Unlocking encryption: Trinity to host Data Protection Day specials

25 Jan 2016

Individuals learning about their data privacy and encryption techniques, all images via SECRET at Science Gallery Dublin

Trinity College is hosting a special batch of encryption events to celebrate Data Protection Day on 28 January, with workshops and talks in the offing.

How safe are you online? Who knows where you live? What you eat? Who you fancy? Where you leave your spare house key?

It’s probably fair to assume that you don’t truly know the answer to all these questions after years of transferring your everyday thoughts from your mind into your computer or phone.

Data Protection Day is now in its 10th year as an EU-wide project to help build personal security awareness for its citizens. Let’s be honest, since Edward Snowden’s revelations, the reality has dawned on people just how many eyes are peering into their digital lives.

But it’s only gradual, many are still unaware.

Data Protection Day

Taking just one domestic example, recent realisations of GSOC surveillance of journalists somehow caught most of the Irish media off guard. This is despite claims emerging a long time ago now of tapped cables sending blanket information to the UK, or social media companies forced to comply with US requests to, ironically, share all.

It’s often only when it affects us directly that we care. So why not learn about the online world and some of the tactics employed?

Trinity is putting on three free events to help with this. First up, is a drop-in lock-picking and encryption workshop in the college’s arts building.

There you can learn how to encrypt your emails, chat securely and avoid surveillance and censorship online using tools and technologies trusted by journalists, activists and spies.

The second event is a discussion on the future of online privacy in the Science Gallery during lunch, with the last project a look at potential innovations in the area, held at TBSI on Pearse Street.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic