Cypherpunk’s Manifesto

A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto

Eric Hughes

by Eric Hughes

” Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age.

Privacy is not secrecy.

A private matter is something one doesn’t want the whole world to know, but a secret matter is something one doesn’t want anybody to know.

Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world.

If two parties have some sort of dealings, then each has a memory of their interaction.

Each party can speak about their own memory of this; how could anyone prevent it?

One could pass laws against it, but the freedom of speech, even more than privacy, is fundamental to an open society; we seek not to restrict any speech at all.

If many parties speak together in the same forum, each can speak to all the others and aggregate together knowledge about individuals and other parties.

The power of electronic communications has enabled such group speech, and it will not go away merely because we might want it to.

Since we desire privacy, we must ensure that each party to a transaction have knowledge only of that which is directly necessary for that transaction.

Since any information can be spoken of, we must ensure that we reveal as little as possible.

In most cases personal identity is not salient. When I purchase a magazine at a store and hand cash to the clerk, there is no need to know who I am.

When I ask my electronic mail provider to send and receive messages, my provider need not know to whom I am speaking or what I am saying or what others are saying to me; my provider only need know how to get the message there and how much I owe them in fees.

When my identity is revealed by the underlying mechanism of the transaction, I have no privacy. I cannot here selectively reveal myself; I must always reveal myself.

Therefore, privacy in an open society requires anonymous transaction systems.

Until now, cash has been the primary such system.

An anonymous transaction system is not a secret transaction system.

An anonymous system empowers individuals to reveal their identity when desired and only when desired; this is the essence of privacy.

Privacy in an open society also requires cryptography.

If I say something, I want it heard only by those for whom I intend it.

If the content of my speech is available to the world, I have no privacy.

To encrypt is to indicate the desire for privacy, and to encrypt with weak cryptography is to indicate not too much desire for privacy.

Furthermore, to reveal one’s identity with assurance when the default is anonymity requires the cryptographic signature.

We cannot expect governments, corporations, or other large, faceless organizations to grant us privacy out of their beneficence.

It is to their advantage to speak of us, and we should expect that they will speak.

To try to prevent their speech is to fight against the realities of information.

Information does not just want to be free, it longs to be free.

Information expands to fill the available storage space.

Information is Rumor’s younger, stronger cousin;

Information is fleeter of foot, has more eyes, knows more, and understands less than Rumor.

We must defend our own privacy if we expect to have any.

We must come together and create systems which allow anonymous transactions to take place.

People have been defending their own privacy for centuries with whispers, darkness, envelopes, closed doors, secret handshakes, and couriers.

The technologies of the past did not allow for strong privacy, but electronic technologies do.

We the Cypherpunks are dedicated to building anonymous systems.

We are defending our privacy with cryptography, with anonymous mail forwarding systems, with digital signatures, and with electronic money.


Cypherpunks write code.


We know that someone has to write software to defend privacy, and since we can’t get privacy unless we all do, we’re going to write it.

We publish our code so that our fellow Cypherpunks may practice and play with it. Our code is free for all to use, worldwide.

We don’t much care if you don’t approve of the software we write.

We know that software can’t be destroyed and that a widely dispersed system can’t be shut down.

Cypherpunks deplore regulations on cryptography, for encryption is fundamentally a private act.

The act of encryption, in fact, removes information from the public realm.

Even laws against cryptography reach only so far as a nation’s border and the arm of its violence.

Cryptography will ineluctably spread over the whole globe, and with it the anonymous transactions systems that it makes possible.

For privacy to be widespread it must be part of a social contract.

People must come and together deploy these systems for the common good. Privacy only extends so far as the cooperation of one’s fellows in society.

We the Cypherpunks seek your questions and your concerns and hope we may engage you so that we do not deceive ourselves.

We will not, however, be moved out of our course because some may disagree with our goals.

The Cypherpunks are actively engaged in making the networks safer for privacy. Let us proceed together apace.

Onward.

Eric Hughes

 <hughes@soda.berkeley.edu>

9 March 1993


☆ Long Live the CypherPunks ☆


The world is in debt for your bright minds, even if it doesn’t know…

It’s minds like yours that always have changed the face of the earth for a better brighter future !

KUDOS TO YOU ALL !!!




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The War for a Free Internet

The War for a Free Internet

David Vorick

Feb 14

” I came of age on the Internet. By the age of 13, I had more friends whose faces I would never see than I had peers in the classroom. Most of them won’t realize today who I am even if they are reading this now. Most of them didn’t realize I was decades their junior.

When my father was growing up, his freedom was his bicycle. It gave him access to friends, to a job, freedom from his parents, and ultimately space to carve out a personality that he could call his own. He wanted nothing more than to pass these gifts along to me, and it was often to his dismay and frustration that I never found the same joy in my bike that he had found in his.

I was too young to realize it at the time, but I had received the same gifts as my father.

Where my father’s freedom was his bicycle, my freedom was my keyboard.

A denizen of dozens of forums and hundreds of websites, countless hours each weekend contributed elements to my personality that raised me to be someone beyond anything I could have become in my hometown alone.

As middle school became high school, my online hours began to exceed my offline hours. By my sophomore year of college I was spending more than 80 hours per week on the Internet.

The Internet has become the keystone of modern society, a fact that has not been overlooked by our corporate giants.

As the 2010’s progressed, the Internet became a massive land grab. A hundred thousand independently operated forums became one front page of the Internet.

Personal cards, handwritten letters, and cozy phonecalls turned into a single wall that wished you “Happy Birthday” 1,000 times on what was often not even the right day.

What used to be an endless exploration of hand curated forums and webpages turned into a bottomless pit of AI generated filth carefully crafted by teams of PhDs with the sole intention of getting you to stare at your phone for just a little bit longer.

The modern Internet has been absolutely steamrolled by the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

As these platforms have festered, they’ve made it clear that we’re here to play by their rules.

They decide which of our friends we get updates from.

They decide how large a nose ring can be before a content creator gets demonetized and loses their livelihood.

An uncomfortable percentage of our time is spent under the tyranny of whatever logic was implemented in the pursuit of higher profits next quarter.

Somewhere underneath it all, real people are living every day, taking what breaths they can between the inescapable deluge of content spawning from a clinical addiction to their devices.

The next wave of teenagers are coming of age in this environment and they are suffocating. Suicide rates are up almost 50% since 2007 for people under the age of 24.

The modern Internet is making us miserable.

Our overlords have captured our souls by bringing us gifts of amazing technology and bundling with those gifts chains and cages that capture our minds and manipulate us to maximize their bottom line.

The time has come to stand up for ourselves, for our health, and for the next generation.

The time has come to start the War for a Free Internet. “

WRITTEN BY

David Vorick

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