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Cypherpunk

From Academic Kids

The cypherpunks (cipher+punk) comprise an informal group of people interested in privacy and cryptography who originally communicated through the cypherpunks mailing list. The aim of the group was to achieve privacy and security through proactive use of cryptography. Events such as the GURPS Cyberpunk raid lent weight to the idea that private individuals needed to take steps themselves to protect their privacy. In its heyday, the list discussed the public policy issues related to cryptography, as well as more practical nuts-and-bolts mathematical, computational, technological, and cryptographic matters themselves.

A coderpunks list, open by invitation only, existed for a time. Coderpunks took up more technical matters and had less discussion of public policy implications.

There is a short section about the cypherpunks in Applied Cryptography ISBN 0471117099, written by Bruce Schneier.

The term cypherpunk was coined by Jude Milhon as a pun to describe cyberpunks who used cryptography.

The mailing list's best days have been behind it for some time, possibly peaking around 1997. A number of current systems in use trace their roots to this time, including Pretty Good Privacy, /dev/random in the linux kernel (the actual code has been completely reimplemented several times since then) and todays anonymous remailers.

Cypherpunk or Cypherpunks is also occasionally used as a username and password on websites which require registration, especially if the user does not intend to return or does not wish to reveal information about themself. The account is left for later users.

If the password is rejected (some sites do not allow user & pass to match), try the alternates of secret, writecode, or punkcypher. If none of those work, use the ever prevalent "I forgot my password" facility and send the secret word to cypherpunks@mailinator.com. Wait a while (how long depends on how fast their mailserver is) and then head on over to mailinator.com to collect your key (no login required). One of the gmail accounts is p.cypher@gmail.com, password writecode.

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