Cypherpunks by Julian Assange
Freedom and the Future of the Internet

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Synopsis

"Cypherpunks is gripping, vital reading, explaining clearly the way in which corporate and government control of the internet poses a fundamental threat to our freedom and democracy". — Oliver Stone

"Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet is an important wake-up call about a possible dystopian future, which is a technological reality now… While messengers of dangerous outcomes are always met at first with hostility and even mockery, history shows that we disregard such warnings as these at our peril." — Naomi Wolf

"Obligatory reading for everyone interested in the reality of our freedoms." — Slavoj Žižek

"The power of this book is that it breaks a silence. It marks an insurrection of subjugated knowledge that is, above all, a warning to all." — John Pilger

Cypherpunks are activists who advocate the widespread use of strong cryptography (writing in code) as a route to progressive change. Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of and visionary behind WikiLeaks, has been a leading voice in the cypherpunk movement since its inception in the 1980s.

Now, in what is sure to be a wave-making new book, Assange brings together a small group of cutting-edge thinkers and activists from the front line of the battle for cyber-space to discuss whether electronic communications will emancipate or enslave us. Among the topics addressed are: Do Facebook and Google constitute "the greatest surveillance machine that ever existed," perpetually tracking our location, our contacts and our lives? Far from being victims of that surveillance, are most of us willing collaborators? Are there legitimate forms of surveillance, for instance in relation to the "Four Horsemen of the Infopocalypse" (money laundering, drugs, terrorism and pornography)? And do we have the ability, through conscious action and technological savvy, to resist this tide and secure a world where freedom is something which the Internet helps bring about?

The harassment of WikiLeaks and other Internet activists, together with attempts to introduce anti-file sharing legislation such as SOPA and ACTA, indicate that the politics of the Internet have reached a crossroads. In one direction lies a future that guarantees, in the watchwords of the cypherpunks, "privacy for the weak and transparency for the powerful"; in the other lies an Internet that allows government and large corporations to discover ever more about internet users while hiding their own activities. Assange and his co-discussants unpick the complex issues surrounding this crucial choice with clarity and engaging enthusiasm.
 

About Julian Assange

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Julian Assange is the editor in chief of WikiLeaks. An original contributor to the cypherpunk mailing list, Assange is the author of numerous software projects in line with the cypherpunk philosophy, including the Rubberhose encryption system and the original code for WikiLeaks. An 'ethical hacker' in his teens, and subsequently an activist and internet service provider to Australia during the 1990s, he is the co-author (with Sulette Dreyfus) of Underground, a history of the international hacker movement. "Julian is currently a refugee under the protection of the government of Ecuador, and lives in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Jacob Appelbaum is a staff research scientist at the University of Washington, and a developer and advocate for the Tor Project, which is an online anonymity system for everyday people to fight against surveillance and against internet censorship. Andy Müller-Maguhn is a long time member of, and former spokesman for, the Chaos Computer Club in Germany. A specialist on surveillance he runs a company called Cryptophone, which markets secure voice communication devices to commercial clients. Jérémie Zimmermann is the co-founder and spokesperson for the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, the most prominent European organization defending anonymity rights online and promoting awareness of regulatory attacks on online freedoms.
 
Published January 9, 2013 by OR Books. 146 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cypherpunks

Publishers Weekly

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We have met the enemy [and he is us] could sum up the warning of this bleak conversation-cum-polemic from Assange%E2%80%94the WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief%E2%80%94and three fellow activis

Jan 07 2013 | Read Full Review of Cypherpunks: Freedom and the ...

The Wall Street Journal

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In "Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet," Mr. Assange and three of his acolytes—Jacob Appelbaum, .

Jan 29 2014 | Read Full Review of Cypherpunks: Freedom and the ...

The Wall Street Journal

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The cypherpunks were prescient to warn us about Internet surveillance but they couldn't have found a worse leader than Julian Assange.

Dec 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Cypherpunks: Freedom and the ...

Salon

The bluntness with which Assange damns the current drift of internet-related activity is probably the reason nobody wanted to read Cypherpunks: it’s easier to write Assange off as having jumped the shark.

Apr 30 2013 | Read Full Review of Cypherpunks: Freedom and the ...

Los Angeles Review of Books

The bluntness with which Assange damns the current drift of internet-related activity is probably the reason nobody wanted to read Cypherpunks: it’s easier to write Assange off as having jumped the shark.

Apr 28 2013 | Read Full Review of Cypherpunks: Freedom and the ...

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