CYPHERPUNKS is not a political manifesto. There isn’t time for that. It is instead an attempt to raise the alarm.
Few have noticed but we now live in the once-imagined futures of our darkest science fiction. Technology we do not understand surrounds us. Without understanding it we are vulnerable in ways we cannot predict.
The scale of the vulnerability eclipses it. Most people are more scared of neighbours spying through bedroom windows than government agencies secretly archiving every email, text message or phonecall of a whole population, forever. But the former is embarrassing. The latter threatens the fabric of liberal democracy and the rule of law.
Immense changes are coming. They are already taking place, but the eyes of the world are elsewhere. If we are to keep pace with these changes and win back our diminishing liberties, we must do it en masse and soon. And so we must raise an alarm. CYPHERPUNKS is a watchman’s shout in the night.
Besides my original writing, CYPHERPUNKS includes an important conversation with three friends and fellow watchmen, on the principle that perhaps in unison our voices can wake up the town.
We are not defenseless but our defenses have until recently been the preserve of cryptographers and enthusiasts - defenders of the free internet. To win this battle we must do our bit to propagate what we know before it is too late. For that reason I am eager for this work to be read around the world and am eager to help prospective publishers promote it in their regions. - Julian Assange, October 2012