Δευτέρα, 15 Ιουλίου 2013

How cryptography is a key weapon in the fight against empire states

What began as a means of retaining individual freedom can now be used by smaller states to fend off the ambitions of larger ones
A telecommunications station in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
'Africa is coming online, but with hardware supplied by China. Will the internet be the means by which Africa continues to be subjugated into the 21st century?' Photograph: Mao Siqian/Corbis
The original cypherpunks were mostly Californian libertarians. I was from a different tradition but we all sought to protect individual freedom from state tyranny. Cryptography was our secret weapon. It has been forgotten how subversive this was. Cryptography was then the exclusive property of states, for use in their various wars. By writing our own software and disseminating it far and wide we liberated cryptography, democratised it and spread it through the frontiers of the new internet.
The resulting crackdown, under various "arms trafficking" laws, failed. Cryptography became standardised in web browsers and other software that people now use on a daily basis. Strong cryptography is a vital tool in fighting state oppression. That is the message in my book,Cypherpunks. But the movement for the universal availability of strong cryptography must be made to do more than this. Our future does not lie in the liberty of individuals alone.

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