Thoughts about Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet (Assange et al)

Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet ebook pdf download free

u really shud buy it if u want to read it, just to support Wikileaks. its priced at 10$ for a DRM-free PDF.

heres another review

the summary is that its a rather short book, 170ish pages, which is based on a four way conversation between Julian Assange and three other interesting and influential computer ppl. it contains a lot of rather dystopian information about the future and present of surveillance. apparently, there is a lot more of it than i thought. certainly this gave me som more ideas that i will discuss with the pirate parties.

some quotes and comments

A 120-strong US Pentagon team called the WikiLeaks Task

Force, or WTF, was set up ahead of the release of the Iraq War Logs

and Cablegate, dedicated to “taking action” against WikiLeaks. Simi-

lar publicly declared task forces in the FBI, the CIA and the US State

Department are also still in operation.19

hilarious accidental use of internet slang? :D

The Obama administration warned federal employees that mate-

rials released by WikiLeaks remained classified—even though they

were being published by some of the world’s leading news organiza-

tions including the New York Times and the Guardian. Employees were

told that accessing the material, whether on or in the

New York Times, would amount to a security violation.21

Government agencies such as the Library of Congress, the Commerce Department

and the US military blocked access to WikiLeaks materials over their

networks. The ban was not limited to the public sector. Employees from

the US government warned academic institutions that students hop-

ing to pursue a career in public service should stay clear of material

released by WikiLeaks in their research and in their online activity.


JULIAN: Andy, for years you’ve designed cryptographic telephones.

What sort of mass surveillance is occurring in relation to telecommu-

nications? Tell me what is the state of the art as far as the government

intelligence/bulk-surveillance industry is concerned?

ANDY: Mass storage—meaning storing all telecommunication, all voice

calls, all traffic data, any way groups consume the Short Message Service

(SMS), but also internet connections, in some situations at least limited

to email. If you compare the military budget to the cost of surveillance

and the cost of cyber warriors, normal weapon systems cost a lot of

money. Cyber warriors or mass surveillance are super-cheap compared

to just one aircraft. One military aircraft costs you between…

JULIAN: Around a hundred million.

ANDY: And storage gets cheaper every year. Actually, we made some

calculations in the Chaos Computer Club: you get decent voice-quality

storage of all German telephone calls in a year for about 30 million

euros including administrative overheads, so the pure storage is about

8 million euros.42

scary. it gets more scary when u think about the fact that most systems that i use to communicate with are american owned: skype, facebook, google. perhaps i shud get srs about this encryption thing. sooner rather than later.

JACOB: We can also tie this back to John Gilmore. One of John

Gilmore’s lawsuits about his ability to travel anonymously in the

United States resulted in the court literally saying, “Look, we’re

going to consult with the law, which is secret. We will read it and

we will find out when we read this secret law whether or not you

are allowed to do the thing that you are allowed to do.” And they

found when they read the secret law that, in fact, he was allowed

to do it, because what the secret law said did not restrict him. He

never learned what the secret law was at all and later they changed

the US Transportation Security Administration and Department

of Homeland Security policies in response to him winning his law-

suit, because it turns out the secret law was not restrictive enough

in this way.115

dafuq. the reference is:

Jacob is referring to Gilmore v. Gonzales, 435 F.3d 1125 (9th Cir.

2006). John Gilmore, an original cypherpunk, took a case as far as the

US Supreme Court to disclose the contents of a secret law—a Security

Directive—restricting citizens’ rights to travel on an airplane without

identification. Besides challenging the constitutionality of such a provi-

sion, Gilmore was challenging the fact that the provision itself was secret

and could not be disclosed, even though it has binding effects on US

citizens. The court consulted the Security Directive in camera, and ruled

against Gilmore on the Directive’s constitutionality. The contents of the

law were, however, never disclosed during the course of the proceedings.

See Gilmore v Gonzales at

gilmore/facts.html (accessed October 22, 2012).

ANDY: I totally agree that we need to ensure that the internet is

understood as a universal network with free flow of information;

that we need to not only define that very well, but also to name those

companies and those service providers who provide something they

call internet which is actually something totally different. But I think

we have not answered the key question beyond this filtering thing.

I want to give you an example of what I think we need to answer.

Some years ago, about ten years ago, we protested against Siemens

providing so-called smart filter software. Siemens is one of the big-

gest telcos in Germany and a provider of intelligence software. And

they actually sold this filtering system to companies so that, for exam-

ple, employees couldn’t look at the site of the trade unions to inform

themselves of their labor rights and so on. But they also blocked the

Chaos Computer Club site which made us upset. They designated

it as “criminal content” or something, for which we brought legal

action. But at an exhibition we decided to have a huge protest meet-

ing and to surround Siemens’ booths and filter the people coming

in and out. The funny thing was that we announced it on our site

to attract as many people as possible through the internet, and the

people in the Siemens booth had no fucking clue because they also

used the filter software so they couldn’t read the warning that was

obviously out there.


JULIAN: The Pentagon set up a filtering system so that any email sent

to the Pentagon with the word WikiLeaks in it would be filtered. And

so in the case of Bradley Manning, the prosecution, in attempting to

prosecute the case, of course, was mailing people outside the mili-

tary about “WikiLeaks,” but they never saw the replies because they

had the word “WikiLeaks” in them.118 The national security state

may eat itself yet.

oh god retards

JÉRÉMIE: This debate about full disclosure makes me think of the

group known as LulzSec, who released 70 million records from

Sony—all the users’ data from Sony—and you could see all the

addresses, email addresses and passwords. I think there were even

credit card details from 70 million users. As a fundamental rights

activist I thought, “Wow, there is something wrong here if to prove

your point or to have fun you disclose people’s personal data.”

I was very uncomfortable with seeing people’s email addresses on

the record. In a way, I thought those people were having fun with

computer security, and what they were demonstrating is that a

company as notorious and powerful as Sony wasn’t able to keep its

users’ secrets secret, and having those 70 million users search in

a search engine for their email address or for their name and find

this record would make them instantly realize, “Oh wow, what did

I do when I disclosed this data to Sony? What does it mean to give

personal data to a company?”

JACOB: Then they shoot the messenger.

interesting angle on the LulzSec disclosure

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