Cypher Punk
Punk meets strong cryptography


(permanent link) added: 2011-05-24 17:43:22 sponsor: superluser (last reply: 2012-01-10 04:41:41)

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Very similar to (and often a subgenre of) Cyber Punk, Cypher Punk is a genre devoted to the rising importance of strong cryptography (the opposite of Hollywood Encryption). People use strong cryptography for much of their everyday communications, and it's not unusual to see entire plots hinge on whether a communication channel is safe. The term gained currency out of the cypherpunks mailing list, and many of the goals of the cypherpunks (such as privacy, anonymity and/or pseudonymity, and information freedom) are in the genre fiction.

Cryptography is ubiquitous and usually used to free the public (although it may also be used to oppress them), it provides the backbone for a network of communication, and there can be incredible money in keeping a good reputation for honest trading of strong crypto. Unlike other punk settings, Cypher Punk is often set much closer to today, often simply Next Sunday A.D.. And while it's often not able to provide cybernetic enhancement or destroy the environment, it can easily be paired with Cyber Punk to provide those aspects to any story.

Cryptography isn't just used to provide a private channel for communications in these stories, either. Cryptography can be used for purposes ranging from indentification and authentication to verifying integrity to obfuscating salient details to anonymizing people or business transactions.

Examples:

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