Author Topic: Assange Episode 8: Cypherpunks, stumbling block in the way of total surveillance  (Read 1448 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
Assange Episode 8: Cypherpunks, stumbling block in the way of total surveillance

Published: 04 June, 2012, 23:20

A furious invisible war over our society is underway. Finer technologies to collect netizens’ private data pop up every week – and what now exactly is private? Julian Assange asks his Cypherpunk guests: is the world’s future tied to the Internet?

­WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, gets back in touch with the Cypherpunks movement to discuss the unseen battlefield – the Internet: how cyber wars are no longer a sheer paranoid fantasy, how your life turns into goods sold at the market, why a math problem is not exactly a problem when private data is concerned and what the best antidote is to political storytelling.

“A furious invisible war” is no longer a poetic comparison, you will find out, and this is a battle in your backyard.

­Cypherpunks is a movement originating from Cypherpunks’ Electronic Mailing List, which was set up by activists aiming to improve Internet privacy and security through proactive use of cryptography. The movement has been active since the late 1980s. WikiLeaks is one of the many projects derived from Cypherpunks.

“Now we take our personal lives and we put it all on Facebook. We communicate using the Internet or mobile phones, which are now meshed to the Internet. And military or intelligence agencies have control of that data and are studying it. So this is some kind of militarization of civilian life,” points out Jacob Appelbaum, a well-known independent advocate for cyber freedoms, who represented the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks at the Hope Conference in 2010.

Cyber wars have long outgrown confronting governments: it is private surveillance and the potentially private mass collection of data that is on the agenda now. Social networks know you much better than your mother does and at least as well you know yourself. Users are happy to hand out any kind of personal data, and social networks make their business “by blurring this line between privacy, friends and publicity,” says Jeremie Zimmermann, a spokesperson of the French group La Quadrature du Net.

Keeping your private data private is actually what Cypherpunks movement is about. “The math problem” created by cryptographic decoding is one of the few locks on the web box government agencies have yet to break.

“I have a view that with those tremendously big economic and political forces and natural efficiencies of technologies compared to the number of human beings, we will slowly end up in a global totalitarian surveillance society. By totalitarian I mean a total surveillance and that perhaps there’ll just be the last free living people and these last free living people are those people who understand how to use cryptography. Cryptography is to defend against this complete total surveillance,” says Assange.

Watch Part I of the “Cypherpunks” episode and meet:

-  Andy Muller-Maguhn, a member of the German hacker association Chaos Computer Club;

-  Jeremie Zimmermann, a co-founder of the Paris-based group La Quadrature du Net, which advocates the free circulation of knowledge in the Internet;

- Jacob Appelbaum, a US independent computer security researcher and activist currently involved in the Tor project designing an online anonymity system.

The new episode of The Julian Assange Show will run on RT, Tuesday, 11:30 GMT.