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Re: Cypherpunks Cause (tm)

> You bet there is a cypherpunks cause, and if there isn't there should be.
> The cypherpunks cause: to promote encryption and other privacy software
> usage on the Internet until it is beyond the control of totalitarian
> governments.  In other words, to protect the privacy rights of all by 
> making privacy universal.
> Any questions?

No, but it really should have sounded more like this:

   Cypherpunks assume privacy is a good thing and wish there were more
of it.  Cypherpunks acknowledge that those who want privacy must
create it for themselves and not expect governments, corporations, or
other large, faceless organizations to grant them privacy out of
beneficence.  Cypherpunks know that people have been creating their
own privacy for centuries with whispers, envelopes, closed doors, and
couriers.  Cypherpunks do not seek to prevent other people from
speaking about their experiences or their opinions.
   The most important means to the defense of privacy is encryption. To
encrypt is to indicate the desire for privacy.  But to encrypt with
weak cryptography is to indicate not too much desire for privacy.
Cypherpunks hope that all people desiring privacy will learn how best
to defend it.
   Cypherpunks are therefore devoted to cryptography.  Cypherpunks wish
to learn about it, to teach it, to implement it, and to make more of
it.  Cypherpunks know that cryptographic protocols make social
structures.  Cypherpunks know how to attack a system and how to
defend it.  Cypherpunks know just how hard it is to make good
   Cypherpunks love to practice.  They love to play with public key
cryptography.  They love to play with anonymous and pseudonymous mail
forwarding and delivery.  They love to play with DC-nets.  They love
to play with secure communications of all kinds.
   Cypherpunks write code.  They know that someone has to write code to
defend privacy, and since it's their privacy, they're going to write
it.  Cypherpunks publish their code so that their fellow cypherpunks
may practice and play with it.  Cypherpunks realize that security is
not built in a day and are patient with incremental progress.
   Cypherpunks don't care if you don't like the software they write.
Cypherpunks know that software can't be destroyed.  Cypherpunks know
that a widely dispersed system can't be shut down.
   Cypherpunks will make the networks safe for privacy.
   If the government (or any other oppressor that behaves like one) can
effectively monitor communications, it can control or suppress them.  And
it will do so, because the natural tendency of controllers is always to
seek more control.
   The government cannot be relied on to protect your privacy rights.
Nor can anyone else --- certainly not your employer, or the corporations
that want to know all about you so they can sell you things.
   Given half the chance, governments and corporations will always push
for security standards that protect *them*, but not *you*.
   Computer technology can help protect you against would-be snoopers,
but only if somebody is sufficiently smart and dedicated to build the
   The Cypherpunks list exists to build and propagate privacy software.
Our aim is to give you the tools to keep your private information
private, and to communicate with other people and computers in ways
snoopers cannot tap.

Paul Ferguson                                                               
Mindbank Consulting Group                                    [email protected]   
Fairfax, Virginia  USA                                       [email protected]