• Internet Freedom Hack: Defending Encryption - Aaron Swartz Day 2018

    Our partners at Hack for Privacy are running Internet Freedom Hack, a community hackathon event that brings technologists and people with a passion for digital rights together to build software that advances the cause of internet freedom. We will run for the third time in Brisbane and Melbourne for Aaron Swartz Day, on the weekend of 9th-11th November 2018. The theme this time is “defending encryption” (against the government’s attack on encryption). Any project that fits under the broad umbrella of internet freedom, including anything that aligns closely with Aaron Swartz’s work on transparency and accountability, is welcome. Registration is now open for both events at https://internetfreedomhack.org/melbourne

  • Internet Freedom Hack: Defending Truth


    We've been working with our partners, Hack for Privacy, Australian Privacy Foundation, Blueprint for Free Speech, Digital Rights Watch, and Electronic Frontiers Australia, for a two day event, Internet Freedom Hack. Internet Freedom Hack is a community event that brings technologists with a passion for digital rights together for a weekend to build things that advance the cause of internet freedom. On Saturday, we'll open up to a wider audience for talks and conversations with renowned digital rights experts across Australia and beyond. Registration is now open for both events at https://internetfreedomhack.org/melbourne

  • Special Presentation: Marcy Wheeler - PRISM (702) and effects on 5EYES countries

    Sometime in 2017, the US Congress will reauthorise the law that permits one of the key Five Eyes spying programs, FISA Section 702. Section 702 authorises both PRISM (the collection of content directly from US tech companies like Google and Microsoft) and upstream surveillance (the collection, via packet sniffing, of other communications transiting the US telecommunications backbone). The reauthorisation takes place in the wake of Barack Obama's expansion of intelligence sharing collected via other means, under Executive Order 12333. About the Event Marcy Wheeler (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcy_Wheeler), an advisor to the US Congress' Fourth Amendment Caucus and an expert on this and other US surveillance laws, will explain what the authorisation fight means for US spying generally. She will explain recent problems with upstream surveillance and what it means for NSA and the Five Eyes' packet sniffing collection more generally. She will lay out what the prospects are for reform of 702 this year -- and what additional protections that might offer Australians. She'll explain the greater risk of surveillance under EO 12333. And she'll lay US surveillance, generally, against the background of Donald Trump's administration and his paranoid claims that he, too, has been the target of a "tapp." About the Presenter Marcy Wheeler (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcy_Wheeler) has been blogging full time since 2007. She's known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps. A key congressional staffer recently introduced Marcy as "the person outside of government who knows the most about surveillance". Marcy is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her blog, emptywheel.net, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation. Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the "feuilleton", a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  • CryptoParty – Privacy for Organisers of Actions, Events and Movement building

    Technology is becoming key to organising actions, events and movement building. As part of using these powerful tools, we are putting more information, communications and data online than ever before. Meanwhile, the Australian government is introducing laws to retain our data, and spending more money and resources on increasingly invasive spying techniques, together with data surveillance and filtering. Discussion will focus on concepts and solutions to make your organising more private and secure. Aimed at beginners and relevant to experts. There are ways to secure yourself and your groups. Let us show you how. Invite friends to our Facebook Event (https://www.facebook.com/events/291276987994533/) Cryptobar with Shae and Michael Looking to secure your laptop, tablet and phone, but not sure how? Bring it along and our volunteer tech-experts will lend a hand. Please ensure you have backed up your devices prior to coming along. Tech experts will exercise all care, but have no responsibility for your device and data. If you consider yourself a tech expert and would like to help people with securing their devices, please let us know in advance, if you would like to come along and volunteer. Want to get involved? If you would like to use your skills helping community organisers and protest groups, please come along and we will connect you with the right people. Event Facilitators Glenn Todd (https://glenntodd.net/) 17 years working with community groups (https://glenntodd.net/community-work/) including Frontline Action on Coal, Friends of the Earth and Reef Defenders. Founder of ActionSkills and producer of the guide Digital Security for Everyone (https://actionskills.org/course/digital-security/). Peter Tonoli (https://twitter.com/peter_tonoli) More than 20 years experience in the Australian IT industry; having been involved with the internet since its inception in Australia. I cut my teeth through the establishment and system administration of seminal internet services. Also works as an independent information architecture and security consultant in the non-profit sector for numerous free speech and data sovereignty based organisations.

  • Set up your self-hosted end-to-end encrypted chat server workshop

    Audience: Intermediate / Advanced Do you collaborate a lot? Are you a exchanging sensitive information frequently with your friends and colleagues? Do you share lots of secrets over Slack? If you answered 'yes', there is a better way. In this workshop led by Lilly Ryan (@attacus_au (https://twitter.com/attacus_au)), a software engineer and privacy advocate based in Melbourne, we build our own end-to-end encrypted secure group chat service based on Matrix and Riot. Matrix is an open standard for decentralised communication and Riot allows teams to communicate across a wide range of collaboration apps. The goal of this workshop is to teach you how to configure and run your own Matrix/Riot service. By the end of the workshop, you should be able to log into secure chat rooms and invite others to the same server. What is Matrix? Matrix and Riot work together to provide a chat service which behaves in a similar way to popular services like Slack. Unlike Slack, however, this tech stack is free and open source. This means you, your team, or your company can easily host your own Matrix servers so that all information that passes through there can remain within the control of your organisation instead of a third party. Matrix also provides native support for encrypted chat rooms. If you set it up, chat channels on your server can be end-to-end encrypted. Anyone on your server can verify their fingerprints with each other out-of-channel to make sure that the people in the room are the ones you want there. Setup: In this workshop, we will be using the Linux command line. Windows users should prepare for the workshop by downloading a SSH terminal, such as PuTTY (http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/), beforehand.

  • OpenAustralia Foundation & CryptoParty Mashup: Freedom of Information Workshop

    Much of what we know about government and corporate surveillance and the effectiveness of encryption today has been revealed through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. Through FOI we’ve learned practical details of Australia’s mandatory data-retention system (https://www.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/2016/02/05/another-big-story-from-right-to-know-and-how-you-can-do-it-too/), how Stingray devices (https://theintercept.com/2016/09/12/long-secret-stingray-manuals-detail-how-police-can-spy-on-phones/) are used by US Police, and the ABS’s policy (https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/census_how_will_abs_deal_with_th) for prosecuting people who refuse to fill out the Census. Do you have questions for our government? Come and learn how easy it is to make FOI request and put your right to know to use. The OpenAustralia Foundation (https://www.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/) is teaming up with CryptoParty Melbourne (https://www.cryptoparty.in/melbourne) to help you use your Right To Know. You’ll learn the basics of FOI, what kinds of information you can get, and why CryptoParty People are perfectly positioned to get important documents released. After a presentation to learn the basics, we’ll get hands on and you’ll actually make an FOI request in our Right To Know workshop. The OpenAustralia Foundation runs Right To Know (https://www.righttoknow.org.au/), a website that helps you access documents held by Australian government authorities. Everyone has the right to ask for information, and by law they have to respond. CryptoParty is a decentralised movement with events happening all over the world. The goal is to pass on knowledge about protecting yourself in the digital space. This can include encrypted communication, preventing being tracked while browsing the web, and general security advice regarding computers and smartphones. Crypto Party Melbourne (https://www.cryptoparty.in/melbourne) events are open for everyone, but especially for people without prior knowledge of encryption who want to get started. The events are, for free, and most of all, fun.