With our computers and mobile devices we are generating a huge amount of data every day, even by just being connected to mobile networks and the internet. Governments and companies are very interested in our data and approriate our data without our explicit consent.
In the past years, the amount of smart applications and users that have access to those apps has increased enormously. Not only are we longer and more often online, we also use more tools that help us to communicate, work and travel faster and more efficiently.
But do we citizens trust those thousands of companies that they will safely use our data? That your login credentials and creditcard information are not up for grabs? Some parties are more trustworthy than others - this is partly a personal preference. But as a user, you currently have no choice of which data you want to share or where you want to store your personal data.
One way to raise awareness of the possible technical solutions to protect yourself online is organizing a so-called CryptoParty; on November 26 one was held with 120 participants. Dutch journalist Maurits Martijn of De Correspondent invited fifteen Dutch hackers and digital rights movement Bits of Freedom to help. Two of those fifteen were Taco van Dijk (developer) and Henk Buursen (sysadmin) of Waag. They helped with installing the right tools (like browser plug-ins).
Taco says about it: "This kind of events cannot be held enough, it is important that as many people as possible get to know about the steps they can take to protect themselves. Anyone can organize a CrytoParty (here are some tips) - the only thing needed is a date and time, a location and enough bandwidth and power."
In December we will trow a CrypoParty for our own staff. And starting next year we will give this kind of service a place within our public or workshop programme somehow.