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Black Code: The Battle for the Future of Cyberspace

Black Code: The Battle for the Future of Cyberspace - Ronald J. Deibert, Ronald J. Deibert, Katie  Hafner From my full review chadkohalyk.com/blog/2013/11/16/tour-of-duty/:

Professor Deibert has been able to bring some of the deep academic work they have been doing at the Citizen Lab to a wider audience. The book is very accessible, and easy to recommend to your non-cypherpunk friends. Moreover, at least in my case, it should pique interest in reading more Citizen Lab publications for those interested in diving deeper.

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Even though he describes the internet as a “totally immersive environment”, entwined in everyone’s lives whether they want it or not, he maintains that the solution is to depend on a priesthood of “stewards” representing citizens at multi-actor talk shops. This may seem a lukewarm solution to the empowered activists in the room, wanting to inflame and empower the “people” to rise up (cue the cypherpunk call to arms “freedom through encryption”). However, in light of the complacency we have seen over the past six months (and more!) it might just be the most realistic chance we have on the road from information serfdom.

As much as Edward Snowden could be considered a latter day Paul Revere, and the people should heed his warnings, we have seen a terrible lack of anger sweep our nations. It is up to us to not only protect ourselves through our technological prowess, but also to engage with other power actors to ensure encrypted, distributed and ultimately safe infrastructure for ourselves and the general populace in the global north and beyond. It is a tour of duty. Black Code is a book that illustrates it well, and hopefully will empower more to join our cause. Spread it around.