Cypherpunks (book)

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Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet
Cypherpunks by Julian Assange.jpg
AuthorJulian Assange
CountryUnited States
Published2012 (OR Books)
Media typePrint (paperback), digital
ISBN978-1-939293-00-8 (print)
978-1-939293-01-5 (digital)

Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet is a 2012 book by Julian Assange, in discussion with Internet activists and cypherpunks Jacob Appelbaum, Andy Müller-Maguhn and Jérémie Zimmermann. Its primary topic is society's relationship with information security. In the book, the authors warn that the Internet has become a tool of the police state, and that the world is inadvertently heading toward a form of totalitarianism. They promote the use of cryptography to protect against state surveillance.[1]

In the introduction, Assange says that the book is "not a manifesto [...] [but] a warning".[2] He told Guardian journalist Decca Aitkenhead:

A well-defined mathematical algorithm can encrypt something quickly, but to decrypt it would take billions of years–or trillions of dollars' worth of electricity to drive the computer. So cryptography is the essential building block of independence for organisations on the Internet, just like armies are the essential building blocks of states, because otherwise one state just takes over another. There is no other way for our intellectual life to gain proper independence from the security guards of the world, the people who control physical reality.[1]

Assange later wrote in The Guardian: "Strong cryptography is a vital tool in fighting state oppression." saying that was the message of his book, Cypherpunks.[3]

Cypherpunks is published by OR Books.[4] Its content derives from discussions in June 2012 with Appelbaum, Müller-Maguhn and Zimmermann on Assange's TV show World Tomorrow.[5][6][7]

Topics by chapter[edit]

  • Increased communication versus increased surveillance
  • The militarization of cyberspace
  • Fighting total surveillance with the laws of man
  • Private sector spying
  • Fighting total surveillance with the laws of physics
  • The Internet and politics
  • The Internet and economics
  • Censorship
  • Privacy for the weak, transparency for the powerful
  • Rats in the opera house

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Aitkenhead, Decca. "Julian Assange: the fugitive". The Guardian. 7 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Julian Assange: A Call to Cryptographic Arms (excerpt of the 'Cypherpunks' book)". Cryptome. 1 December 2012.
  3. ^ Assange, Julian. "How cryptography is a key weapon in the fight against empire states". The Guardian. 9 July 2013.
  4. ^ Cypherpunks: Freedom And The Future Of The Internet. OR Books.
  5. ^ Addley, Esther (8 October 2012). "Julian Assange to publish book about freedom and the future of the internet". The Guardian.
  6. ^ "Cypherpunks, Part 1". Russia Today. Julian Assange's The World Tomorrow. Episode 8.
  7. ^ "Cypherpunks, Part 2". Russia Today. Julian Assange's The World Tomorrow. Episode 8.

External links[edit]