Dan Ballard


I am a programmer and researcher focusing on security and privacy through decentralization, building accessible tools that everyone can use, and new social tools that are safer and more capable of supporting complex humans and their interactions. As a developer I have a focus on the product side of things, making process and code excellent and accessible to get it into the hands of as many people as possible and make them happy. I also have a deep ops and infrastructure background running all manor of Linux and BSD servers and services for the last 15+ years.

My work at Open Privacy is focused on:

  • Cwtch: a metadata resistant messaging system
  • Open Infrastructure: infrastructure and tooling to make our development lives easier, more reliable, and better (such as our code storage and build pipeline) and contributing them back to the community.


I run a tor relay node.

I’ve helped run a few Cryptoparties (Vancouver and University of the Fraser Valley).

Relevant Writing

  • Capitalism Compromises Design: Often I get asked variations on why I am working at Open Privacy, why it is a non-profit instead of a start up, why our work is Open Source, and more. This was a quick overview of the philosophy behind why I helped start Open Privacy and exactly why we did it the way we have and why I don’t see any other way we could operate.

Android Onion Dildonics

In conjunction with Sarah Jamie Lewis’ work on Sex Tech Privacy Research I built a prototype Android app that could connect over Tor to an Onion Dildonics server. This was built on top of my previous work “Ricochet Mobile”.

Ricochet Mobile

I’ve been interested in getting metadata resistant messaging onto mobile for a while now. Once I had been introduced to Ricochet I was immediately interested in pursuing ways to get it onto Android. I started a few experimental research projects to see what it might look like to get a Tor using app onto Android, and one written in Go no less. While this code was experimental and did not proceed too far, it influenced, informed, and sped up work on getting Cwtch onto mobile.

  • Ricochet Mobile: An attempt at getting a ricochet client to work with Tor on android. This attempt worked in conjunction with Orbot
  • go Ricochet Mobile: Pursuing an approach using gomobile to make a libRicochetGo bindings available on mobile, this was a wrapper/bridge library to a Java android app

Contact Dan Ballard

Director of Engineering

Email: dan@openprivacy.ca

Cwtch: Dan~p24aehg66acnuq3u4vxuuldan3bdairwbih7sjppv4qei3rbrgsfdhid

Donate to Open Privacy


Donations of $5 or more receive stickers as a thank-you gift, and $25 or more gets you one of our new sticker sheets! To celebrate our 4th anniversary, we'll even count cumulative pledges since November 2021 to our Patreon.

Open Privacy is an incorporated non-profit society in British Columbia, Canada. Donations are not tax deductible. You can Donate Once via Bitcoin, Monero, Zcash, and Paypal, or you can Donate Monthly via Patreon or Paypal. Please contact us to arrange a donation by other methods.