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Cyphernomicon 4.11

Goals and Ideology -- Privacy, Freedom, New Approaches:
Crypto Anarchy

   4.11.1. The Crypto Anarchy Principle: Strong crypto permits
            unbreakable encrypion, unforgeable signatures, untraceable
            electronic messages, and unlinkable pseudonomous identities.
            This ensures that some transactions and communications can be
            entered into only voluntarily. External force, law, and
            regulation cannot be applied. This is "anarchy," in the sense
            of no outside rulers and laws. Voluntary arrangements, back-
            stopped by voluntarily-arranged institutions like escrow
            services, will be the only form of rule. This is "crypto
   4.11.2. crypto allows a return to contracts that governments cannot
           - based on reputation, repeat business
           - example: ordering illegal material untraceably and
              anonymously,,,governments are powerless to do anything
           - private spaces, with the privacy enforced via cryptographic
              permissions (access credentials)
           - escrows (bonds)
   4.11.3. Technological solutions over legalistic regulations
           + Marc Ringuette summarized things nicely:
             - "What we're after is some "community standards" for
                cyberspace, and what I'm suggesting is the fairly
                libertarian standard that goes like this:
                "    Prefer technological solutions and self-protection
                    over rule-making, where they are feasible.
                "This is based on the notion that the more rules there
                are, the more people will call for the "net police" to
                enforce them.  If we can encourage community standards
                which emphasize a prudent level of self-protection, then
                we'll be able to make do with fewer rules and a less
                intrusive level of policing."[Marc Ringuette, 1993-03-14]
           + Hal Finney has made cogent arguments as to why we should
              not become too complacent about the role of technology vis-
              a-vis politics. He warns us not to grow to confident:
             - "Fundamentally, I believe we will have the kind of
                society that most people want.  If we want freedom and
                privacy, we must persuade others that these are worth
                having.  There are no shortcuts.  Withdrawing into
                technology is like pulling the blankets over your head.
                It feels good for a while, until reality catches up.  The
                next Clipper or Digital Telephony proposal will provide a
                rude awakening." [Hal Finney, POLI: Politics vs
                Technology, 1994-01-02]
           - "The idea here is that the ultimate solution to the low
              signal-to-noise ratio on the nets is not a matter of
              forcing people to "stand behind their words".  People can
              stand behind all kinds of idiotic ideas.  Rather, there
              will need to be developed better systems for filtering news
              and mail, for developing "digital reputations" which can be
              stamped on one's postings to pass through these smart
              filters, and even applying these reputations to pseudonyms.
              In such a system, the fact that someone is posting or
              mailing pseudonymously is not a problem, since nuisance
              posters won't be able to get through."  [Hal Finney, 1993-
   4.11.4. Reputations
   4.11.5. I have a moral outlook that many will find unacceptable or
            repugnant. To cut to the chase: I support the killing of
            those who break contracts, who steal in serious enough ways,
            and who otherwise commit what I think of as crimes.
           + I don't mean this abstractly. Here's an example:
             - Someone is carrying drugs. He knows what he's involved
                in. He knows that theft is punishable by death. And yet
                he steals some of the merchandise.
             - Dealers understand that they cannot tolerate this, that
                an example must be made, else all of their employees will
           - Understand that I'm not talking about the state doing the
              killing, nor would I do the killing. I'm just saying such
              things are the natural enforcement mechanism for such
              markets. Realpolitik.
           - (A meta point: the drug laws makes things this way.
              Legalize all drugs and the businesses would be more like
              "ordinary" businesses.)
           - In my highly personal opinion, many people, including most
              Congressrodents, have committed crimes that earn them the
              death penalty; I will not be sorry to see anonymous
              assassination markets used to deal with them.
   4.11.6. Increased espionage will help to destroy nation-state-empires
            like the U.S., which has gotten far too bloated and far too
            dependent on throwing its weight around; nuclear "terrorism"
            may knock out a few cities, but this may be a small price to
            pay to undermine totally the socialist welfare states that
            have launched so many wars this century.

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