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Cyberpunks

Cyberpunks

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Published by Gerry
The future ways Intel and MS have in mind to take control of your PC.
The future ways Intel and MS have in mind to take control of your PC.

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Gerry on Mar 01, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/19/2009

 
2.1 copyright
THE CYPHERNOMICON: Cypherpunks FAQ and More, Version 0.666,1994-09-10, Copyright Timothy C. May. All rights reserved.See the detailed disclaimer. Use short sections under "fairuse" provisions, with appropriate credit, but don't put yourname on my words.
2.2 - SUMMARY: MFAQ--Most Frequently Asked Questions
2.2.1. Main Points- These are the main questions that keep coming up. Notnecessarily the most basic question, just the ones that getasked a lot. What most FAQs are.2.2.2. Connections to Other Sections2.2.3. Where to Find Additional Information- newcomers to crypto should buy Bruce Schneier's "AppliedCryptography"...it will save many hours worth ofunnecessary questions and clueless remarks aboutcryptography.- the various FAQs publishe in the newsroups (like sci.crypt,alt.security.pgp) are very helpful. (also at rtfm.mit.edu)2.2.4. Miscellaneous Comments- I wasn't sure what to include here in the MFAQ--perhapspeople can make suggestions of other things to include.- My advice is that if something interests you, use yourediting/searching tools to find the same topic in the mainsection. Usually (but not always) there's more material inthe main chapters than here in the MFAQ.
2.3 - "What's the 'Big Picture'?"
2.3.1. Strong crypto is here. It is widely available.2.3.2. It implies many changes in the way the world works. Privatechannels between parties who have never met and who neverwill meet are possible. Totally anonymous, unlinkable,untraceable communications and exchanges are possible.2.3.3. Transactions can only be *voluntary*, since the parties areuntraceable and unknown and can withdraw at any time. Thishas profound implications for the conventional approach ofusing the threat of force, directed against parties bygovernments or by others. In particular, threats of forcewill fail.2.3.4. What emerges from this is unclear, but I think it will be aform of anarcho-capitalist market system I call "cryptoanarchy." (Voluntary communications only, with no thirdparties butting in.)
2.4 - Organizational
2.4.1. "How do I get on--and off--the Cypherpunks list?"- Send a message to "cypherpunks-request@toad.com"- Any auto-processed commands?- don't send requests to the list as a whole....this willmark you as "clueless"2.4.2. "Why does the Cypherpunks list sometimes go down, or lose thesubscription list?"- The host machine, toad.com, owned by John Gilmore, has hadthe usual problems such machines have: overloading,shortages of disk space, software upgrades, etc. HughDaniel has done an admirable job of keeping it in good
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shape, but problems do occur.- Think of it as warning that lists and communication systemsremain somewhat fragile....a lesson for what is needed tomake digital money more robust and trustable.- There is no paid staff, no hardware budget forimprovements. The work done is strictly voluntarily.2.4.3. "If I've just joined the Cypherpunks list, what should I do?"- Read for a while. Things will become clearer, themes willemerge, and certain questions will be answered. This isgood advice for any group or list, and is especially so fora list with 500 or more people on it. (We hit 700+ at onepoint, then a couple of list outages knocked the numberdown a bit.)- Read the references mentioned here, if you can. Thesci.crypt FAQ should be read. And purchase Bruce Schneier's"Applied Cryptography" the first chance you get.- Join in on things that interest you, but don't make a foolof yourself. Reputations matter, and you may come to regrethaving come across as a tedious fool in your first weeks onthe list. (If you're a tedious fool after the first fewweeks, that may just be your nature, of course.)- Avoid ranting and raving on unrelated topics, such asabortion (pro or con), guns (pro or con), etc. The usualtopics that usually generate a lot of heat and not muchlight. (Yes, most of us have strong views on these andother topics, and, yes, we sometimes let our views creepinto discussions. There's no denying that certainresonances exist. I'm just urging caution.)2.4.4. "I'm swamped by the list volume; what can I do?"- This is a natural reaction. Nobody can follow it all; Ispend entirely too many hours a day reading the list, and Icertainly can't follow it all. Pick areas of expertise andthen follow them and ignore the rest. After all, not seeingthings on the list can be no worse than not even beingsubscribed to the list!