Toronto Crypto

Toronto's privacy advocacy.

Getting ready for I2PCon (Toronto Crypto's I2P Initiatives)

Posted by j on Aug 13, 2015

I2PCon is near (I’ve heard we might even be at max already ;D) and to get ourselves prepared for a great weekend, Toronto Crypto has gone ahead and implemented two solutions utilizing I2P technology. We’ve established our eepsite in the I2P network and have been busy working on our first CryptoStation. These stations will be applications that we will be giving out so other organizations can work on their own cryptoparties (in the hopes of everyone having more Crypto Parties!)

This CryptoStation is called Secure Identities with I2P-Bote. This station is a VirtualBox appliance that can be deployed quickly to send secure, anonymous messages over the I2P network. Download this torrent and dive right in - documentation is included to help with install and configuration.

Thank you, see you at Hacklab! I2PCon

The I2P team comes to Toronto with I2PCon

Posted by j on Jul 19, 2015

If you’ve been as interested in I2P as we have or if you’ve been wondering what alternatives to Tor exist out there, we’re happy to present the answer to your questions with I2PCon. The I2P team has been working tirelessly around the clock setting up details for coming to Toronto. Needless to say, we are completely honored that this revolutionary darknet technology decided that Toronto is the place to host their conference and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this!

#I2PCon will be a two day, FREE conference on August 15-16 with members of our team presenting CryptoParty style workstations on Day 1 and a superb line-up of speakers on both days. The itinerary is listed here and you really should reserve your spot at the event! Subscribe to future I2P details here. We’ll see you at the conference. Remember to donate to Hacklab and I2P while there!


How our IRC chat bot helps you talk to us anonymously

Posted by m on Jul 9, 2015

The people in and around Toronto Crypto do a lot of talking over IRC. It’s an easy way to ask and answer questions, plan events, and banter about current goings-on in information security. But IRC itself isn’t a private or secure method of communication. If we’re providing a forum for conversation about privacy, doesn’t it make sense to offer a channel that respects it?

Our most-used channel is #torontocrypto on OFTC. OFTC is a great hub for technical topics, but as with any open network, there are lots of ways that your identity can be connected to your conversations. If you’re a tinfoil-hat type person (some of our best friends are!), or you have a specific need for anonymity, or you just haven’t given up your natural desire for privacy, you may be averse to joining an IRC channel in the clearnet. Sure, you can connect with SSL so your packets can’t be sniffed in transit, and if you register with OFTC’s NickServ they’ll even cloak your IP from whois calls. But your client still leaks a lot of information, and you’re trusting the network itself with even more.

Chatting in the dark

So we took inspiration from I2P, aka the Invisible Internet Project. I2P is an anonymizing network, similar to Tor but with tighter protection against leaking client information.

I2P’s main IRC network, IRC2P, is similar to other IRC networks but it only accepts connections through I2P. This means that significantly less of IRC2P users’ identifying information is exposed to other users, and to the server itself. If you’re connected to I2P, you can access IRC2P with your IRC client at localhost port 6668.

To serve these users, we started a #torontocrypto channel on the IRC2P network. Anyone with a healthy paranoia about the clearnet can log in here, and not feel like they’re getting their ID card scanned at the door. But what good is that if all the conversation is happening over in the OFTC channel?

Enter Borgil

This is one of the reasons we created Borgil, a bot you may see mingling with the humans in our channel. Mostly known for spouting links from our favourite RSS feeds, or running searches for us when we’re too lazy to switch windows, Borgil also serves as a relay between the sunny side of our chatroom and the shadowy corners.

Our trusty chatbot logs into both OFTC and IRC2P, and sits in both channels. When he hears a message in one channel, he immediately echoes it out loud in the other. This way, the two rooms share the same conversation, but no identifying information other than usernames are passed from one to the other. The I2P folks have a similar setup for their #i2p channels, which are also on OFTC and IRC2P.

This gives you a bit more choice in your balance of convenience and security, but of course, there are still risks to be aware of. Your messages could be correlated with other communications you might be making at the same time, for instance. If you click links from chat, they may open in the clearweb with your unprotected browser. You should already have these kinds of considerations in mind, though, when using anonymizers like I2P or Tor.

So if you’d like to chat with us but want to stay in the shadows of the darknet, come to #torontocrypto on I2P and say hi. Borgil will pass it on. :)

By the way: the I2P team is hosting a meetup in Toronto next month. It will be on August 15-16, 2015 at the mighty Hacklab, and we will be there!

