The Case for Everyday Crypto

Short Form
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 from 1:30 – 2:15pm


Personal encryption is dearly needed in an increasingly surveilled world. I will talk about the user experience problems and lack of education that prevent widespread adoption and habit-forming of secure communication and circumvention software tools.


With our lives becoming increasingly digitized, measured, and surveilled, the need for tighter online privacy is clear. Cryptography can secure various aspects of our lives, but end user tools are often frustrating to use. While some individuals may be comfortable with setting up whole disk encryption or exchanging signed public keys, the rest of us need easy-to-use but reliable tools to securely communicate with each other and access the Internet.

I will illuminate particular usability issues that end users face and propose ways to increase adoption. I will also talk about how lack of education prevents widespread habitual use. Open source secure communication and circumvention tools face unique challenges that must ultimately be addressed from a user experience standpoint.

Speaking experience

I have not given this talk before nor have I given a conference talk before. While I did speak on a Free Culture panel at Wikipedia Day NYC 2013, this would be my first talk. :-)


  • Wesley

    Wesley Chen



    Wesley Chen is a Program Associate at the Open Internet Tools Project, a subgroup of the Open Technology Institute. Previously, he worked for the Dark Side at a digital advertising agency after graduating from New York University with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in social work. Returning to his Students for Free Culture roots, Wesley has made the leap into the Internet security and freedom world and is looking for a nice place to land.