August 14, 2003
we're all cypherpunks now

I've been reading Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson the last few nights.

It's amazing how reading a book about cryptostuff will increase your paranoia about how transparent your everday life is.

Weíre in a strange moment right now where everyone who uses the internet seems to be cognoscente at some level that it has its weaknesses from a security standpoint. So if you sit down and talk to most people who use e-mail they are aware at some level that their e-mail really isnít private. Everyone hears about crackers breaking into systems all the time. Everyone who uses a cell phone must understand at some level that itís a radio, a walkie-talkie, and every word they say is being broadcast in a way that anyone with a scanner could pick it up and listen to it.

People know these things but nobody acts on it, which I find kind of interesting. Historically there is not a lot of actual spying on peopleís email that goes on. It happens, but it doesnít seem to be causing serious problems for very many people. The same is kind of true for cell phones.

-NEAL STEPHENSON


I'm not really clear, about how I feel about it all... in some moments it feels awfully self obsessed to believe that some government agency would care what I said in my emails, but then other times it seems like I should worry that I'm being watched.

Posted by illovich at August 14, 2003 01:40 PM
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