CryptoAustralia was founded by six privacy and security enthusiasts in early 2017. They’ve all had some exposure to digital privacy and security before, such as Gabor running Cryptoparty events in 2015-2016, Aiza being a SCADA security engineer and Nick and Peter being involved with other not-for-profit privacy organisations.
The founding members put their heads together and came up with the idea of a new organisation that could help Australians in a practical way with their privacy and security challenges.
Although the founders may come from slightly different professional backgrounds, we all agree that learning by doing is the most effective way to develop skills for defending privacy. This is why we believe in hands-on workshops, where private citizens and professionals can turn up with their smartphones and laptops to learn, install, configure and hack the with latest tools and techniques.
Our goal is to bring privacy and security experts together with the people in need, regardless of their professional background.
Gabor attended his first Cryptoparty in Belfast in 2015. After moving to Sydney in late 2015 and realising there had been no Cryptoparty events locally for years, he set about reviving the community. Gabor was able to organise over 20 events in 2015 and 16 with some support from colleagues by way of venue hire and catering. He soon discovered that running CryptoParties alone was a challenging task. With the support and backing of people in the Sydney Cryptoparty community, and the shared vision of a society where everyone can defend their privacy, Gabor along with five trusted community members formed CryptoAustralia.
CryptoAustralia plans to run a variety of projects and events for the privacy and information security community with a pledge to keep CryptoParties free to the general public.
Please refer to the relevant Wikipedia article on CryptoParty for the full details, including the movements' vision, founding members and its history. For the latest CryptoParty events and updates, have a look on the movement's main website at cryptoparty.in.
We have changed the name of the Meetup group to CryptoAUSTRALIA Digital Self-Defence & Privacy.
The reason was that we have reached the point where our goals have become more diverse than the workshops in the early days of the CryptoParty Sydney Meetup, where the intent was to introduce the general public to basic privacy tools such as Tor, VPNs and PGP. We have expanded in response to rapid changes in the world of privacy. Geopolitical developments on a global stage, the evolution of the threat landscape and progressive development of new security and privacy tools have spawned the need to raise awareness of many complex and varied privacy issues.
Changes to the CryptoParty Code of Conduct also made us abandon the format. The updated Code of Conduct declares: “Companies or NGOs may not facilitate or sponsor CryptoParties in any form”. We have respected these changes and ultimately complied with them.
Read more about our reasons behind our decision on the blog.
As of today, (1) CryptoAustralia members are funding the organisation out of pocket, (2) one sponsor called 'Ncryptcellular' is financially supporting us. In addition, we are receiving in-kind support from other sponsors for venues and basic catering.
However, we are currently looking into more sustainable funding structures like donations, grants and other in-kind benefits.
Please send us your questions on our Contact us page