I have to admit, I hadn’t heard the term before, and perhaps neither have you: cryptoanarchism. It’s a beautiful blending of some of my two favorite subjects: anarchy and cryptography.
The philosophy is probably most easily demonstrated with BitCoin. Agorism is based on the idea of using counter-economics to bring about change. It’s based on the Greek word “Agora”, meaning “gathering place” or “assembly” (think agoraphobia) and typically used as a term for the market or city center. While hard currencies have generally played a role in these agorist societies (shout outs to the gold bugs!), BitCoin lends itself as an amazing opportunity for Agorism to move into the cyber community. BitCoin is even referred to as a crypto-currency. Here, BitCoin is using these secure cryptographic mechanisms to enable an anarchistic utopia via its existence in cyberspace.
Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, is another example of liberty progressing into the cloud. What a great way for all of us to ensure preservation of our 2nd Amendment rights using an open source, digital, distributed platform. I love it. But it’s so much more than that. I love the whole open source and the makers movement. 3-D printing is huge for us a species. Everyone owning an Arduino, MakerBot, and the like enables us all to become engineers and scientists. We have millions of people creating great things in their homes. Individuals are taking back the art of discovery. As a scientist / inventor, I think there’s nothing greater in the world than that. Now, CA Sen Yee wants us to register and control this technology. It’s absurd. It’s a slap in the face to humanity as a whole. Senator Yee, you should educate yourself on technology and how it has enabled the modern world you live in.
Finally, some of these technologies are really necessary in light of all the new NSA leaks. For a long time, I had been using a program called RedPhone (available on Android Play Store) which encrypts voice and messages. We need more open source solutions to the things we use. Things have been abstracted too much from our view. This abstraction is precisely what allows Microsoft and Skype to throw in code which leaks information directly to the NSA. While I am hesitant to jump directly to wearing a tinfoil hat, I am definitively wary of all of the information which is being collected on us and how it will be used. While I accept that I voluntarily make some concessions to engage in activities on the internet, collection of data about me and my life was never a term in that contract. I’m currently looking into open source alternatives (thank you Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds!) for the remaining closed source software that I use and researching ways to encrypt the communication I do send using services such as Google.
As a scientist and a libertarian, this stuff really gets me going. I can really envision a time when we can really make a difference using these cyber tools. My only advice to you, dear readers, is to educate yourself on some of the more technological aspects of our philosophy. The digital world is our future. Learn a programming language, take on some DIY projects, keep the flame of liberty burning and the arrow of progress moving forward.