Monday, September 15, 2008

Precis: The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto

In a landscape that is absent regulation, how does one limit the surveillance on private (vs. secret) information?  In the US, we have a governing body that sets laws and regulations into place to limit the use of wiretapping (sometimes). However on the internet, the landscape is much different, traversing many different geographies and governments.  Individuals, in lieu of policy, have to be vigilant in the face of prying eyes.

Moreover, in bypassing the laws, this movement creates a lawlessness and anarchy in which identity is not tied to the individual, and the individual posts no loyalty to any given nation.  Through complete anonymity, the complete recreation of an identity can take place.

However, as the manifesto notes, this is not to say that the existing governments of the world will not try, through appeals to national security, to tap into this.

We are private beings.  We do not disclose our inner most, intimate feelings to just anyone.  We choose who we disclose things to.  What transpires at AA meetings are for those members only.  Our president for the next couple months enjoys his privacy, why can't we have the luxury of choosing who and when to disclose the information of our choosing?

We have control over our identity in the experienced world in part through the controlled disclosure of information, why can't this be the same in the digital sphere?  Shouldn't previous conceptions of privacy, common carriers, and the like be applicable to the new metaphor?

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