We’ve had a busy summer but it’s not over yet! We’ve started a wiki documentation project to help people learn about online privacy and how to safeguard their personal information.
So why are we doing this?
At times people join us in our IRC channel with questions but sometimes don’t even know where to start. Online privacy is a huge topic which can be overwhelming for newcomers, especially if they feel overwhelmed with the amount
of privacy information out there.
Staying safe online does not require an engineering degree or a council of wizards. It starts with being mindful about what you’re doing online, and knowing how websites collect and use your information. From there learning how to apply the use of simple tools, like Telegram or Tor. The goal of our wiki project is to share information in a more accessible way so that everyone can learn new skills and feel empowered to protect themselves.
With that, we bring you our first article: Dating site privacy. We think this is very timely as the Ashley Madison hack continues to wreak havoc and with the amount of attention this scenario has received world-wide, we can assume that similar issues will arise.
Let us know if you have questions or article ideas. We welcome your feedback!
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
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!
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
#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!
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?
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,
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!
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 encrypt.to 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
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.
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.
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 $FREE$!
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!
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.
We’re in the process of assembling our works
to write up better technical documentation
for encrypting communications. Some of our
older works can be found here:
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
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!