tool or topic. Angels and their topics included:

  • Daina Bouquin (Wolbach Library), privacy for librarians
  • Griffin Boyce (Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society), security for activists
  • Kade Crockford (ACLU of Massachusetts), Signal, a secure messaging app
  • Nathan Freitas (Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society), Tor
  • Daniel Guarracino (Wolbach Library), PGP and email security
  • Ingrid Skoog (HUIT), phone settings

Lightning talks were featured throughout the event. Presenters included:

  • Daina Bouquin, whose talk was titled “Libraries’ Role in Online Security Discussions”
  • Nathan Freitas, whose talk was titled “Apples, Androids, and Anonymity: Tor on Smartphones and How it Helps!”
  • James O’Keefe (Massachusetts Pirate Party), whose talk was titled “Monthly CryptoParties”
  • Ingrid Skoog, whose talk was titled “Why Encrypt?”

And, of course, since thinking about online vulnerabilities can be upsetting, the CryptoParty also featured a snowflake-making table and goodies!

We hope that attendees left having learned more about online security and with next steps in mind to further secure their online activities. If you want to learn more about some of what was discussed at the CryptoParty, visit https://github.com/CfA-Library/Collaborations/tree/master/CryptoParty/CryptoParty_resources.

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