At the last Surfin’ Bitcoin event, Julien Guitton, CEO of Condensat Technologies, took the floor to promote the ideology behind the Cypherpunks movement. In his speech, he emphasized the importance of privacy and the need for good digital hygiene.
Cypherpunks, a fight for freedom
According to Julien Guitton, the Internet has certainly revolutionized the way the world interacts, but it has also created many loopholes. Especially in terms of privacy. Concretely, giants like Google and Amazon have taken control of Internet users’ data and have long exploited it at will and in their own interest. Moreover, the centralization that surrounds this network has opened the door to censorship by public authorities. This constitutes an obstacle to freedom of expression.
Fortunately, the Cypherpunks, a group of crypto-anarchists, were able to formalize this reflection and offer resources to guard against this intrusion. This led to the creation of Bitcoin and, more generally, blockchain networks. Which were born precisely to prevent the abuses generated by the emergence of the Internet.
Crypto and privacy
The expert is convinced that the protection of privacy should be at the heart of political debates at least as much as other social issues (retirement age, etc.). For him, confidentiality is a path of reconquest towards freedom. That said, it does require good judgment and maintaining some hygiene in the digital world.
To better understand this, Mr. Guitton recommends 3 readings that he believes frame the intellectual dynamics of the Cypherpunk movement:
- “The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto” by Timothy May (1992): Overall, this document is a preface to crypto-anarchy. It announces the creation of a decentralized system allowing anonymous transactions. The author also predicts that the state will oppose it and attempt to monitor the exchanges under the guise of national security and crime control.
- “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto” by Eric Hughes (1993): This text deals with the place of privacy at a time when the Internet hosts all of our personal data. For the author, the right to privacy also means controlling what you reveal about yourself to others. This being so, it is up to us to act intelligently so that governments and companies do not transgress it.
- “A Cyberspace Independence Declaration” by John Perry Barlow (1996): This manifest questions the legitimacy of any state intervention in online communications. This is a claim for freedom of expression in cyberspace.
Take care of your digital hygiene
Julien Guitton believes that it is essential to generalize the practice of digital hygiene. In this case, we must encourage people to clean up their activities on the Internet. For the expert, stopping using the products promoted by GAFAM is 3/4 of the way to go.
In addition, consideration should be given to turning to solutions designed with anonymization in mind. In this momentum, let us cite for example the infrastructure network NYM or the browser TOR. In addition, we must realize that contrary to what we are led to believe, the cryptosphere is a safe space. Its sole objective is to contribute to establishing a healthier living environment.
To conclude, the speaker invited us to be toxic“. The idea is to be able to claim one’s freedom and to be able to take a critical look at what exists. The goal is to be heard.
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