Eric Hughes is an American mathematician, cryptographer, and computer programmer. its popularity finds its origin in his participation in the founding of the cypherpunk movement.

TEvery political, ideological or social movement has a triggering stimulus as a starting point. Concern about the right to privacy motivated that Eric Hughes be part of the shortlist that founded the movement Cypherpunk.

All started when Timothy C. May, John gilmore and Hughes himself formed a small group to hold monthly meetings. The meetings were held in the San Francisco Bay (CA), specifically in Cygnus Solutions, Gilmore's workplace. Concerned about the right to anonymity, the member Cynthia dwork baptized the group with in the name of Cypherpunks. The name was formed from Cipher (code or encryption) and Cyberpunk (science fiction subgenre).

Subsequently, the now popular email list appeared Cypherpunk mailing list. This list created by Eric Hughes, T. May and Gilmore was the perfect breeding ground for Cypherpunk development. And it is that, apart from initially having a group full of notable personalities, was where the creation of Bitcoin. It should be said that Eric Hughes was not only co-creator, but also played the role of administrator between 1990 and 2000.

Eric Hughes welcome to Cypherpunk Mailing List

Remailer Cypherpunk or Type I

One of the projects for which Eric Hughes received higher recognition, was the creation of the primer remailer anonymous internet. Eric created this service together with Hal Finney, in 1992.

Un remailer, is a service that receives and forwards emails playing the role of a gateway. The función of the remailers, is that of anonymize The address of the sender. To do this, after receiving an email, the remailer first deleted the sender's information. Immediately thereafter, it included a series of random data instead, after which it was forwarded to the final recipient. In other words, the message was distributed and, in addition, it kept the privacy and anonymity of the sender of the original email. This development marked the birth of the first type of remailers, the so-called cypherpunk remailers.

The creation of this type of type of services made publishing sensitive information would be less risky. It was simply enough to email it to a publicly accessible mailing list. Since mail could not be traced back to the sender, remailers were the ideal tool for social activism. Thanks to them, the abuses of power could be given visibility without fear of retaliation. They were used to give public access to data that should besuch as to reveal government secrets or reveal secrets from Church of Scientology. Without a doubt, circumventing censorship mechanisms is vital to preserve rights such as freedom of expression and access to information.

Cryptanarchist developments

Two years later, in '92, Hughes co-wrote with Tim May "The Cypherpunk Manifesto". It was with the release of this document that the foundations of the movement and its vision for the future were laid. This type of social activism and cyber-activism was quite uncomfortable for the United States government, as expected.

The Cypherpunks opposed the government's attempt to control the use and export of crypto through regulatory policies. His fight focused on defending the public right to use crypto as an entirely private tool. The war for privacy between cypherpunks and governments continues as in the conflict of Wikileaks. In fact, Julian Assange It is part of the first batch of activists to appear on the cypherpunk mailing list.

  • Cypherpunk Manifesto Email List
  • Eric Hughes crypto rebel
  • Cypherpunk write code Eric Hughes
  • Eric Hughes crypto rebel

"Privacy is necessary for an open society in the digital age ... We cannot expect privacy guarantees from governments, corporations or other huge faceless corporations ... We must defend our own privacy if we hope to have something of it ... 

Cypherpunks write code.

We know that someone has to program software to defend privacy and ... we are going to write it. "

Eric Hughes - Cypherpunk Manifesto

Cypherpunks in the mass media

The cypherpunk not only received the attention of government authorities, they also sparked media interest during the conflict:  In 1993, Steven Levy published an extensive reportage for the magazine Wired qualified CRYPTO REBELLIOUS.

Levy reflected on the bases of activism of the cypherpunk movement and its manifesto after witnessing some meeting / s in Cygnus Solutions. In it he quoted the famous phrase of Eric Hugues "The cypherpunks write code".

Three masked cypherpunks appeared on the cover of the magazine, under the title "Rebels for a cause: your privacy". The masked men were obviously Timothy C. May, John Gilmore, and Eric Hughes himself.

Years later, Steven levy would publish the popular Crypto: Saving Privacy in the Digital Age (2001).

Eric Hughes Wired Crypto Rebels

“My main goal for the cypherpunks is to get people to defend their own Privacy, instead of trusting someone else to provide it."

Eric Hughes - Cypherpunk Mailing - List March 23, 1993