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Long live the independence of cyberspace!

Julien Guitton
Julien Guitton

Cryptoanarchist, Cypherpunk, Co-founder & CEO of Condensat technologies

This article was first published in French on Journal du coin and translated by Blockchain.io with the courtesy of its author.

On February 8, we celebrated the 24th anniversary of the declaration of the independence of cyberspace. As some of you might not be familiar with this event, let’s introduce it. Presented on February 8th 1996, by late John P. Barlow at the World Economic Forum of Davos, this declaration was way ahead of its time.

Addressed to the world’s governments, this document explains why world's governments cannot interfere in cyberspace, how they deal with this question in order to take control of it, and finally, how a new civilization is being established in this "new" space.

In 1996, it was only the beginning of the mainstream internet. No one could have guessed what it would become 24 years later. Truthful and pioneering, this declaration forecasted exactly what is happening today, like other cryptoanarchist and cypherpunk texts did.

Governments were wrong, especially France, explaining, back in the 90’s that the internet had no future (and that the sacrosanct Minitel, was to be preferred), that business could not be done there, or that "people" would not be interested. Governments have been wrong again and again for decades. The facts are there, stubbornly, and each time, to bury their nonsense. And yet, many continue to listen to them.
“Sovereign OS”, “sovereign cloud”, DADVSI (copyright law), Hadopi (compliance with copyright laws), black boxes, ISMI catcher, bill project against cyber-hate. French governments have tried hard to rule cyberspace. And we stopped counting, out of pure lassitude, before the endless succession of failures that it has been. One could almost refer to Einstein's definition of insanity.

Our cyber identities don't have bodies. We can choose anonymity... or not. Our communications are secret and untraceable now.

"An anonymous system empowers individuals to reveal their identities when and only when they want to ; this is the essence of privacy."– Cypherpunk manifesto, March 9, 1993.

Physical violence does not take place in cyberspace. The monopoly of physical violence and coercion is perpendicular, incompatible with the very concept of cyberspace. Cryptocurrencies gives economic power from the richest to the poorest. Governments have become obsolete. They are terrified by the fate of mankind during technological revolutions: jobs destroyed and other created.
It's tragic, ironic and comical: the president could end up with no job! Our government could eventually become a global human algorithmic consensus: the cyberspace, theoretically, would allow it!

"Just as the printing press altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the structure of social authority; cryptographic methods will fundamentally affect the nature of government and corporations’ influence over economic transactions."- cryptoanarchist manifesto, 22 November 1992

So... let's preserve it!
For its birthday, read this declaration and be inspired by the powerful desire of freedom described therein. To celebrate this very special anniversary, I suggest to conclude with this last quote, took from the famous declaration of independence, I have been telling you about since a few moments now:

“We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more human and fair than the world your governments have made before.” - Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, 8 February 1996

Isn't that what we're really looking for? To open Pandora's box... and let it freely come alive, away from the pressures and coercion of those who think they know better the ways in which it should be?

Julien Guitton
Julien Guitton

Cryptoanarchist, Cypherpunk, Co-founder & CEO of Condensat technologies

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