A generic username and password for all those sites that make you log in before you get to the good stuff.

If you don't feel like giving up your privacy just to read an article, try logging in as cypherpunk or cypherpunks, using the same word as the password. If the account doesn't exist yet, and you're not required to pay to use the site, then by all means set up a new account in the name of cypherpunk(s). Future users will thank you.

It should be noted that you don't need to use a login/password on the New York Times website if you go to http://partners.nytimes.com instead of http://www.nytimes.com.

Cypherpunk: noun, derived from Cyberpunk. According to Steven Levy's 'Hackers', the term was coined by a reporter for the magazine Mondo 2000 who went by the name St. Jude. The term originally applied to a group of about twenty people who attended a crypto conference called CASI in September 1992.

The term caught on beyond all expectations with the publication of the Cypherpunk Manifesto drafted by Eric Hughes. The term applies to those who believe that unfettered access to unbreakable cryptography would be a boon to society, and that any cipher controlled/created by the NSA is suspect. They generally believe that the right to privacy is a more important consideration than possible illegal acts committed with the help of cryptography.

Responsible for the distribution of the original version of PGP.

cycle server = C = C|N>K

cypherpunk n.

[from cyberpunk] Someone interested in the uses of encryption via electronic ciphers for enhancing personal privacy and guarding against tyranny by centralized, authoritarian power structures, especially government. There is an active cypherpunks mailing list at cypherpunks-request@toad.com coordinating work on public-key encryption freeware, privacy, and digital cash. See also tentacle.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

A primitive type of anonymous remailer. The Cypherpunk remailers are particularly susceptible to traffic analysis attacks. The next generation of anonymous remailers that addresses the specific weaknesses of the Cypherpunks remailer is called Mixmaster.

'Cypherpunk' and 'cypherpunks' are generic usernames that can be used for many sites, allowing you to log in and use the site without going through all the rigmarole of signing up for your own account. It is akin to the everyone account on E2 (which has now been opened up to level one users without logging into the account).

Cypherpunk accounts should use the same password as username. There are some sites that don't allow this, and there are a few things you can try. First, if you are logging in with 'cypherpunk', try 'cypherpunks' as the password (and vice versa). If this doesn't work, you are probably screwed, but you can try 'secret', 'writecode', or 'punkcypher'. If these don't work, cypherpunks (and cypherpunk, too) has a Mailinator account (http://www.mailinator.com); you can try having the site send your "forgotten password" to cypherpunks@mailinator.com. No password is needed to read your Mailinator messages.

Many sites have cypherpunks accounts, including Hotmail, Facebook, and Digg. Gmail has one, but someone has borked it up good, and Gmail requires a security question to request the password. If you can get in, please fix it!

If a site doesn't have a cypherpunks account, and you find that you have reason to sign up for the site's services, consider signing up as cypherpunks. If you like the site, you can always set up your own account later.

You never know what you'll find; Yahoo, along with chypherpunks, cypherpunk, and cypherpunkz, also has a siferpunkz account. It has the password of writecode. I haven't been able to find the password to any of the other Yahoo accounts. I believe that they are actually blocked from being accounts, as mail sent to them is not delivered.

Cypherpunks was a movement/group formed in the early 1990s, founded by Tim May, Eric Hughes, John Gilmore, and St. Jude Milhon. There were various mail aliases and manifestos running around, and in 1992 the cypherpunks mailing list was formed, with the first message being sent by Eric Hughes on September 21, 1992, hosted off Gilmore's infamous toad.com. Cypherpunks is/was the group (or at least a plural), a member of which might be called a cypherpunk.

The core cypherpunks meme was that cryptography, in particular digital cash, reputation systems, and strong encryption, would essentially cause the dissolution of current nation-states. In theory it seemed like a reasonable idea: if the government can't track the flow of money, it can't collect taxes, and eventually they go bust (or at least, lose a lot of their power). Of course property taxes would always be around -- atoms cannot be hidden by cryptography or anonymous remailers.

Occasionally people ask if cypherpunks worry about these technologies being used for "bad things", bad things mainly being defined as something the questioner doesn't like. For the most part, the answer is no; after all, the primary point of digital cash is for tax evasion and the secure purchase of items that your local force monopoly might not like you having (be it pornography, secret documents, copyrighted materials, or damn near anything else that you can fit into a bitstream). More generally, such a concern is not widely held among the techno-libertarians who make up the majority of cypherpunks.

Looking around, it's obvious that not many of the cypherpunk ideals have come to fruition. The first one is that when you want to buy something, you're still stuck with either physical cash, or electronic payment systems which are utterly, thoroughly trackable. Digicash blew through millions of dollars of VC funding late in the last decade, without much of anything to show for it. Part of the problem is that while a digital cash system is easy to write, plugging it into the real world is not. Without the ability to trade digital cash for actual, physical items, it's just play money.

Other of the systems desired by cypherpunks, in particular pervasive strong encryption, reputation systems, and anonymous messaging, have been more widely deployed, but not in areas that the original cypherpunks thought. With the passage of the DMCA, and strong legal pressure from RIAA and the MPAA, most modern peer to peer networking protocols have adopted these techniques to prevent monitoring and control, not by TLAs, but by media companies. This is primarily because while most people don't care if the NSA or GCHQ is reading their mail, they do care if they get sued for a million dollars of copyright violation damages by a huge media conglomerate.

The cypherpunks list had a near-death experience due to an overflow of spam and crazy political rants, which was not helped by the fact that Tim May seemed to grow increasingly deranged as time went on, with a fairly typical quote being:

"I think we should all hope Al Qaeda manages to get its ANY-59 tactical nuke into place and simply incinerates the entire nest of vipers. A bonus will be the torching of 400,000 inner city negro welfare mutants."

This led to a fairly large contingent of cypherpunks moving to the coderpunks list, which offered some semblance of sanity. Any political discussion was strongly frowned upon there, so nearly 50% of the posts were actually technical. After Tim May quit cypherpunks to go hang out on alt.survivalism, and filtered nodes became available (which provide a feed for cypherpunks with the spam and the worst of the rants removed), cypherpunks has regained some usefulness, but many previous members have moved on to more reasonable lists, though coderpunks has since died out completely. The last physical cypherpunks meeting was in the spring of 2003, though one is now scheduled for August 2004, at Stanford.

The whole idea of using cypherpunks username/password for registered sites comes from the list, presumably created by some cypherpunk long in the distant past, before BugMeNot became usable as a Firefox plugin.

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