- Hit the "delete" key quickly- find someone who will digest it for you (Eric Hughes hasrepeatedly said anyone can retransmit the list this way;Hal Finney has offered an encrypted list)+ Better mailers may help. Some people have used mail-to-newssystems and then read the list as a local newsgroup, withthreads.- I have Eudora, which supports off-line reading andsorting features, but I generally end up reading with anonline mail program (elm).- The mailing list may someday be switched over to anewsgroup, a la "alt.cypherpunks." (This may affect somepeople whose sites do not carry alt groups.)2.4.5. "It's very easy to get lost in the morass of detail here. Arethere any ways to track what's *really* important?"- First, a lot of the stuff posted in the Usenet newsgroups,and on the Cypherpunks list, is peripheral stuff,epiphenomenal cruft that will blow away in the first strongbreeze. Grungy details about PGP shells, about RSAencryption speeds, about NSA supercomputers. There's justno reason for people to worry about "weak IDEA keys" whenso many more pressing matters exist. (Let the expertsworry.) Little of this makes any real difference, just aslittle of the stuff in daily newspapers is memorable ordeserves to be memorable.- Second, "read the sources." Read "1984," "The ShockwaveRider," "Atlas Shrugged," "True Names." Read the Chaumarticle on making Big Brother obsolete (October 1985,"Communications of the ACM").- Third, don't lose sight of the core values: privacy,
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technological solutions over legal solutions, avoidingtaxation, bypassing laws, etc. (Not everyone will agreewith all of these points.)- Fourth, don't drown in the detail. Pick some areas ofinterest and follow _them_. You may not need to know theinner workings of DES or all the switches on PGP to makecontributions in other areas. (In fact, you surely don't.)2.4.6. "Who are the Cypherpunks?"- A mix of about 500-700+ Can find out who by sending message to majordomo@toad.comwith the message body text "who cypherpunks" (no quotes, ofcourse).- Is this a privacy flaw? Maybe.- Lots of students (they have the time, the Internetaccounts). Lots of computer science/programming folks. Lotsof libertarians.- quote from Wired article, and from "Whole Earth Review"2.4.7. "Who runs the Cypherpunks?"- Nobody. There's no formal "leadership." No ruler = no head= an arch = anarchy. (Look up the etymology of anarchy.)- However, the mailing list currently resides on a physicalmachine, and this machine creates some nexus of control,much like having a party at someon'e house. The listadministrator is currently Eric Hughes (and has been sincethe beginning). He is helped by Hugh Daniel, who often doesmaintenance of the toad.com, and by John Gilmore, who ownsthe toad.com machine and account.- In an extreme situation of abuse or neverending ranting,these folks could kick someone off the list and block themfrom resubscribing via majordomo. (I presume they could--it's never happened.)- To emphasize: nobody's ever been kicked off the list, sofar as I know. Not even Detweiler...he asked to be removed(when the list subscribes were done manually).- As to who sets policy, there is no policy! No charter, noagenda, no action items. Just what people want to work onthemselves. Which is all that can be expected. (Some peopleget frustrated at this lack of consensus, and theysometimes start flaming and ranting about "Cypherpunksnever do anything," but this lack of consensus is to beexpected. Nobody's being paid, nobody's got hiring andfiring authority, so any work that gets done has to bevoluntary. Some volunteer groups are more organized than weare, but there are other factors that make this morepossible for them than it is for us. C'est la vie.)- Those who get heard on the mailing list, or in the physicalmeetings, are those who write articles that people findinteresting or who say things of note. Sounds fair to me.2.4.8. "Why don't the issues that interest me get discussed?"- Maybe they already have been--several times. Many newcomersare often chagrined to find arcane topics being discussed,with little discussion of "the basics."- This is hardly surprising....people get over the "basics"after a few months and want to move on to more exciting (tothem) topics. All lists are like this.- In any case, after you've read the list for a while--maybeseveral weeks--go ahead and ask away. Making your topicfresher may generate more responses than, say, askingwhat's wrong with Clipper. (A truly overworked topic,naturally.)2.4.9. "How did the Cypherpunks group get started?"2.4.10. "Where did the name 'Cypherpunks' come from?"+ Jude Milhon, aka St. Jude, then an editor at "Mondo 2000,"was at the earliest meetings...she quipped "You guys arejust a bunch of cypherpunks." The name was adopted
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