Cypherpunks, Encryption, and Surveillance

Re: Cypherpunk rising: WikiLeaks, encryption, and the coming surveillance dystopia

It’s the long-form pieces like this one that make me love the Verge. We need more than just news coverage in tech!

My favorite line in the article comes from Adrian Lamo:

“The biggest threat to our privacy is our own limited understanding of how little privacy we truly have.”

Developing an understanding of the reality regarding cyber space and personal privacy practically compels us to “live in public,” or at least to conduct our day-to-day interactions as if we do.

Not only are we treated to a history lesson about the early days of cyberpunk culture, but we’re also asked to consider the deeper philosophical questions that arise from the increased use of politically-controversial technologies used for encryption and surveillance. For it is not their use alone which tends to make us uneasy, but rather the subsequent tactics of coercive social control exerted by state actors and government agencies that cause the public to fear and mistrust those who are charged with protecting the most revered clauses of our social contract.

As R.U. Sirius asks the reader,

“To what degree is the ubiquity of state surveillance a form of intimidation, a way to keep people away from social movements or from directly communicating their views?

Do you hesitate before liking WikiLeaks on Facebook?”

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