Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet
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Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet

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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  612 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Cypherpunks are activists who advocate the widespread use of strong cryptography (writing in code) as a route to progressive change. Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of and visionary behind WikiLeaks, has been a leading voice in the cypherpunk movement since its inception in the 1980s.

Now, in what is sure to be a wave-making new book, Assange brings together a small gro...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 2012 by OR Books (first published 2012)
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Jonfaith
It wasn't a view that one should simply complain about the burgeoning surveillance state and so on, but that we can, in fact, must build the tools of a new democracy.

Plagiarism has been the flashpoint on GR this weekend. I thought about the controversy when copyright law is called into question throughout Cypherpunks. Sharing and privacy not only maintain autonomy, so the book goes, but each further civilization. It is difficult to argue with that. That said, this discussion was all a bit "meh"...more
Lori
Okay its not exactly a Book, which is why I gave it 4 stars, more like extended interviews with Julian Assange talking with contemporaries about how e-communications and surveillance, by government, Google, Facebook etc. Big Brother is already here according to them; for example, all financial transactions credit card, checks, & cash, are tracked. Well I thought that far fetched with cash then realized I had a "Where is George" tracker app tracing the travels of a $1 bill I registered.
Wheth...more
Mat
If you want a more lucid and thorough look at the past and possible future of the internet, check Heather Brooke's "The Revolution Will Be Digitised", if you can stomach her personal vendetta against Assange.

But this book's good. Here are some quotes that jumped out at me:


Within a few years, global civilization will be a postmodern surveillance dystopia, from which escape for all but the most skilled individuals will be impossible. In fact, we may already be there.

It is important to understand...more
Levi
Really good book. They talk in the introduction about how they have "seen the enemy." I have to agree this is the reason for most people's complacency about privacy. You really have to get it to understand that we all have to be especially vigilant nowadays. Having seen the enemy helps.

As others have pointed out, the book has an interview-like conversational style with 4 different authors talking back and forth (It's not really just Julian Assange). I kind of liked the spontaneous style. A lot o...more
Vasil Kolev
The book is a discussion between the four authors on various topics related to censorship, anonymity, surveillance, governments and other related topics. It contains a good summary of the thoughts on the topics in the last 20 years, and takes on things like what they call The Four Horsemen of the Info-pocalypse: child pornography, terrorism, money laundering, and The War on Some Drugs - the ones used to justify the reduction of the freedoms we have.

I've been reading the related developments in t...more
Mark
It's difficult to critique a book like this where there is a lot of information and opinion being expressed by varied yet similar voices. The book is fascinating and it poses a lot of extremely important views and facts about internet privacy in the modern world and what the future may hold based on current surveillance methods used by governments all over the world. It also poses the Cypherpunk philosophies which are extremely convincing and fascinating to learn about if you have no prior knowl...more
Jason Gordon
An amazing book on the totalitarian use of the internet by corporations and governments to facilitate a massive state surveillance system. I especially liked the authors' explanation of how surveillance and censorship are inextricably linked -- a fact that goes unnoticed by many.
Xpectro
Es un libro interesante para leer y conocer las ideas que
mueven a estos activistas. No es sobre la vida o historia de wikileaks, así que puede interesar a un público más ámplio.

Resulta relevante leerlo hoy, ante las actuales revelaciones ocurridas es USA con respecto a privacidad.
Ferda Nihat Köksoy
ŞİFREPUNK - ÖZGÜRLÜK ve İNTERNETİN GELECEĞİ ÜZERİNE BİR TARTIŞMA
(http://www.kitabinomurgasi.com/2013/0...)
Kitaptan Alıntılar ve Sentezler:
-Bu KİTAP bir UYARIDIR:
Dünyanın en önemli özgürleşme aracı olan İNTERNET, dörtnala gidilen TOTALİTERLİĞİN bugüne dek görülmedik düzeyde tehlikeli bir yöntemi haline gelmekte olup, İNSAN UYGARLIĞI için bir TEHDİT arzetmektedir. Bu dönüşüm, olanlardan haberdar kişilerin küresel gözetim sisteminde istihdam edilmiş olmaları nedeniyle sessizce gerçekleşmektedir; ke...more
Hans de Zwart
Assange and three of his fellow Internet compatriots discuss freedom (of movement, of communication and of economic traffic) and the net. A short book full of important arguments. Occasionally there was just a touch too much demagogy for me.

