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Email Encryption Workshop

Email Encryption for Beginners (re-scheduled)

Saturday 29th June 5:00pm

The first of a monthly (last Saturday of each month) computer workshop aiming to provide jargon-free workshops on useful programs.


No experience necessary, but if you have a laptop and USB stick please bring these with you.


A non-encrypted e-mail message sent through the Internet is like a postcard without an envelope: postpeople, neighbours and anybody else who can put their hands on it will easily read the message you’ve written. Unlike a postcard an email is copied (rather than moved) to many different computers on its travels. All of these computers’ owners we can’t possibly trust and know. This makes me feel uncomfortable and is not necessary with simple email encryption.


Certain organizations (e.g. journalists, unions, activists, etc) have a responsibility  to transmit sensitive messages securely and currently do not always do this. Don’t think what does this one email say about me? (or its recipient) think rather when examined on mass over time (most emails are stored indefinitely these days) what does this reveal about the way we live? This was pointed out by Ed Snowden, NSA Whistleblower, (click to hear him in his own words),that everyone needs to worried about security as at a future point with a database of this size anyone’s communications could be misconstrued by a goverment or corpration many years after an idle comment online is made.


When you use a website (like Facebook, Gmail)  to send a message you have little to no control at all over the delivery process, it’s like asking someone you’ve not met to go and read your postcard loudly near the front door of your mate’s house!


Still not convinced? See this brilliant summary.(on


The workshop will begin with a short (5 minutes) explanation on why email encryption ought to be common place, followed by instruction on the use of enigmail add-on for Thunderbird that makes using GPG (the encryption program) easy.


The aim is to by the end of the workshop be able to email anyone else who makes it to the workshop without the email being interceptable by a third party.


It would save time if you had Thunderbird setup and receiving your emails. If you have ubuntu or another linux, please run “sudo apt-get install gpg thunderbird ” in the terminal. If you already use email encryption and want to help or share your key please come by too.


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Holiday Opening Hours

Over Christmas/New Year our opening hours will be:

Wednesday 19th Open
Thursday 20th Open
Friday 21th Open
Saturday 22nd Open

Tuesday 25th Closed
Wednesday 26th Closed
Thursday 27th Open
Friday 28th Open
Saturday 29th Closed

Tuesday 1st Closed
Wednesday 2nd Closed
Thursday 3rd Open
Friday 4th Open
Saturday 5th Open

Thanks for your support over the year and see you in 2013!

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The Hydra now has a phone:0117 3297401

The bookshop now has a phone.  During opening hours we can be contacted on 0117 3297401. We can also now accept card payments on purchases over £10.

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Congratulations from Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker

Recently we received a Congratulatory note from Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker  Writers of the book “The Many Headed Hydra”. The name of the book shop and some of the work of the Bristol Radical History Group was inspired by this book so we are very pleased to have his support. Please read on…

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Sheila Coleman of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign

Date: Sunday, 27 November 2011
Speaker: Sheila Coleman
Time: 19:00
Venue:Hydra Books 34 Old Market

The recent debate in the House of Commons which culminated in a decision to release all Hillsborough documents was generally perceived as a victory for those fighting for justice. The debate arose because of an e-petition to release documents. The e-petition was initiated Advantage after the Hillsborough Justice Campaign issued a statement condemning the government for appealing the Information Commissioner’s ruling that it was in the public interest to release (under Freedom of Information), the minutes of a cabinet meeting, held under Margaret Thatcher in the days following the Hillsborough Disaster.

Sheila Coleman of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign does not think that the result of the debate was a victory for either truth or justice. Rather she believes that a potentially dangerous precedent was set when the government agreed to hand over documents to the Hillsborough ‘Independent’ Panel.

Sheila will review the BBC’s FOI request in light of subsequent developments including how it led to Hillsborough being the subject of the first e-petition ever to be debated in the House of Commons. She will also tell of the reasons why families and survivors of the HJC remain unconvinced by recent promises and how the HJC remains marginalised in spite of being at the forefront of the campaign for justice.

Part of Bristol Radical History Groups “Scouse Sunday”

Hillsborough Justice Campaign


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