This is an informal course aimed at distributing a basic foundation of technical knowledge necessary for democratic participation for an audience with no IT background. Data is this century's oil with which and over which many key conflicts will unfold, and we cannot afford to leave its management only to those educated for economic production in this domain. I envision a future in which questions of civil liberties in a rapidly-changing technological environment are discussed at a table where all have a seat befitting us not as consumers, but as citizens.

The format of the course will be two-hour sessions every first and third Thursday, with a lecture introducing the technical concepts, some hands-on exercises, and a discussion of the civic issues tied to the respective technology. The discussion may go past the time limit of the event, and anyone is also free to leave early. There will be suggested readings and resources for further study, none of which will be necessary for participation. The lectures will build on each other, but I aim to make them accessible as standalone events. I also plan to record the sessions (omitting video and audio from participants on request) and to publish them, so that they can be shared and so that participants can follow along while missing some lectures in person. There will be no fee for participation, but I suggest an optional donation of 50kr. per lecture split between think and

For the second session, we will consider how encryption works to secure communications and data. You will learn about hashing, symmetric and asymmetric (public key) cryptography. We will then use the classic encryption tool, GPG, to practice sending messages that are safe from prying eyes. If possible, please bring a laptop and install GPG ahead of time for Windows or Mac (Linux should have it preinstalled).

We will close with a discussion about the legitimate need for governments to be able to snoop (you can listen to a compelling and heartbreaking argument for this here, forewarned of adult content) weighed against the human right to privacy and the freedoms that rely on it. The stakes are tremendous, and the technology allows for little compromise between a world with and a world without widespread use of encryption. So let's reason together about which we should choose.

About the host: I'm Josh Clement, a PhD student in experimental physics with an extensive hobbyist background in software and more recently in tech activism.