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News Link • Whistleblowers

Snowden’s First Move Against the NSA Was a Party in Hawaii

• http://www.wired.com, By Kevin Poulsen
Snowden was not yet famous. His blockbuster leaks were still six months away, but the man destined to confront world leaders on a global stage was addressing a much smaller audience that Sunday evening. He was leading a local “Crypto Party,” teaching less than two dozen Hawaii residents how to encrypt their hard drives and use the internet anonymously. “He introduced himself as Ed,” says technologist and writer Runa Sandvik, who co-presented with Snowden at the event, and spoke about the experience for the first time with WIRED. “We talked for a bit before everything started. And I remember asking where he worked or what he did, and he didn’t really want to tell.” The grassroots crypto party movement began in 2011 with a Melbourne, Australia-based activist who goes by Asher Wolf. The idea was for technologists versed in software like Tor and PGP to get together with activists, journalists, and anyone else with a real-life need for those tools and show them the ropes. By the end of 2012, there’d been more than 1,000 such parties in countries around the world, by Wolf’s count. They were non-political and open to anyone.

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