About Us

We are a global and remote team who believes that privacy matters in technology.

Our Name

“Least Authority” is derived from “the principle of least authority” (PoLA) — also known in information security as “the principle of least privilege” or “the principle of minimal privilege” — a security best practice requiring system components to only have the privilege necessary to complete their intended function and not more.

Our History

Least Authority was formed in the U.S. in 2011 to create freedom-compatible technologies. Since then, we have been working on decentralized systems (sometimes referred to as Web3) and began our security auditing work in 2014. The following year, a report we did for Ethereum identified the issues that lead to the DAO hack. In 2016, the company relocated to Berlin with Liz Steininger as CEO / Managing Director.

2011

Least Authority Enterprises LLC, founded in the US, by Zooko Wilcox

2013

Simple Secure Storage Service (S4) launched

2014

Security auditing work begins

2015

Ethereum audit

Zcash started and spins out into another company, the Electric Coin Company, LLC

2016

Least Authority TFA GmbH founded in Germany by Least Authority Enterprises LLC and Liz Steininger. Liz takes over as CEO / Managing Director.

2017

PrivateStorage.io LLC joint venture is founded, intended to replace S4

Audits for Mozilla Secure Open Source

2018

Privacy for Everyone conference

Least Authority co-founds TechGDPR DPC GmbH in Germany

2019

P4 paper released

ProgPoW audit

The OTF project starts

2021

100th completed audit

ZKAPs Whitepaper published

Our Mission

Least Authority is committed to building and supporting the development of usable technology solutions and ethical business practices to advance digital security and preserve privacy as a fundamental human right. We do this through:

Security Consulting

Conducting security audits and providing consulting services for software development projects, especially within Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) communities. This allows us to advance the security of systems and contribute to the community of developers who build them (see published audits).

Product Development

Building products with a specific focus on increasing the security of the data and systems, along with enhancing and preserving privacy. We build on open source software to expand the access to them and provide sustainability that is built on ethical business models.

Community Matters

We develop free and open source software (FOSS) and engage with and contribute to various communities (human rights organization, NGOs, privacy activists) to promote the use of secure systems and privacy-protecting technology, including zero-knowledge proofs.

Our Values

We pursue our mission with these values:

Security-by-Design


We prioritize security and try to avoid only security by policy.

Privacy-by-Design


We prioritize users’ privacy and try to avoid only privacy by policy.

Identity-less /
Identity-flexible

We respect that users do not always need to be individually identified.

Distributed Systems


We prioritize the distribution of control and power in our solutions.

Open Source
Code Bases

We release the code we write as open source and we utilize open source tools.

Ethical Business Models

We operate our business to be considerate of human rights, not only profit.

Free for At-risk Users


We facilitate free access to our solutions to the users who have special needs.

Sustaining and Building Communities for Tech

We contribute to the people who are a part of the tech.

User-feedback Driven Development

We develop solutions that reflect users’ needs.

Now Hiring

Like what you hear and interested in joining our team?

Meet Our Team

Learn about our experiences and expertise!