This event, in which various activities are carried out around privacy, digital security, cryptography, anonymity and freedom on the Internet, hadn’t been held since 2019.
This year, once again, the world community around these subjects met at the São Paulo Cultural Center (Brazil) to share knowledge and experiences. Collectives, organizations and individuals were part of an important dialogue that included the discussion of public policies, technologies, digital defense mechanisms and even digital content oriented to the difussion of the concepts related to privacy and digital security and its importance in the current global context of technological totalitarianism and commercial overstimulation.
Our colleague Fausto Lagos was present at CryptoRave 2023 participating in an exchange of knowledge ratifying that CAD’s work for the defense of privacy as a right for everyone in the Global South continues. Fausto presented the most recent update of Wahay, our Free Software for voice conferences (VoIP) that has all the necessary features to provide anonymity and protect the privacy of its users with the highest possible standards, applying the principle of security by default.
There were many initiatives and thoughts aligned with the work we do at CAD:
Digital security continues to be a privilege: Indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon spoke about the threats to digital security and privacy they face and put themselves. They also explained how the worries and mechanisms conceived in he cities, where the access to technology is immediate and money assures you the service, is a completely different story compared to the reality and technological context of indigenous communities, human rights defenders and jungle protectors. It’s necessary that we, who work in the construction of technologies, mechanisms and contents for digital security and the protection of privacy, think about our actions based on the realities, full of deficiencies, faced by those who don’t have the same opportunities and resources. The question is: What to do when the only way you have to communicate is the most common messaging application hat your operator gives you for free and works well on your only device (mobile phone)?
Contents for all of us to understand about privacy: One of the great challenges regarding the defense of privacy and the appropriation of digital security is the diffusion of the concepts related to the subject. How to teach what privacy and digital security mean without having to explain mathematical concepts? One of the most interesting initiatives presented in Cryptorave 2023 answers this question from the act of cooking. With well-constructed and thought-out analogies from food preparation, readers are transmitted essential knowledge for understanding privacy and digital security. It’s not about losing scientific rigor to reach the majority, it’s about communicating ideas that should be familiar to everyone nowadays in an intelligible way.
From public policies to private companies: CryptoRave 2023 was the space to debate around the policies that attack privacy and the private companies that are hired to execute them. In the specific case of São Paulo, the contracting of camera systems with facial recognition, with private companies that have full access and they keep the data obtained from their cameras paid with the city treasury, is an example of how, when it comes to taking measures in favor of the “(physical) security” of citizens, the protection of people’s privacy is not considered as a factor for decision-making. This is a situation where private companies play a game in favor of the highest bidder in which the citizenship has no opportunity to even compete.
What does the mobile phone do while its users interact with its software?: This is an interesting question, especially considering that, basically, no one questions about what authorizations (permissions) are being granted when an application is installed on their mobile phone. Most applications require that the user allows access to phone storage, camera, microphone, etc.for the installation and operation. If most mobile phone users don’t even consider checking the permissions their apps require , even fewer are wondering how their mobile phone apps are working from the inside. Do they do what they say they do? Do they do more or less than what they promise? In CryptoRave, a technical workshop was shared to learn how to monitor the operation of mobile phone applications, by obtaining and analyzing the app source code.
The technical director of CAD told the story of the persecution that the Ecuadorian state has carried out against him for more than four years: Despite not being able to attend CryptoRave 2023 in person, Ola Bini, technical director of CAD, told the attendees of CryptoRave, via video conference, part of the details of his arrest and persecution by the Ecuadorian state and what are its implications for the community of defenders of privacy and digital security.
With the touching participation of our technical director, CryptoRave 2023 got to its end.
These are some of the questions and opportunities to think about how to enhance the work developed by the CAD that was found in CryptoRave 2023, while the Cryptomate allowed to continue I woke up enjoying such an excellent event.
Thanks to the organizers of CryptoRave 2023 for inviting CAD to the event, for giving us a space to share our work, for letting us learn from the community and for asking the right questions for us to improve our work. We will continue developing Free Software tools for the protection of the privacy for everyone, specially for people in the Global South.
We will continue to attend CryptoRave every year. See you in the 2024 edition!