Cat And Mouse Game

Since they want to revolutionize the world you would think libertarians would be hard to beat down. But so many of them, at least in my experience, are willing to roll over if the alternative requires too much work. Computer security is one of those things that tend to require too much work for the average libertarian.

Libertarianism is about wrestling power away from the state. One way of doing this is exploiting economics. The more resources you can make the state misallocate the less it will available for maintaining and expanding its power. That being the case cryptography should be every libertairans best friend. Cryptography, even when it’s not entirely effective, still forces the state to allocate more resources into its surveillance apparatus. Even data secured with weak cryptography requires more effort to snoop than plaintext data. When you start using effective cryptography the amount of resources you force the state to invest increased greatly.

Learning how to use cryptographic tools requires quite a bit of initial effort. Instead of investing their time into learning these tools a lot of libertarians invest their time in creating excuses to justify not learning these tools. One of the excuses I hear frequently is that current cryptographic tools will be broken in a few years anyways.

It’s certainly possible but that’s not an excuse. Cryptography is a cat and mouse game. As cryptographic tools improve the tools used to break them need to improve and as those tools improve cryptographic tools need to improve again. In keeping with the theme I established above the key to this cycle is that the tools to break cryptography need to improve as cryptography improves. In other words adopting better cryptography forces the state to allocate more of its resources into improving its tools to break cryptography. Using effective cryptography today forces the state to invest resources today. If you don’t use it the state doesn’t have to invest resources to break it and therefore has more resources to solidify its power further.

Libertarians have to accept the fact that they’re in a big cat and mouse game anyways. As libertarians work to seize power from the state the state develops new ways to maintain its power. Surveillance is one way it maintains its power and effective cryptography turns it into a cat and mouse game instead of a mouse and mousetrap game. So stop making excuses and start learning about these tools.