CategoryCypherpunk Texts

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 9

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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...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 8

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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...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 7

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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...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 6

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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...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 5

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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...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 4

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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. This is a fairly straightforward argument, but an important one...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 3

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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...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 2

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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...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 1

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Ever since discovering the early writings of the group called the “Cypherpunks”, I’ve been drawn to the thoughts and ideas expressed so concisely by them. These ideas shaped cryptocurrencies and all that I am working in right now. I am saddened they are not read as wide as I’d like. On the one hand because I think they warned about a lot of things regarding privacy that...

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