Part 2: Cryptography vs. Big Brother: How Math Became a Weapon Against Tyranny - YouTube

Zenaan Harkness zen at
Fri Oct 16 10:23:12 PDT 2020

On Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 03:27:32PM +0100, Peter Fairbrother wrote:
> On 16/10/2020 00:55, Zenaan Harkness wrote:
> > [...] the noise of Juan's anger is perhaps what makes it sometimes difficult to hear him, but it seems his position is that "all tech that gets created, gets used -more- by the fascist MIC regime dominating us all" and the obvious conclusion from this apparently correct observation is "so why the hell would you create more, or promote, any such tech?"
> > 
> > This argument (if I've paraphrased Juan correctly) is quite compelling - it's not obviously wrong.
> I don't think that's really Juan's argument, but if it is there are at least
> two flaws - first, the assumption that "all tech that gets created gets used
> -more- by the fascist MIC regime" is demonstrably wrong.
> Second it is incomplete - to a large extent cypherpunk has prevented the
> formation of a "Ministry of Truth" - if only through the publicity, but see
> below as well.
> Where the argument has some tangential validity is in that that all of the
> five main "successes" of cypherpunks don't actually work - they fail to
> deliver the promised anonymity or confidentiality reliably on the individual
> user level.
> These "successes" are first PGP. Whether it would have worked or not I don't
> know, but no-one wrote decent software for it, and it failed the eighth law -
> "A system which is hard to use will be abused or unused."
> Second, remailers, which could be effectively anonymous if they were widely
> used. Again user-friendly software is missing, which decreases the anonymity
> set and thus the anonymity to the point where it is dubious.
> Third, BitCoin, where scalability is a problem, the interface between
> technology and people is left to the clueless users, and where there is a huge
> publicly available ledger. Any cryptocurrency where the coins are not
> indistinguishable is never going to provide
> Fourth, BitTorrent, which doesn't really provide any anonymity - quite the
> opposite.
> Fifth, TOR, whose shortcomings are too well-known for me to have to enumerate
> them here again.

OK, so you've laid out problems for "the people" with each of the "five main successes of cypherpunks" and so you prove this part of Juan's point, that none of these 5 cypherpunk tools have ultimately hit the mark and provided the promised privacy (we can stick to just one "promise" at this point, since it's never been delivered).

> But these and other now-becoming-mainstream crypto technologies like Apple's
> encryption have raised the bar against the creation of a "Ministry of Truth"

Now that's an assertion...

> where all of everybody's data and conversations are available to the Ministry.

...which you just disproved with the last part of your sentence.

"Full take" of metadata is already publicly acknowledged.

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that all (!) 'interesting' targets have "full take" of their actual data (not just metadata), consumed into The Beast (and think that with clearnet bittorrent, only the metadata hash of "which torrent" needs to be stored for everyone who downloads a torrent (say of anarchist books) and just one copy only of the torrent itself, to have "full take" of both metadata AND data!  Same applies with certain other up/downloads.  Certainly all SMSes are full take as of years ago, and compressed audio of phone calls not long after that.

Next, since almost everyone does NOT (as you correctly point out above) use PGP but just emails their Word docs, PDFs etc around en clair, again just a single copy of the document and "hash as metadata" for everyone who sent/received a copy - NO doubt gmail etc does this (it's the only sane implementation, especially with Git having lead the charge on actual content addressing).

So what are we left with?

Just the rare ones who actually use PGP - absolutely miniscule, so just "full take their data" until you crack/hack/infiltrate/steal their keys, then unlock and analyse, and now the occasional end to end encryption which is outside of the CIA NSA shills known as "Silicon Valley" - so here you use your proprietary baseband hardware and a few snippets of simple grep code to grab all keys of interest, do full take on the data and whammo, you've captured the world.

And apparently the primary datastore for all this is Utah.  Backup? Who knows who cares.


And you're trying to tell us "everyone's data is NOT available to the Ministry, because Cypherpunks" ???

I wish it were not so, but you seem to have disproved your own thesis - and provided additional support for Juan's thesis.

> Actually I suppose it is now more a case of "anybody's" rather than
> "everybody's".

Nope, you got it right the first time, The Ministry's Utah datacenter does full take, of -everybody-, not just anybody :/ :\ :/

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