Sunday, June 2, 2013

Techno Transgressions

Whit Diffie dreams up the idea of public key crypto, the NSA and the department of state do not approve. The idea goes public anyhow. After reading Diffie's paper written with Martin Hellman, Rivest, Shamir, and Adelman create a practical implementation.
Richard Stallman gives us the Free Software Foundation, gcc, GNU public license, copyleft, more. 
The FBI raids a game publisher, Steve Jackson Games, while investigating an employee for hacking. EFF is created in part to defend them.
Linus Torvalds writes a unix kernel and releases it online licensed as GPL.  Despite FUD campaign, with help from GNU tools, Linux caches on.
Phil Zimmerman writes PGP and someone put it on the internet. The state dept. is displeased, but public key crypto goes international.
Napster shares files, and is sued into bankruptcy. Imule cannot be sued.
Bram Cohen invents BitTorrent, the movie industry faints. There is no single server to unplug, no company to sue. The Pirate Bay gets prosecuted, but stays online.
Satoshi Nakamoto invents bitcoin, many disapprove. Bitcoin may not be anonymous, but so far no silk road prosecutions that depend on block chain evidence. Help from TOR.
These have all changed the game. Have I left any out? (Please comment.) How about invention of the Internet and world wide web protocol, not transgressive enough? 

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