FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

One Era Ends, Another Begins

by THOMAS L. KNAPP

Well, we’re about to wrap up another year, so it’s time to throw out my dual nominations for “The Most Impactful Person of 2013.” The envelope, please? And the co-winners are …

Edward Snowden and Satoshi Nakamoto.

Edward Snowden, because in 2013 his revelations of evil hijinks by the US National Security Agency brought a final, crashing end to the era in which the politicians still believed they could keep secrets from the people.

Satoshi Nakamoto, because with the full-blown emergence and widespread adoption of Bitcoin in its fourth year of existence, he, she or they blew the trumpet on a new era in which the people started understanding that they can (and should) keep secrets from the politicians.

These two overlapping eras were actually a long time ending and beginning. The beginning of the former era’s end goes back at least as far as Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, and of course Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and others played large roles as well. Those last two in particular, operating through the transparency mechanisms of Wikileaks, brought down brutal regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, pulled back the curtain on US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in revealing US State Department peccadilloes, presaged Snowden’s exposure of the gangrenous nature of US surveillance and intelligence operations.

The new era’s beginning goes back at least as far as PGP, Phil Zimmerman and the cypherpunk/crypto-anarchist movements of the 1990s. “A cast of thousands,” so to speak. The Holy Grail of the information freedom movement — a state of affairs in which government is neither necessary to, nor can exercise effective control over, a thriving information economy — can now be seen above the horizon.

I certainly don’t want to downplay the contributions of all these past heroes (and current political prisoners like Manning and Ross Ulbricht), but the final end to one era, and the true bright dawn of the other, came in 2013, largely thanks to Snowden and Nakamoto.

I predict that 2014 will be the Year of the Great Discussion on Privacy. We at the Center for a Stateless Society will certainly participate in that discussion. But first, today, we pause for a moment to thank Edward Snowden, Satoshi Nakamoto and all their forebears and co-conspirators for making possible a discussion that can proceed un-controlled by politicians whose only concern is the preservation of their own power.

Thomas L. Knapp is Senior News Analyst at the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org).

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

Weekend Edition
April 29-31, 2016
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail