Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is bitcoin cryptonomicon book cryptography advocates. Not to be confused with Cyberpunk.
Until about the 1970s, cryptography was mainly practiced in secret by military or spy agencies. In the late 1980s, these ideas coalesced into something like a movement. In late 1992, Eric Hughes, Timothy C. The Cypherpunks mailing list was started in 1992, and by 1994 had 700 subscribers. At its peak, it was a very active forum with technical discussion ranging over mathematics, cryptography, computer science, political and philosophical discussion, personal arguments and attacks, etc. In early 1997, Jim Choate and Igor Chudov set up the Cypherpunks Distributed Remailer, a network of independent mailing list nodes intended to eliminate the single point of failure inherent in a centralized list architecture. At its peak, the Cypherpunks Distributed Remailer included at least seven nodes.
For a time, the cypherpunks mailing list was a popular tool with mailbombers, who would subscribe a victim to the mailing list in order to cause a deluge of messages to be sent to him or her. The cypherpunks mailing list had extensive discussions of the public policy issues related to cryptography and on the politics and philosophy of concepts such as anonymity, pseudonyms, reputation, and privacy. These discussions continue both on the remaining node and elsewhere as the list has become increasingly moribund. Events such as the GURPS Cyberpunk raid lent weight to the idea that private individuals needed to take steps to protect their privacy. In its heyday, the list discussed public policy issues related to cryptography, as well as more practical nuts-and-bolts mathematical, computational, technological, and cryptographic matters.
The list had a range of viewpoints and there was probably no completely unanimous agreement on anything. The list was discussing questions about privacy, government monitoring, corporate control of information, and related issues in the early 1990s that did not become major topics for broader discussion until ten years or so later. Some list participants were more radical on these issues than almost anyone else. 1990s, the US government considered cryptography software a munition for export purposes, which hampered commercial deployment with no gain in national security, as knowledge and skill was not limited to US citizens. The original cypherpunk mailing list, and the first list spin-off, coderpunks, were originally hosted on John Gilmore’s toad. As the list faded in popularity, so too did it fade in the number of cross-linked subscription nodes. However, it is a moderated list, considerably less zany and somewhat more technical.
Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age. There is only one way this vision will materialize, and that is by widespread use of cryptography. The obstacles are political — some of the most powerful forces in government are devoted to the control of these tools. In short, there is a war going on between those who would liberate crypto and those who would suppress it. The seemingly innocuous bunch strewn around this conference room represents the vanguard of the pro-crypto forces.