Oktavia Jonsdottir

Oktavia Jonsdottir of SAFE teaches encryption and secure communication to congressional staffers on the hill today

This morning Congressman Alan Grayson and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren are sponsoring a crypto party on the Hill.

In his “dear colleague” letter Grayson said Bring your personal devices if you would like help using encryption technologies.”

The event is co-sponsored by the SAFE (Securing Free Access to Expression) program, a project of IREX.

According to Grayson, “The event will feature experts who will explain how to protect your security online, how to assess your privacy risks online, encrypt your devices, chat securely, and anonymously browse the Internet. This is a workshop, so come at any time from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.”

As of 10:00 am about 20 Congressional staffers had shown up to learn how to protect themselves from intrusive internet snoopers.  Since Congress is not currently in session member of Congress themselves are not attending.

Senator Dianne Feinstein squabbled with the CIA earlier this year after denouncing the them for spying on the computers of Senate Intelligence Committee staffers looking into the agency’s torture program.  Nothing really came of it besides a few stern speeches, so there apparently is no price to be paid for spying on the computers of members of Congress and their staffs — just as there is no price to be paid for lying to Congress while under oath.

If Congressional staffers want to protect themselves from being spied on, they best get themselves over to Rayburn 2200 before 1pm.