You can’t be against crypto and keep hackers out of critical infrastructure.
You can’t be against crypto and keep “Russian Hackers” at bay.
You can’t be against crypto and be for secure e-commerce.
You can’t be against crypto and want to keep people safe.
You can’t be against crypto and be a centre for banking.
You can’t be against crypto and be for “Tech-City”.
You can’t go back to the pre crypto days, ever.
Embrace crypto now for the global win.
The Long Version
The final battle of the “Crypto Wars” is over, and we have won. We've won because everyone on earth has common cause against the State’s desire to spy on all our communications. Crypto (properly called Cryptography) has not won as an idea, but it has won as a working tool because cryptography is essential to everyone’s security, equally, world-wide.
The US and UK are proposing that all cryptography be deliberately broken so they can have back door access. They’re using decades old and very tired excuses as pretexts for requesting this, ranging from pornography to terrorism. Once everyone understands that what USUK is proposing means exposing them to the theft of their money and personal data, 99% of all citizens will say “absolutely not” to any weakening of cryptography.
Leading the charge in this battle against the state are Apple and Google, two of the biggest companies on earth that are law abiding and straight laced. These companies can only take this stance in what is an existential battle and they are not going to weaken their products to make them inferior, especially when anyone can make a secure phone and sell it. The entire foundation of global commerce is unbreakable cryptography. These companies will literally lose everything if cryptography is crippled, along with every person who uses the web or a credit card or a chat app.
Government “representatives” claim to be concerned about hackers getting into power stations and other critical infrastructure. First of all, critical infrastructure should not be exposed to the open internet. Ever. Power stations ran for decades without being connected to the internet; why should they be connected to it now? Secondly, strong cryptography keeps that infrastructure safe in the same way that it keeps you safe on line. Weakening cryptography makes critical infrastructure vulnerable to attack, and it makes you personally vulnerable to hacking and theft.
Representatives claim to be keen to promote their ability to gain from the new economy, like the “Tech City” area in Shoreditch London, which they want to become the centre of the software explosion that is changing the way everything is done. What they don’t understand is that what makes Tech City possible is cryptography. Without cryptography, there can be no “Tech Revolution”.
What is needed?
Members of the public and businesses don’t need help from the government to cause London or any other place to be the centre of the tech revolution. People moved to Shoreditch and Silicon Valley and wrote software and started businesses without being told to do so by Downing Street or Washington. Innovation will happen and tech will flourish in the UK and US without any interference, and in fact a lack of interference will make it happen faster and in a more robust fashion.
There has been simmering background chatter about Bitcoin being some sort of vague threat. The people whose trade is fear and “security thinking” can’t decide what the exact threat is. Here is a good example:
“A spokesperson for India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), its top law enforcement agency, has revealed bitcoin and digital currencies will be an area of focus during an upcoming conference organized by Interpol to be held in India.
Running from 17th to 19th November, the sixth-annual Global Focal Point Conference on Asset Recovery will more broadly focus on fighting corruption and financial crime. According to statements from Interpol, measures to be discussed will include a new global police alerts system that would help global agencies better trace and recover stolen assets.
However, a new report by The Economic Times indicates that the CBI has said digital currency and its role in facilitating trade on the dark web will be discussed. While not quoted directly, CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh reportedly said the technology has caused concerns among law enforcement agencies for its growing use in cybercrime.”
What these people fail to understand is that the cryptography that protects everyone, and Bitcoin as a tool, are already here, can spread frictionlessly throughout all the internet, and the benefits far outweigh the minuscule negative effects. Bitcoin and cryptography are not threats; they are boons.
The problem here is that none of these people understand what these tools can actually do singly, and cannot conceive of what they could do in concert. For example, Bitcoin could completely eliminate credit card and e-commerce fraud forever, protecting billions of people globally and the twenty four trillion dollars of annual transactions made on line. That is $24,000,000,000,000. The savings in insurance, security measures, time and lost money is difficult to calculate, but its on the order of hundreds of billions over a decade.
And that is the benefit of Bitcoin alone, excluding the benefits of SSL, HTTPS, GPG, full disc encryption, and secure tools like WhatsApp, iMessage, Apple Mail and many other apps used by hundreds of millions of people globally every minute of every day of the year, all put at risk by deliberately crippling encryption
The savings and improvements that are sure to follow from incorporating Bitcoin as the means to move money everywhere cannot be predicted. Solving the problem of the 2 billion un-banked people by itself will cause billions to be fraudlessly injected into global e-commerce. The way things are done globally will change, and will be made better in ways that we can barely glimpse today. Without encryption, this can’t happen.
Everyone Knows the Truth
Everyone is against the statutory weakening of e-commerce. From all sides of the political spectrum, from literally the biggest companies on earth to the basement dweller, not a single person who understands what this means is for it. The State has lost this one, and by extension, they can’t touch Bitcoin, because it is constructed from the same stuff.
Any country with a properly written constitution can’t mandate controls on cryptography. The USA’s “First Amendment” guarantees a citizen’s right to create whatever texts he desires by whatever means, be it a pencil or multiplying a text turned to numbers by a random number. Bitcoin and all cryptography is text. Bitcoin and cryptography are speech. They can’t be regulated in a free country like the USA with guaranteed inalienable rights.
The world is going through a profound transformation powered by information. The old men who run the institutions that provided security in different areas are going to be completely disrupted. The banks that provided security and consumer interfaces for money are going to vanish. There was a time before them, and there will be a time after them.
The security institutions may or may not survive, but what is certain is that if they do survive, they will be completely transformed. Any security service that relies on spying on individuals from a central location must completely re-invent itself if it is to avoid being closed down as redundant.
The days of sitting back in orthopaedic office chairs while the world’s information comes to you are over. You now have to go to the information.
Oddly enough, this could mean a radical expansion of staffing and infrastructure at security services, since people are going to have to be personally surveilled. It will mean concentrating on actual criminals, narrowly targeting them with limited resources and doing good work, instead of other, “undemocratic” things. Cryptography is a benefit for the security services industry and democracy. It means vastly increased budgets, more work and more ethical work.
It should be clear to anyone who can think that the final outcome of the Crypto Wars is net benefit to everyone everywhere. Since it really is inevitable, and manifestly beneficial, anyone who is against it is a fool.
A glass of strange purple milk↴