Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet is a fascinating series of conversations between Julian Assange, Jacob Appelbaum, Andy Müller-Maguhn and Jérémie Zimmermann. While illuminating the political dangers of state “total surveillance” of the uploaded lives of the population of the entire industrialized world, the more positive case on the internet at the end of the book draws attention to the unprecedented level of popular influence and freedom it can still represent. For those who only go with a highly optimistic view of technology, Cypherpunks may cause disillusionment, but it also offers hope and a brilliant direction for incumbent technological change to be channeled. At the very least, this book enables those of you who consider yourselves to be “hackers” or to be striving for positive technological change in society to quickly know thine enemy. The book captures how hacking is the popular conquest of technology, while “centralization of technique” is the state conquest of technology for sustaining the power of a privileged few.

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