An interesting side-effect of this book is my realization that I too have allowed the mainstream media to demonize Assange (sort of) in the back of head. That perception is now squarely gone.
Gideon Brainsurgery
Cypherpunks is an outstanding overview of the current state of the Cyberspace War of Independence as it is being fought in what we have been taught to refer to as “the free world.” As a transcription of a conversation between Julian Assange, Jacob Applebaum, Jérémie Zimmermann and Andy Müller-Maguhn it reads sort of like a journalistic exposé, sort of like an underground crypto-anarchist ezine and sort of like the most articulate play ever written. The short length of this pertinent page-turner...more
Matt Heavner
Unfortunately, this was simply an unedited discussion among a handful of cypherpunks. It was interesting at times, sometimes utopian, sometimes dystopian, sometimes interesting ideas (cryptography as asymmetric and also as a "natural asymmetry"), sometimes logical, sometimes extreme and paranoid (but perhaps Assange is allowed a bit of that..), and sometimes extremely juvenile. All in all an interesting listen (I did the audiobook). It would have been better to have four distinct readers rather...more
Dobrin Yungarev
Интересна дискусия, но нищо по-съществено. Някои неща не ги знаех, някои не ги приех. Не препоръчвам да бъде четена от параноици и пр. Заслужава си.
Joseph Whitt
The book is basically a transcript of a discussion the authors had together. Had I known that, I probably would not have elected to read it. I prefer to watch debate and dialouge. This was an audible.com listen and it was distracting to constantly have the speaker's name announced before they spoke.



On the subject of the book itself, there were many interesting points. The Cypherpunks present a pretty dreary future with respect to freedom...at least as information and the Internet is concerned....more
Scott Fabel
I am so glad that this book was free. Otherwise, I would be asking for a refund. This book is an excellent representation of paranoia at its extreme. The author and his co-cypherpunks share fantastical stories of how the government is ruining our lives and how we must all rely on cryptography when communicating electronically.

I am a very technical person. I am intimately familiar with technology, and I can state with certainty that I completely understand their technological arguments. As such,...more
Rob Granniss
I have to say this book was a bit disappointing. I was looking forward to it, as Jacob Applebaum and the others are very interesting speakers and wanted to hear their ideas more fully than what was put in Julian Assange's show. This isn't much more than a transcript of their conversation with footnotes, which are certainly useful, but not much of an expansion on what was broadcast. Also, reading this right after Chris Ruen's book Freeloading, which points to a messianic worship of Lessig and Doc...more
Jacob
I eagerly anticipated the release of this book. The chance to be a fly on the wall during a conversation of four of the world’s most influential “hackers” and internet activists doesn’t happen everyday. And that is exactly what we are presented with in Cypherpunks. The book plays out in conversation format, with Julian Assange, Jacob Appelbaum, Andy Müller-Maguhn and Jérémie Zimmerman discussing their own points of view regarding the state of the Internet and the role of government in today’s al...more
William
What is the enemy? "An extremely confining, homogenized, postmodern transnational totalitarian structure with incredible complexity, absurdities and debasements... a transnational surveillance state, drone-riddled, the networked neo-feudalism of the transnational elite - not in a classical sense, but a complex multi-party interaction that has come about as a result of various elites in their own national countries lifting up together, off their respective population bases, and merging."

These tr...more
Oliver
Although too brief throughout its entirety, Cypherpunks is a succinct record of conversations between four of the most notorious and knowledgeable men regarding internet security, privacy and its abuse. The book acts as a relatively up to date (June 2012) documentation of the changing nature of the world wide web, largely in consideration to the general population’s use of it and its use against the general population. In parts, politics are discussed (although not overtly), giving an interestin...more
Dean Deters
This book is a transcript of a conversation between several men who are active in trying to protect freedom of privacy. Julian Assange, editor in chief at Wikileaks is one of the four.
This is an eye opening account of how little privacy we have. There are some ideas of what we can do to try and protect our privacy more, but one purpose of this book is to educate and inspire the reader to weigh in on policy decisions which our government is making about our right to privacy.

Lacy
This book may scare the heck out of you. It is the transcript of a conversation between a group of cyber geniuses as they discuss the alarming lack of privacy over the internet. It is scary how much control the government is gaining and how frightening it is when one realizes how much is monitored.
It's a quick read, and I will admit some of it was over my head, but it definitely started my brain churning.
Chad Kohalyk
This book is really a footnoted conversation between Julian Assange, Jacob Appelbaum, Andy Müller-Maguhn and Jérémie Zimmermann, some big names in the internet/activist/anarchist/online security communities. It would have been great to see this as a video, but in some cases the footnotes are essential.

