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Re: The future will be easy to use

On Mon, 27 Nov 1995, Jonathan Zamick wrote:

> This is a very important period. The technology is young enough that a
> window is open for a non-giant to produce a dominant product.

Full agreement.

> On the other hand, it takes actual coordination of resources. I'm not sure
> that it is within the range of Cypherpunks to take advantage of this
> window. There is still no agreement whether the group can be said to have a
> single vision, nor whether people within it want to be bounded by another's
> view.
> If people really wish to take advantage of this and really push things, it
> means forming a group, made up of Cypherpunk members perhaps, but much
> smaller, and capable of working together. Also capable of handling not only
> the theory, but good solid code, GUI, PR, meetings, talking to the
> government, etc.


> It is an open window yes, but not a simple one. I'd love to see widespread
> use of secure encryption, however I don't think the potential exists within
> the Cypherpunk framework to reach it as 'Cypherpunks'. The question then
> is, whether Cypherpunks should change, or whether a smaller group will be
> formed.

I think that changing the focus of cypherpunks is intractable enough that 
forming a new group is the only feasible alternative. Right now, I don't 
have the time to try to form such a group, but I would be an enhusiastic 
participant if such a group was to be formed.

Incidentally, I've had one bad experience with this type of thing (it was
the PGP 3.0 development team), so I realize it's not easy. A couple of
things I've learned from the experience: 

* Clear goals.

* A leader, someone who would call the shots, and would also serve as the
person you'd have to convince.

* Open communications. Shrouding a project in secrecy is a good way to 
kill it. This is one potential advantage we have over the spooks.

It _is_ doable. I know the skill is out there. Wei Dai, Eric Young, Peter
Gutmann, and others have proved themselves quit capable of writing good
solid code. Sameer Parekh has done an incredible job with PR. Phil Karn,
Dan Bernstein, and some others (who I'm not sure want to be named) are
talking to the government. GUI I'm less sure about, but I'd hope that some
cpunks would come out of the woodwork.

It is not a matter of ability, but of will.