End of a cypherpunk era?

Anonymous cripto at ecn.org
Sat Mar 5 15:03:01 PST 2005

Ian Grigg writes at

: FC exile finds home as Caribbean Brit
: Vince Cate (writes Ray Hirschfeld) created a stir a number of years ago
: by relocating to the Caribbean island nation of Anguilla, purchasing a
: Mozambique passport-of-convenience, and renouncing his US citizenship
: in the name of cryptographic and tax freedom.
: Last Thursday I attended a ceremony (the first of its kind in Anguilla)
: at which he received his certificate of British citizenship.
: But Vince's solemn affirmation of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth, her
: heirs and successors was done for practical rather than ideological
: reasons. Since giving up his citizenship, the US has refused to grant
: him a visa to visit his family there, or even to accompany his wife to
: St. Thomas for her recent kidney surgery. Now as a British citizen he
: expects to qualify for the US visa waiver program.
: Is this the end of an era, a defining cypherpunk moment?

"Cypherpunk" responds in the comments:

> I never saw this kind of thing as being central to the cypherpunk
> concept. In fact, to me it seems like the wrong direction to go. The
> point of being a cypherpunk is to live in cypherspace, the mythical land
> where online interactions dominate and we can use information theory and
> mathematics to protect ourselves. Of course, cypherspace is inevitably
> grounded in the physical world, so we have to use anonymous remailers
> and proxies to achieve our goals.
> But escaping overseas is granting too much to the primacy of the
> physical. It would be better for Vince Cate and other expats to help
> create anonymizing technology and other infrastructure to allow people
> to work and play freely in the online world.
> And tying it back to this blog, the gold at the end of the cipherpunk
> rainbow is a payment system which can be deployed and exploited
> anonymously. That's hard, for many reasons, not least because most people
> are happy and eager to share information goods for free. Modern-day
> online communism (creative commons, open source, etc) actually undercuts
> cypherpunk goals by reducing the need and motivation for anonymous
> payment systems. How can you buy and sell information goods online,
> when everyone gives everything away freely?

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