Contact Us Securely

Posted by j on Jun 20, 2015

Thanks to our friends at CryptoPartyAL reaching out I was finally acquainted with Encrypt.To, a web-mail service that uses a web contact form and publicly available PGP key. This service allows users with no prior knowledge of PGP to send encrypted messages to organizations/other users who have keys listed on public keyservers. I think this is a great idea and I applaud for helping progress email encryption adoption to non-technical users.

You can now reach us here using our PGP key. Best of luck to CryptoPartyATL on their first (but not last!) CryptoParty.

Send us encrypted email

Thank You, Digifest!

Posted by j on Jun 4, 2015

This last month we participated in a hosting a CryptoParty at Digifest’s start-up market. We had a blast presenting our work stations for mobile security, Tor, file encryption, I2P and PGP email encryption. The turn out was phenomenal and we couldn’t be happier with the input we received from all attendees! Events like these are important to us, as it assists us all in noticing that there has been a considerable difference in the last few years on the public’s awareness of the importance or privacy and security in their daily lives. Thank you to the Digifest organization, as well as all the start-up’s that we got to meet on that day.

If your organization is interested in having us host a CryptoParty, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Toronto Crypto at Digifest

Toronto Crypto Is Growing

Posted by j on Apr 22, 2015

What a start to the year already! Some of us are barely able to rest between setting up new CryptoParty stations for Digifest, planning the I2P Comes To Toronto event and establishing an IRC i2p relay bot. For the forseeable future, I can confidently say that Toronto Crypto’s presence in both the infosec and political realm will be increasing. We can’t do it alone! We need your help to grow this organization in to the political advocacy that Toronto (and Canada) needs!

We are looking for enthusiastic talent from all realms of society and political spectrums! You don’t have to be a hacker, programmer, designer or activist to get involved with us. Email us and let us know how we can get you working with us. The surveillance state will not slow down and it’s our job to keep up with the pace. Get involved.

Get you some!

Cryptoparty at Digifest

Posted by j on Mar 21, 2015

Toronto Crypto is very pleased to announce that we will be in attendance for a CryptoParty at George Brown’s Digifest this year! This will give us a chance to show off our new CryptoParty workstations (Tor Browser, Mobile, PGP and File Encryption). Location of Digifest is the Corus Quay building, May 9th starting at 10AM and running until 4pm. We’ll be there in full force and most importantly: Admission is $FREE$!

Corus Quay building

TorontoCrypto Content && RSS Feeds

Posted by j on Mar 9, 2015

A good portion of my last week was figuring out how to best deliver TorontoCrypto’s content. Thankfully, having finally sat down and spent some time with RSS, we now have two streams of content to add to your RSS stream or reader. If you are new to the idea of streamlining media, check out this article on RSS and how to amalgamate your news.

We’ve also added the CCLA, OpenMedia and Hacklab streams to our Twitter as we respect these organizations immensely.

Bill C-51 pending, this Summer already has plenty of great things in store for privacy in Toronto!

I2P meetup and CTA

Posted by j on Dec 27, 2014

We’re very excited to announce that Toronto Crypto will be closely working with the I2P team in expanding the network’s reach. Some of us are strong believers in I2P’s fundamentals and believe that I2P’s wall-garden approach arguably makes for a more sustainable darknet. Even though some media attention has drawn attention to the network as of late I2P is still vastly unknown by the general populace.

The goal with this I2P initiative is to set a road map for creating applications and avenues for people to better interact with the I2P network. We’ll be hosting an event for the I2P crew in the summer so If you’re interested in getting involved, join us on IRC.

Thanks for a great CryptoParty!

Posted by j on Nov 24, 2014

Thanks for a great CryptoParty!

Sunday, November 23rd we hosted our most recent CryptoParty at Hacklab Toronto and we couldn’t have been more pleased at how it turned out!

The slides can be downloaded here:

Thanks to everyone who made it out. We absolutely appreciate all the feedback you gave and if you’re looking to give some more, feel free to email us here.

We will be seeing you at the next!

Join our IRC Chatroom

Have questions about CryptoParty or privacy tools? Or just want to chat? Jump on our IRC. Our instructors and organizers hang out there daily.

Never used IRC before? All you need to do is download an IRC client. Check out this how-to guide for more information on using IRC.


Contact TorontoCrypto

Drop us a line and one of our organizers will get back to you. Or, if you prefer email, [email protected].