John Gilmore is one of the most recognized programmers in the world for his diverse work in favor of creating computer networks and their security. Renowned activist for digital freedoms, knowledge and free software, Gilmore is a well-known authority in the world of computing and cypherpunk.

EThe name of John Gilmore is one of those names that have gone down in history for his many contributions to the world of computing, free software, physical and digital civil rights and liberties.

Recognized as one of the world's great software developers, libertarian, and cryptanarchist in the world. His great fame and popularity is due to the enormous number of projects in which he has participated and the impact of them.

The John Gilmore Story

John Gilmore's life began in the year of 1955 in the city of York, Pennsylvania, United States. His private life is a secret that he has jealously guarded. However, the great works and successes that he has obtained throughout his life as a programmer are known. A situation that is not for less considering the importance of them.

Sun Microsystems, the beginning of its developments

John Gilmore started his story as a programmer at the company Sun Microsystem (current Oracle) in the year of 1982. In this industrial giant, Gilmore dedicated his knowledge and experience in the creation and development of software for this company. This knowledge was directed above all to the efforts in the development of systems BSD. Its emphasis, the development of the necessary tools for the creation of computer networks. The Sun company was very committed to this development that ended with the creation of a workstation that worked on the protocol TCP / IP.

The knowledge and experience acquired at Sun then led to his second and most famous creation, the protocol. Bootstrap. In 1985 Gilmore introduced this protocol as an enhancement and standardization to the startup process followed by Sun workstations. This protocol allows a computer to obtain an IP address without having to start an operating system. In fact, it makes the operating system unnecessary, being able to operate a workstation without a hard disk.

Start of his activities as cypherpunk and libertarian

John Gilmore always supported the libertarian cause and cypherpunkHowever, his activities became openly public when he registered his domain in 1987. toad.com. Since then, Gilmore's activities have been openly public to the world. On this website, Gilmore started a mail service with an anonymous relay. The service allows anyone to use their mail service without any censorship.

A short time later, Gilmore participated in the "Great Renaming" de USENET. At that time, Gilmore created the hierarchy alt. *, a hierarchy designed to escape centralized control and which was not subject to the formalities of the Big Eight (hierarchies mainstream like: comp, misc, news, rec, soc, sci, talk). With this creation, Gilmore invited everyone to participate in the best possible way. A space for public debate whose growth was explosive and quickly became the multiplier of knowledge, critical thinking, libertarianism and cypherpunk.

A short time later, Gilmore created the mailing list. coderpunks. This list, prior to the well-known cypherpunks mailing list, was the initial spark of the cypherpunk movement in the United States and Canada. But Gilmore didn't stop there and took this spark much further with his next creation.

The creation of Cygnus Solutions

In 1989 John Gilmore, Michael Tiemann, and David Henkel-Wallace teamed up to create the company. Cygnus Solutions. This company was created with the purpose of offering commercial support to free software. Free software was a current with which Gilmore agreed from its inception. As a BSD and UNIX system programmer, I knew very well the potential that free software had.

That is why for years Cygnus Solutions were the maintainers of several key software products from GNU, included GNU Debugger y GNU Binutils (which included the GNU assembler and linker). He also contributed significantly to the project of GCC and led to the change in project management from having a single guardian to having an independent committee.

Cygnus was also the original developer of Cygwin, A layer POSIX for the family of operating systems Microsoft Windows and eCos, an integrated operating system in real time.

John Gilmore and the gnu developers

The birth of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

By 1990 Gilmore's name was widely recognized in the world of digital liberties. However, the fight for those freedoms seemed to be lost as the US government prepared to curtail them. It was like this John Gilmore, John Perry Barlow and Mitch Kapordecided to start the project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

With this foundation, a means was sought to protect digital civil liberties in every way. The success of the foundation was immediate, when nothing else with its birth was faced with the FBI and Secret Service. In this first case, Barlow was one of the main involved in what in the opinion of the authorities was a theft of software. However, the EFF quickly began seeking financial support for litigation and experts to dismiss such allegations. The move led to characters like Steve Wozniak to support the measure and be part of it.

Later, the EFF would have another great case on its hands, that of Bernstein vs United States. In this case, the Secret Service accused Bernstein of publishing unauthorized encryption software. A resonant case that the US prosecution lost due to lack of evidence before the accusations.

John Gilmore founder of Electronic Frontier Foundation

The creation of the cypherpunks mailing list

In the year of 1992, John Gilmore with Eric Hughes y Timothy C. May They joined efforts to create create the cypherpunks mailing list. The list was an open space for the discussion of technologies and advances in favor of privacy and anonymity. He quickly surpassed in activity level and contributions to Gilmore's previous coderpunks list. But it would not matter, Gilmore pursued that knowledge was free and had a good relationship with Hughes and May.

Later in the year of 1993, the list would become widely famous for the release of the Cryptanarchist Manifesto. A document that supports the importance of privacy. Its impact has been such that the start of cryptocurrencies and the technology for them is related to this manifesto.

Free software development and cryptography

After the creation of the cypherpunk list, Gilmore's work moved to the plane of software development. Convinced in the policy of free software, Gilmore participated in the development of some of the most important projects in the entire computing world. These include:

  • In 1996, he participated in the development of BIND, the largest and most important DNS server that exists. BIND is responsible for the operation of all core DNS infrastructure on a global scale. It is not an exaggeration to say that without BIND, the Internet today would not be what it is. Gilmore's work on this software was to add security measures and open the way for the implementation of DNSSEC.
  • In the same year of 1996, Gilmore participated in the creation of FreeS / WAN. This software implements a series of security extensions for the TCP / IP protocol applicable to Linux and * NIX compatible.
  • In 2001, he participated in the creation of the software GNU Radio. This software is dedicated to the control of radio stations.
  • Together with Rob Savoye in 2005, he created the software Gnash. This would become a free alternative to the proprietary solutions of Macromedia Shockwave and Flash that flooded and disturbed the Internet.
  • He led the team that I develop in 2010 at DESCraker, an ASIC capable of breaking DES keys in a matter of days. This demonstrated how insecure the system was and how the US government lied about this for more than 20 years.

"The Network interprets censorship as harmful and generates routes to circumvent it.

This was cited in the article. "First Nation in Cyberspace", from Time magazine, published on December 6, 1993, by Philip Elmer-DeWitt.

Eric Hughes Wired Crypto Rebels

“The federal government is trying to build a surveillance society. They may be doing it with the best or the worst of intentions. But the work of building a surveillance database and populating it with information about us is largely done without our knowledge or consent. "

Comment to Washington Post journalist Ellen Nakashima.

Other activities and projects today

John Gilmore is currently active with various projects and initiatives for digital freedom. Among these projects is the FreedomBox, a pre-installed and ready-to-use computer, dedicated to taking care of the privacy of its owners. Each FreedomBox has a secure Debian installation to guarantee the privacy of everything it handles.

Another initiative that Gilmore manages is to prevent the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) require citizens to show their ID when traveling. Gilmore has filed several lawsuits to avoid this situation, publicly demonstrating that the TSA has no authority for it. A situation that the TSA itself has publicly ratified as well. However, Gilmore has lost each of these cases, while the TSA and the US federal government do not abandon this practice. This case is known as that of Gilmore vs Gonzales.

It also manages another initiative against implantation and advocates the elimination of DRM. Gilmore believes that the control of digital rights is capable of destroying society and the advances that it may generate in the future.