1993-03-02 - cryptographic activism

Header Data

From: Eric Hughes <hughes@soda.berkeley.edu>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 27763c50e9a3e6ede58fb56d490c6e44b08ee1601675db7cc3430d26171f1d34
Message ID: <9303020238.AA15164@soda.berkeley.edu>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-02 02:41:36 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 1 Mar 93 18:41:36 PST

Raw message

From: Eric Hughes <hughes@soda.berkeley.edu>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 93 18:41:36 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: cryptographic activism
Message-ID: <9303020238.AA15164@soda.berkeley.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Dave Deltorto, in a message to the list last week, was all fired up to
start some real political activism in this country.  More power to

May I suggest publicly, though, Dave, that you broaden your focus?
The US really does work pretty well.  For example, Fourth Amendment
protections agains search and seizure, while eroding in some ways, are
still basically intact.  I do not claim that the US does not have
problems, just that the nature of governmental violence against its
own citizenry is much lower here than in other countries.  Therefore I
suggest that we extend an international hand of cryptographic aid.

I suggest that we start with Singapore.  Singapore is highly
industrialized has a good telecommunications base.  So good, in fact,
that it supports their national payment and identity card system.
Purchases really are tracked and data is filtered to look for unusual
behavior.  The subway and the toll booths all take the payment card.
Singapore is, in many ways, the crypto-anarchist's worst nightmare.

I do not know if the government there has cryptography restrictions,
but I'm sure they will soon, if only as reaction.  So now is the time
for all of you folks to start writing your steganographic
(information-disguising) applications!  They are actually useful here.

I would suggest that interested parties listen in on
soc.culture.singapore for a while, and then carefully broach the
subject about deploying secure communications.

This is about as real-world as it gets, folks.  The need for
cryptography as a tool against oppression is real.  In the US and
Europe we deploy it to prevent oppression in the future, and we must
be grateful that is the future we speak about.  Nevertheless, others
are not so fortunate.  It behooves us to consider them.

Singapore is not the only place in the world this is useful; it is
only my first suggestion.