For privacy to be widespread it must be part of a social contract. People must come and together deploy these systems for the common good. Privacy only extends so far as the cooperation of one’s fellows in society. We the Cypherpunks seek your questions and your concerns and hope we may engage you so that we do not deceive ourselves. We will not, however, be moved out of our course because some may disagree with our goals.

The Cypherpunks are actively engaged in making the networks safer for privacy. Let us proceed together apace.


The most important point of this manifesto is this: privacy is broken as soon as one link is broken.

As stated in earlier articles, you yourself might be extremely careful of your private business.

If you, however, share your data with someone less careful or adept, there is an increasing chance of your data being compromised anyway.

This might be voluntary or involuntary, the end results are the same: your data is compromised.

This realisation (again, and I will keep hammering this home: this is an observation from 1993!!) has some large consequences: if you are not careful about your own data, you might very well end up compromising someone else’s.

As outlined in this recent article, it might lead to a suppression in dissident thought and experimentation, a commoditisation of data and a normalisation of manipulation via data.

I would put that a lot stronger and state that at this point we are already there.

The misuse of social media data in elections is a fact.

The cost of being truly private has reached a level where it is unattainable by the overwhelming majority, as documented in this talk by Jameson Lopp.

These two are well-documented.

As stated in the Manifesto: privacy is part of a social contract. It stands or falls by promoting and enabling it to be attainable by a majority. The first step to this is to be aware that there is something big at stake. It is not trivial, even when you don’t notice it first-hand.

As with vaccines, you yourself might not get ill, but you are protecting everyone else around you by being careful with your data.

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Bas Wisselink

Freelance trainer and speaker at Blockchain Workspace
Bas Wisselink is a freelance writer, public speaker and trainer. He is a founder of Blockchain Workspace. His expertise is in education, training and presentation skills.
Bas Wisselink
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