TOWR is proud to announce that we will be offering a free admission Cryptoparty on 5 December 2015! This is part of the Cryptoparty movement, which helps regular people like you—regardless of skill level—learn about how to help secure your personal data and communications. Cryptoparties are casual environments, NOT classrooms, and they are held all over the world. From the Cryptoparty website:

A CryptoParty is free, public and fun. It is an open format where everyone is welcome independent of their age, gender or knowledge. People bring their computers, mobile devices, and a willingness to learn! CryptoParty is a decentralized, global initiative to introduce the most basic cryptography software and the fundamental concepts of their operation to the general public, such as the Tor anonymity network, public key encryption (PGP/GPG), and OTR (Off The Record messaging).

Privacy is a basic, fundamental right. It’s the line that we choose to draw about how much society and the government can intrude into our private lives. There are a lot of reasons to learn basic crypto, but the biggest reason of all is to protect your own information and that of the people you communicate with.

You may be saying some of the following:

  1. “I don’t have anything to hide.” Until you are willing to put your browsing history on an interstate billboard, the most intimate details of your relationships on a sign posted at your desk at work, and have a federal agent ride around with you all day, every day, then this statement is false. Everyone has something to hide, and having something to hide isn’t always bad. It’s called privacy. Besides, just because you don’t care about YOUR privacy doesn’t mean your contacts don’t. By not caring about your own, you put them in danger too—and you don’t give them a say.
  2. “The government is already tracking all of our stuff anyway.” And? When you come home and someone is robbing you, do you shrug and say “well, you’re already here so you might as well take what you’re going to”? No. You fight it. Same principle. Make them work for it.
  3. “I don’t talk about anything I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying in public.” Really? I’m sure your spouse or significant other would beg to differ.
  4. “I don’t know enough about computers.” This is the worst excuse of all. Crypto can be learned, it can be practiced and mastered. Just like the more tactical stuff that you might be doing on the weekends.

Cryptoparties are a place where you can walk around and ask the most basic of questions, get one on one attention, and walk through learning about tools and processes to protect yourself. It’s meant so that the most basic of beginners can meet up with those who are more advanced and willing to share knowledge, so no matter where you’re at on the spectrum, you’ll be welcome. Here are just some of the topics that will be available for you to learn:

  • The darknet, and how to get to it (Tor and I2P).
  • How to encrypt your emails (and decrypt the ones you receive)
  • What is Linux, and why does everyone tell you to get it?
  • Setting up a VPN
  • Secure chatting through OTR
  • How to set up your email program to transmit securely
  • Mobile device security
  • What secure texting program should you use and why?

The best part about going to a cryptoparty is that it’s free. Bring your laptops and power cords, bring your mobile devices, and get ready to have some fun.

Check out the event page for more details!

Team Tactics Course

TOWR presents the second in our tactical firearms courses: Team Tactics, meant for a two-person fire team. The focus is on acquiring skills and tactics in using firearms together to resolve confrontational deadly force situations. Topics include but are not limited to cover fire, movement and fire, and response to multiple threats. Since this is an advanced course, there is a strong emphasis placed on safety and safe handling of firearms in close confines and restricted space environments.  Again, this is not a course for the novice shooter.  It is, however, an excellent course to take with your spouse or battle buddy. Taught by the owner of Archer Defense Concepts, an Army combat veteran of many countries worldwide and a current law enforcement officer.

This class will be held at a remote location in the North Cascades and is weather dependent due to area access.

Coming Spring 2016.