Their conversation reminds me of the discussions we have in Talk Club (a local, salon-like discussion group): no holds barred, anything goes, blue sky solutioneering. But these guys are not only re...more
Naísia
"nem toda a violência do mundo poderá resolver uma equação matemática".

Eu sugiro que todos se apropriem desta discussão, sob pena de ficar alienado de uma das questões
essenciais do nosso tempo - via esses guerreiros das liberdades civis de nosso tempo, Assange & Cia.
Duncan
Fans of this book will be pleased to know that the introductory essay by Julian Assange, titled 'A call to cryptographic arms', has been included in the 2013 edition of 'The Best Australian Essays', edited by Robert Manne.
Ager
It is must-read, if it has been published in your country.
The discusions here are good for business men, for tech fans, and for human rights activists. Well, everybody should know at least a bit of what it contains: a very healthy discussion about modern technology, and what using it truly means to our rights, our privacy and our freedom most of all.
What to do if you like technology, but you also like your freedom of thought, and of speech? What can be done to stay in a world like ours, and not...more
Ralf Larisch
Ich besitze die dt. Ausgabe.
Geldverschwendung! Selbstdarsteller, ohne wertvollen Inhalt. Lesen Sie die Frankfurter Allgemeine, die Sueddeutsche oder den Spiegel um sich zu informieren, dieses Buch ist nutzlos.
Nico
Nota: Es mucho mas cómodo leerlo en ebook por la gran cantidad de links que tiene
La discusión que plantea toca temas muy interesantes -la intersección entre politíca y criptografia-.
Lo que echo en falta es mas menciones del estado de la vigilancia masiva en latinoamerica (¿Nadie mas cree que la guerra contra el narcotrafico acá tiene una componente digital?)
Tib Sou
Bof. Je reproche un dialogue entre érudits sans démarche pédagogique pour le néophyte. Je reproche une philosophie de comptoir articulée autour d'une théorie du complot conspirationniste. Il est impossible de distinguer le vrai du faux là-dedans. Les auteurs s'écoutent beaucoup parler mais quels sont leurs titres de noblesse? Les personnes citées sont présentées comme les précurseurs visionnaires d'une sorte de mouvance moderne ultra-libertaire qui prône une utilisation sans contraintes de la te...more
Marcus
Well, my timing was great on this one. I started it just a couple days before the whole project PRISM scandal, if you can call something so endemic a scandal. Cypherpunks predicts and warns against exactly this type of destruction of privacy by governments in the name of the "four horsemen of the infocalypse" (terrorists, drug dealers, pedophiles, and organized crime). While on one hand, those things are unarguably bad, what is the correct response and solution to them? Is it the complete forfei...more
Sabin Serban
Not really a book, more like a dialogue between Julian Assange and a few close friends on the future of the internet, privacy and state security. A very short, interesting, and worthwhile read.
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Julian Paul Assange is an Australian publisher, journalist, software developer and Internet activist. He is the founder, spokesperson, and editor in chief of WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website and conduit for worldwide news leaks, with the stated purpose of creating open governments. Assange has worked as a computer programmer and was a hacker during his youth. He has lived in several countries, a...more
More about Julian Assange...
Julian Assange - The Unauthorised Autobiography Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness, and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier When Google Met Wikileaks Wikileaks Versus the World: My Story American Radical: The Life and Times of I. F. Stone

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“One must acknowledge with cryptography no amount of violence will ever solve a math problem.” 6 likes
“The world is not sliding, but galloping into a new transnational dystopia. This development has not been properly recognized outside of national security circles. It has been hidden by secrecy, complexity and scale. The internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen. The internet is a threat to human civilization.

These transformations have come about silently, because those who know what is going on work in the global surveillance industry and have no incentives to speak out. Left to its own trajectory, within a few years, global civilization will be a postmodern surveillance dystopia, from which escape for all but the most skilled individuals will be impossible. In fact, we may already be there.

While many writers have considered what the internet means for global civilization, they are wrong. They are wrong because they do not have the sense of perspective that direct experience brings. They are wrong because they have never met the enemy.”
5 likes
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