Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Call to Cryptographic Arms

"This book is not a manifesto. There is not time for that. This book is a warning.
"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.
"No description of the world survives first contact with the enemy.
"We have met the enemy.
"Over the last six years WikiLeaks has had conflicts with nearly every powerful state. We know the new surveillance state from an insider’s perspective, because we have plumbed its secrets. We know it from a combatant’s perspective, because we have had to protect our people, our finances and our sources from it. We know it from a global perspective, because we have people, assets and information in nearly every country. We know it from the perspective of time, because we have been fighting this phenomenon for years and have seen it double and spread, again and again. It is an invasive parasite, growing fat off societies that merge with the internet. It is rolling over the planet, infecting all states and peoples before it."

Extract from the introduction to Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet, published 2012 by OR Books. You need to read it and act if you want to stay free on the internet.
Update: The book is now also available in Audiobook format from and However, it would appear to be an edited version of the follwing two videos. So if you have the spare 4 hours to watch the videos, you don't need to buy the (audio)book.

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