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A cypherpunk is an activist advocating widespread use of strong cryptography as a route to social and political change.

Originally communicating through the cypherpunks mailing list, informal groups aimed to achieve privacy and security through proactive use of cryptography. Cypherpunks have been engaged in an active movement since the late 1980s, heavily influenced by the hacker tradition and by libertarian ideas. Many cypherpunks were quite active in the intense political and legal controversies around cryptography of the 90s, and most have remained active into the 21st century.


Origins of the term

The term cypherpunk, derived from cipher and punk, was coined by Jude Milhon as a pun to describe cyberpunks who used cryptography.[1] In November 2006, the word was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.[2] The Cypherpunks included several notable computer industry figures, for example Ian Goldberg, Bram Cohen and Nikita Borisov.

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