- Paperback: 186 pages
- Publisher: OR Books (November 29, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1939293006
- ISBN-13: 978-1939293008
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #748,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet Paperback – November 29, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Cryptography is presented as a technical means through which to counteract this mass surveillance. Political constraints on surveillance are also explored, including an appraisal of both strategic (e.g., grassroots organizations) and tactical (e.g., Internet businesses) allies in supporting such constraints.
In a way, it's a race to see which tendency will get to the finish line first. Just as the opportunities for spreading knowledge, and for organizing, are increasing, the risks of being snooped upon, and stymied, by those supporting hierarchical institutions are ramping up.
The book starts with an eloquent - at times startlingly so - "call to cryptographic arms." "The Internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen...The platonic nature of the Internet, ideas and information flows, is debased by its physical origins. Its foundations are fiber optic cable lines stretching across the ocean floors, satellites spinning above our heads, computer servers housed in buildings in cities from New York to Nairobi. Like the soldier who slew Archimedes with a mere sword, so too could an armed militia take control of the peak development of Western civilization, our platonic realm...Read more ›
Next (and more importantly), it's basically the transcription of conversations of 4 guys who work at the forefront of privacy and crypto issues apparently sitting around and talking. And at first, it might be easy to mistake their banter as something like that of paranoid stoners, but after the initial impression rubs off you begin to realize that these guys are really getting at the heart of some very big issues that practically no one (outside of Cypherpunk circles) is thinking about.
Actually, as you penetrate the inner chapters you begin to realize that these guys have really thought about and worked directly with some of the issues they are discussing, and that these issues are some of the key issues facing modern society today, at least as far as communications, privacy and economics are concerned. Even though the interaction is informal (or perhaps because of it), you find that these guys are able to fluently discuss and debate issues that most people remain blithely unaware of.
Key for me are the discussions about economics and democracy. Indeed, rather than the cold-war or Islamophobic paranoia that some governments have acted upon over the years, perhaps the key danger citizens face to their freedoms is really the merger of the state with vast corporate entities that have become defacto entrusted with intimate keys to information about our lives. Interestingly, Assange attempts a very US Cypherpunkly devils advocate stance: "Perhaps it's OK to give over communications to big businesses so long as governments stop interfering, because they are reacting to real potential benefits in the market".Read more ›
The ubiquity and essential social and commercial aspects of the internet have crafted the perfect machine/beast - it is serving as the citizenry-controlling viral mechanism to hasten the omniscience and omnipresence of the surveillance police state: exponential Stazi and we go like bleeting well fed sheep.
Paradox: as much as this book is urgent and extraordinarily important for concerned/informed citizens - they don't need it as much as do those who will never read it and indeed, resist its message.
The warning herein is not just steeple bells pealing - this is lights flashing and sirens screaming...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The government spying on its citizens should alarm us all. Not only for the invasion of privacy, but because the information can be used directly and indirectly to silence those... Read morePublished 1 month ago by TrialAuthor
This is a tedious piece of work for an average reader. Internet buffs will probably find something of interest, but I felt like I was reading the boring notes of a seminar on a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Hank Lajoie
Transparency and encryption are at odds it seems to me. We can not have both side by side, or can we?Published 2 months ago by Valborg T Roberts
Fascinating and very informative on government surveillance !Published 6 months ago by Luis H. Lopez
Before you finished, this book can open your eyes and mind to realize whom the world's control wants.Published 10 months ago by Andres Bejarano
Amazingly accurate pre-snowden review of the implications of global surveillance.Published 13 months ago by Andrew
I bought this book to see the thoughts Julian and Jacob. I was not immediately familiar with the other two gentlemen. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Anon