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Tech Renegade: From Print-at-Home Guns to Untraceable Currency
WSJ ^ | 31 Dec 2013 | Danny Yardon

Posted on 01/01/2014 8:09:26 PM PST by Theoria

Cody Wilson rattled lawmakers and law-enforcement agencies with a plastic gun created from a 3-D printer, home computer and blueprints he posted online for anyone to download.

Now, the 25-year-old law-school dropout is about to launch software aimed at covering the tracks of financial transactions made with bitcoin, the virtual currency that has exploded in popularity among spenders and speculators—and raised concerns among regulators that it might be used for illegal activity.

"We need an anonymous cash online," says Mr. Wilson, who oversees from his apartment near the University of Texas at Austin about a dozen self-described antiestablishment techies working on the software, called Dark Wallet. Some of them are paid in bitcoin.

"It's not that I want you to buy drugs," he says. "It's just that I think you should have the freedom to do it."

Mr. Wilson is one of the most prominent examples in a band of hackers, programmers and agitators trying to deploy technology in ways that disrupt what they see as limits on personal freedom. Even though they often live, work or mingle in Silicon Valley, they claim its rise has created too much technology that benefits corporate America or helps government snoop.

In the 1980s, such techies were known as cypherpunks and obsessed with using complex encryption to keep communications secret. The modern version is more consumer-oriented and often focuses on mainstream products, such as Web browsers, open-source software and iPhones, with the aim of having world-wide impact.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Society
KEYWORDS: bitcoin; codywilson; currency; darkwallet; money; privacy

1 posted on 01/01/2014 8:09:27 PM PST by Theoria
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To: Theoria
"We need an anonymous cash online," says Mr. Wilson, who oversees from his apartment near the University of Texas at Austin about a dozen self-described antiestablishment techies working on the software, called Dark Wallet. Some of them are paid in bitcoin.

You can walk into the grocery store and buy eggs in a completely anonymous transaction, unless you want to use your debit card or for whatever reason sign up for their stupid loyalty programs. Point is, it's easy to do. Online commerce should have such an option too, especially since the presence of online stores could kill brick and mortar stores. If anonymity in online purchases were impossible that would be one thing (although then I'd just say online commerce wasn't yet ready for prime time), but the goal should be to have customers have all the same freedoms they had with B&M, one of which was anonymity. Now for physical goods, even if you solve the payment anonymity issue, there remains the barrier that you have to tell them how to get you the product, so that would have to be solved. I have an idea for that though. UPS and other shippers can have facilities to hold the goods, which they release to the first person with the proper code, no ID required.

2 posted on 01/01/2014 8:25:41 PM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Theoria

Way freakin cool.

The pursuit of freedom is the root of America. The branches include Eric Snowden. The gooberment we have is an abomination
our Constitution doesn’t allow but our congress critters perpetuate.


3 posted on 01/01/2014 8:27:27 PM PST by theneanderthal
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To: Theoria
Every culture, country and civilization has its genius. It's always been that way. In 1700-1950 Europe their genius went to music a lot. In England during the 1500's their genius went to literature.

Our genius got BIG into computers and, business of course.

Mr. Wilson and his cypherpunk friends WILL grow old and die. I suppose they'll want to be buried with their techie telephones. What do you think?

4 posted on 01/01/2014 8:27:41 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: cloudmountain
Our genius got BIG into computers and, business of course.

Very little of our genius is BIG into business; if employed, they are usually kept out of any major decision-making circles. Otherwise, our national debt would not be $17 Trillion; our industries would not be eating our seed corn with outsourcing, off-shoring, open borders, amnesty, affirmative action, and lopsided anti-American trade agreements.

You might say that those things are government problems and actions, but businesses lobby government, and government responds.

Corrupt idiots run the show today, just like in the previous Great Depression.

5 posted on 01/01/2014 8:51:29 PM PST by meadsjn
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To: Theoria; AFPhys; AD from SpringBay; ADemocratNoMore; aimhigh; AnalogReigns; archy; ...

Not, strictly speaking, a 3-D printer ping...


6 posted on 01/01/2014 9:16:32 PM PST by null and void (I'm betting on an Obama Trifecta: A Nobel Peace Prize, an Impeachment, AND a War Crimes Trial...)
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To: Errant

Ping. This guy sure likes tweeking the nanny staters.


7 posted on 01/01/2014 9:28:07 PM PST by Lurkina.n.Learnin (This is not just stupid, we're talking Democrat stupid here.)
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To: Still Thinking

Online shopping hasn’t done that much damage to B&M, and probably won’t. At the very least, most people like to touch the merchandise before buying. It’s a social experience for them.

It’s human nature, it’s why movie theatres are still selling out despite living in the age of Amazon Prime or Netflix.


8 posted on 01/01/2014 9:29:08 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: Theoria

More power to him and his buds.


9 posted on 01/01/2014 9:29:17 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: Theoria

Godspeed, Mr. Wilson.


10 posted on 01/01/2014 9:47:43 PM PST by dinodino
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To: Theoria

I’m a programmer . maybe I should join him

aren’t there lot of other freeper techies


11 posted on 01/01/2014 10:00:18 PM PST by Democrat_media (Obama ordered IRS to rig 2012 election and must resign)
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To: Democrat_media
I’m a programmer . maybe I should join him

There's a lot of good problems running loose. For example: how do you establish your computing systems are not compromised? Can you establish this beyond a shadow of a doubt? Or perhaps you could establish some degree of certainty? I told Cory Doctorow his novel "Little Brother" is a fantasy because every smartphone in existence is rigged to be compromised by at least 3 entities, and probably has more holes than a block of swiss cheese...even if you installed a trusted system on it, how do you know the hardware isn't backdoored? Especially after the recent revelation that many phones have easily compromised embedded computers at ring 0 running the radio.

12 posted on 01/01/2014 10:43:30 PM PST by no-s (when democracy is displaced by tyranny, the armed citizen still gets to vote)
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To: Still Thinking
… their stupid loyalty programs.

I have a card from Food Lion, it saves me on many products. I don’t worry about my purchases being tracked because I never registered the card.

13 posted on 01/02/2014 3:13:03 AM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: Still Thinking
You can walk into the grocery store and buy eggs in a completely anonymous transaction, unless you want to use your debit card or for whatever reason sign up for their stupid loyalty programs. Point is, it's easy to do.

With all the security cameras one must pose for on the way to the store, and while in it, and on the way out, the anonymity is only in effect until someone decides to start looking.

14 posted on 01/02/2014 5:07:56 AM PST by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: R. Scott

Yeah, you can do that, though you must never pay with any IDable form of payment like a debit card. They usually allow you to use a phone number, and if I’m paying in cash, which I usually am, use another number. Not only does that not give them any information about me, but mixes in false information into the data they had gathered for that number.


15 posted on 01/02/2014 6:39:13 AM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: R. Scott

Addendum to my last post: ....or just patronize stores that don’t feel the need to spy on those paying their salaries. Albertson’s, Wal Mart, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Sunflower Market, Dollar Store, etc. There’s plenty of them to choose from.


16 posted on 01/02/2014 7:35:34 AM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Lurkina.n.Learnin; nascarnation; TsonicTsunami08; SgtHooper; Ghost of SVR4; Lee N. Field; DTA; ...
Thanks Lurkina.n.Learnin.


Click to be Added / Removed.

17 posted on 01/02/2014 8:05:26 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: null and void

Headsup!

CEO of DDD to appear on CNBC “Fast Money” today, Friday @5pm.


18 posted on 01/03/2014 10:11:34 AM PST by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us of Obama’s America)
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