Their goals are political, their means are technical,
and they operate brilliantly in both modes.
The word 'cypherpunk' comes from words 'cipher' + 'cyberpunk'.
A cypherpunk is someone interested in the uses of encryption via electronic ciphers for enhancing personal privacy and guarding against tyranny by centralized, authoritarian power structures, especially government. Cypherpunks operate in spite of all regulations, for the respect of private life which, from their point of view, is dependent on an easier access to communication, information, and encoding methods.
This is accomplished by cryptographic systems. A cryptographic system (or cipher) is a method of encoding messages. A means of making conversation and exchanging information across the network regardless of censorship, and in complete respect of privacy. PGP is cypherpunks favorite tool for cryptography. A GNU project called The GNU Privacy Guard has also produced a PGP compatible free cryptographic program GnuPG. Because it's an Open Source program, it cannot be weakened by any government.
There is an active cypherpunks mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org coordinating work on public-key encryption freeware, privacy, and digital cash.
- A Cypherpunk's Manifesto
- "Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age. Privacy is not secrecy. The Cypherpunks are actively engaged in making the networks safer for privacy." By Eric Hughes.
- Coding Up a Bit of Privacy
- An essay by Joshua Quittner.
- Fundamentals of public-key cryptography and the related one-way functions. Examples of public-key systems and hash functions. Mathematical and computational theory of cryptography.
- The Cypherpunks Home Page.
- Information on PGP, remailer list, crypto-anarchy, more papers and links.
By Sameer <email@example.com>
- Vince Cate's Cryptorebel/Cypherpunk Page
- Lots of links of interest to cypherpunks.
By Vince Cate.
- Indecent Communications
- An electronic novel about Internet censorship, anarchy, bondage, Taoism and other fun things. By Lewis Call.
A review of the novel by Charlie Roarke.