"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

On the ethics (and pragmatics) of cryptography

Here’s our fundamental issue: there are (at least) three actors we need to consider in cryptographic applications design. They are The User, The Mafia and The State. Most cryptographic applications designers (CADs for now) are politically naive Libertarians, and make one of two errors.

  1. They confuse the User and the Mafia, or
  2. They conflate the Mafia and the State

This is a debate seen most clearly in electronic currency circles. It comes down to taxes. There are two models: this currency is for not paying taxes, because the government are basically a mafia that extracts taxation. Or this currency is not for paying taxes, because we don’t care if our users are organized crime or not, the government are worse. Link

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