At the beginning of the year, we predicted that 2013 was going to be “The Year of Privacy.” It’s been amazing to watch privacy take the forefront in national and international debates as well as have growing attention and importance in the online world. As the new year approaches, we can only hope 2014 brings increased efforts to fight for the right to privacy across the globe.
We hope this is the first of many events and hackathons that will help improve and change web privacy as we know it. Will you help chart a course to the unthinkable?
12 Days of Privacy
On the first day of Privacy
SpiderOak gave to me:
A public/private RSA key!
Starting today – the first day of privacy – we will be sharing over the next 12 days what that means to us as a company. Our version of the song is called the 12 Days of Privacy* in the same tune as the 12 Days of Christmas. Stay tuned to learn via Twitter, Facebook or this blog to see what we’ve come up with and submit your own lyrics for a chance to win free GBs.
Tis the season of Privacy!
*We do know that the original 12 days of Christmas begins on Christmas day, but we wanted to do our own spin off before the holidays.
We’re just starting to see the dust settle after hosting the first annual Penetralia Event and wanted to thank all the attendees for their attendance as well as the folks over at Silent Circle for co-hosting and making the evening so special. It is our hope that you had as much fun as we did and left feeling more understanding and passionate about privacy.
The event was intended to coincide with the first day of the RSA Conference in order to help further draw the important distinction between security on the one hand and privacy on the other. A physical way to explain this technical difference would be to think of your house or apartment:
Security relates to the lock on your door and/or your alarm system — the measures you put in place to keep out unwanted visitors or intruders.
Privacy represents the blinds on your windows. Most of us don’t like the idea of a passersby peering inside at all hours even if we aren’t doing anything of particular note. This is why we we draw the blinds.
Hence – it is through the existence of both security and privacy that we can fully enjoy peace of mind. And of course the same should exist in our digital / online lives as well.
To illustrate this point, we created ‘Secure’ and ‘Private’ boxes which were on display and available for attendees to experience. We invited people to step inside each box, feel the difference and ponder how the experience translated to putting their data in the cloud.
On Monday we also announced the launch of our newest product, Crypton. Penetralia attendees had the opportunity to see and discuss directly with the developers responsible for building this world’s first ‘Zero-Knowledge’ application framework. The level of interest was overwhelming and thus incredibly encouraging. We look forward to working with the community at large and supporting their efforts around various Crypton implementations.
For those who couldn’t attend, don’t you worry. Several privacy-focused companies asked how they could help sponsor our event next year. Penetralia 2014 is already in the works!
The RSA Conference in San Francisco takes place next week and we will be sponsoring the first annual Penetralia Event with our friends over at Silent Circle, the global encrypted communications service provider.
What is Penetralia? The definition reads:
1. The innermost part of a building, especially the sanctuary of a temple.
2. The most private or secret parts; the recesses; the penetralia of the soul.
Taking place on Monday, the 25th, from 7pm-10pm, the goal of Penetralia is to gather folks from across industries to further the privacy-in-technology conversation. “The underlying premise behind the cloud is that all data is stored or available in plaintext. From an end user perspective, this means everything you upload – from financial documents to family photos to vital company information – exists in a readable format by someone other than you. The ‘Zero-Knowledge’ concept propels the dialogue forward by enabling something previously not possible – maintaining privacy in a cloud environment,” said CEO and Co-Founder Ethan Oberman.
Penetralia is an invite-only event. If you would like to attend, please visit https://penetraliaevent.com/.
Also, this Monday at RSA we will formally announce a first-ever open source ‘Zero-Knowledge’ application framework. This framework will empower both companies and developers alike to take full advantage of ‘Zero-Knowledge’ cryptography and encryption standards through a lightweight utility that runs via the browser.
We believe this framework will deepen the divide between companies that need access to your data as part of their business model, such as Google or Facebook, as opposed to those who don’t, like Evernote or 37signals. With this advancement we ask, “Why would companies choose to store data in plaintext when there is no financial benefit in doing so?”