Hyperallergic | Julia Christenson  |  July 18, 2016

Before Protesting at the Republican National Convention, Learn to Protect Your Phone

CLEVELAND - If you're a smartphone-wielding protestor in Cleveland this week, you might want to make a pit stop at SPACES on your way downtown to the Republican National Convention (RNC). At the gallery, Los Angeles?based artist Tim Schwartz will be holding drop-in "office hours" from 1 to 4pm every day of the convention, offering free cell-phone privacy and security audits to anyone who's interested. The audit includes an overview of the basic levels of protection needed to minimize the digital footprint transmitted from your phone, plus lessons in how to encrypt email data and otherwise communicate securely. Schwartz will also help attendees create signal-blocking pouches to carry their cell phones, so that protestors can move without being (digitally) tracked. Berlin-based artist Aram Bartholl came up with the pouch design in 2014 and built a website to distribute the DIY instructions. Schwartz will have the necessary materials on hand - including a sewing machine - for participants to make their own pouches, which prevent the phones inside them from sending or receiving signals.

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