Leading Cryptographer David Chaum Writes Letter to Zuckerberg: Choose a Decentralized Alternative to Tap the Internet’s Full Potential

A letter from David Chaum to Mark Zuckerberg.

Leading Cryptographer David Chaum Writes Letter to Zuckerberg: Choose a Decentralized Alternative to Tap the Internet's Full Potential

Written on March 21, 2019 by renowned cryptographer David Chaum

According to his (Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg) recent open letter on privacy, he would have us all believe that he can combine his WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram platforms with “end-to-end” encryption to create the ultimate privacy protection platform. The truth is that he is trying to protect the $10-20 billion a year Facebook makes in business profits by spying on us, while fooling young people who are switching from TV news to Internet information into believing that end-to-end encryption means privacy protection.

He admits that “Metadata” (metadata) is the key to such a scheme, and Facebook, of course, retains full access. Metadata is everything except the exact words you use, including: who you send messages to, how long each message is, and the exact time each message was sent. This information is combined with all the other data Facebook captures and buys about you and your friends, including location monitoring, to monitor everything about you.

“In our ‘digital living room,’ we don’t need spies, whether government or corporate,” is the technical explanation of messaging in Zuckerberg’s letter. It doesn’t matter if spies can understand every word; if they can’t, but they can infer things from the data they get, that’s probably worse.

And, make no mistake, those who insist that they have nothing to hide, or that the danger of “terrorism” is now so grave that information about people’s private lives should not be protected (as if the most dangerous terrorists would be foolish enough to reveal their plans of action on such a platform) are themselves providing cover for the most insidious dangers to our freedom.

Fortunately, people are waking up to the reality that they have no digital privacy protections. Unfortunately, however, in the absence of alternatives, this fear itself can have profoundly negative consequences. This has been the greatest fear of privacy advocates for decades, and I have personally observed it in totalitarian regimes in what is known as the “chilling effect.

In “Security Without Identity,” published in 1985 (a few years before the Web) and revised by invitation in Scientific American in 1992, I predicted how the Internet would eventually lead companies like Facebook to bring the collection of metadata into their business models.

“Information service providers and other major interests, for example, can retain control of various information and media distribution channels while synergistically consolidating their positions with sophisticated marketing technologies that rely on the collection of behavioral information about consumers. Computerization has already enabled these and other organizations to grow to unprecedented size and influence; this dominance may increase further if computerization continues along its current course.”
Why can I be so sure now that Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care about privacy protections? After his letter appeared, I made him an offer to test the technology my company had developed. It has full end-to-end encryption and unprecedented protection of information metadata. You can never be sure why someone doesn’t respond to your offer, but it would have been a great opportunity for him to test real privacy.

While Zuckerberg proposed a process that would take years to complete to tweak the end-to-end encryption policy, this basic solution already exists. Although it’s a little embarrassing to say it here, I was the first to propose and deploy privacy-preserving technologies such as end-to-end encryption, metadata-protected messaging, anonymous digital currencies and online voting to prevent voting. Now, at my company, Elixxir, we are already running an Alpha version of a new platform on the blockchain that implements groundbreaking improvements to these original technologies. The platform will have fully democratic user management, making it impossible for centralized institutions to seize control or censor communications. The platform embodies a new, fully scalable business model.

What is the new business model? Well, we have created a decentralized two-sided model (two-sided model) that generates real value and pays for itself by empowering decentralized applications (called dApps) to provide services to users rather than plundering the public by extracting and leveraging the information that defines their digital lives. Instead of payments, identities and contracts being the exclusive domain of intermediaries, dApps can be written by anyone and delivered securely to users without the need for a trusted institution. It is not up to the state or large companies to set policy, but up to the user to do so.

In addition to the basics, dApps could unleash a variety of information services – for example, a reputation for pseudonymity, a superior trading platform, and transparent “smart” contracts of their own execution. elixir would use my new scalable, privacy-protecting currency, rather than control and extract 30% of the fees from the application, which I believe would prove to be technically second to none, only for dApps are charged for their computing services. In this way, we hope the platform will unleash a growing torrent of entrepreneurial ideas. The same currency will be the foundation of our consumer payment system, seamlessly integrated with instant messaging with all the speed and convenience of existing privacy-free platforms.

As the web enters its thirties, we are at a true crossroads in its evolution. We can continue down the path of Facebook and other tech giants, leading to a society of increasing surveillance and growing insecurity, or we can choose the alternative of decentralization and democracy and begin to tap into the full potential of the Internet. That’s where Elixxir is headed. Our goal is to empower your digital sovereignty, and we invite you to join us.

Best Regards,

David Chaum

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/leading-cryptographer-david-chaum-writes-letter-to-zuckerberg-choose-a-decentralized-alternative-to-tap-the-internets-full-potential/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

Like (0)
Donate Buy me a coffee Buy me a coffee
Previous 2021-05-31 00:49
Next 2021-05-31 01:01

Related articles