For quite some time now I’ve been contributing code to Let’s Encrypt and more specifically Certbot. For those of you who never heard of it - Let’s Encrypt is an automated CA that securely validates domain ownership and offers FREE certificates.
On Thursday [19/5/16] a launch party was held at a bar in San Francisco for Letsencrypt, where all the involved parties gathered and celebrated it.
I was invited, but flying halfway across the world [I’m based in Israel] just for a party didn’t seem reasonable. Luckily, Peter said something about working on Letsencrypt from EFF offices.
So I took a week off and booked a flight to San Francisco :)
I was very curious to see how the EFF works from the inside. I kind of sneaked into a weekly EFF status meeting. It didn’t disappoint. Everyone - the activists, developers, lawyers and graphic designers were very enthusiastic and seemed to have a strong sense of purpose.
Also, I had a talk with EFF’s international director, Danny, about a new, horrible, legislative initiative in Israel, that aims to compel internet providers to reveal which users are downloading pirated content. I actually need to get back to him with more information on this.
The EFF is such an incredibly inspiring institution. I hope that someday little Israel would have something of its sort.
Other things I did in SF:
- Stayed in a shady hostel (it self signs a torproject.org cert).
- Observed the Bay to Breakers finish line - it was so funny.
- Attended the Stupid Hackathon and the Noisebridge hackerspace.
- Had beer and chocolate with EFF and ISRG folks in Dolores Park and Dandelion Chocolate.
- Found an awesome outside workout gym (with dips, pullup bars and even rings!) by the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Attended a roguelike event, after which I had a very insightful discussion with J.C. Jones about how authentication and encryption on the web shouldn’t be entwined. A web server should be able to offer encryption to its clients without authentication (having a valid signature on its cert).
This had been an extraordinary week for me. I’ve met tons of interesting people and learned so many new things. It was a great experience!