Borders of digital privacy

Should we deserve absolute privacy?

Let me introduce myself

  • Cryptoanarchist & voluntaryist focused on technology and society hacking
  • IT security guy, founder of IT security hacking companies (Nethemba, Hacktrophy) & contemporary art (Satori)
  • Co-founder of Bratislava's and Prague's hackerspaces (Progressbar & Paralelni Polis)
  • Member of Czech contemporary artistic group Ztohoven
  • Responsible for many anti-government & digital privacy projects,

Top privacy threats in Czech Republic


  1. Internet censorship (ban of "unlicensed" online gambling portals)
  2. Czech Secret "Military" Service Orwell's Law
  3. Global surveillance of financial transactions (EET)

Internet censorship in Czech Republic

  • Proposed by "licensed" gambling lobby to eliminate their "unlicensed" competition from the market
  • Tax payers will pay for enforcement of corporativist interests of some "selected" companies, at the same time for their own Internet censorship
  • It is and will be totally ineffective (can by bypassed using the standard Opera with integrated VPN)
  • It will significantly increase ISP's expenses
  • It is a dangerous precedent -> censorship is always extending over time (with more and more blacklists)

Czech Secret "Military" Service Orwell's Law

  • The amendment will allow the Czech Military Intelligence to intercept the entire Czech Internet. Furthermore, the secret service will be able to modify and even block the traffic
  • The Service will have access to online information flow, i.e. our e-mail conversations, visited sites, watched videos, online behaviour on social networks, etc.
  • Such legal access, that will be granted by this amendment, will mean that even encrypting all communications will not be secure any more
  • State-scale wiretapping, unprecedent violation of basic civil rights

Global surveillance of financial transactions (EET)

  • All Czech companies which do not make cashless transactions only have to be mandatory registered in the EET system (Electronic records of sale)
  • It is an extra expense for all companies
  • The government gains the control over all financial transactions of all business transactions of all companies
  • It is only a question of time when this information is leaked (by corrupted or disgruntled employees or hacker's attack)
  • It can be misused to gain sensitive correlations about shopping habits, money flows or customers' solvency, competition fights


What is a political legitimity of such dictatorships proposals?

  • If someone wants to propose a law for "tagging" Jews (as an "intrusion to their privacy") with a yellow star, should we consider him to be serious?
  • If not, why we take seriously "privacy intrusion" proposals of such institutions like Czech Military Intelligence or Czech politicians who approved Internet Censorship, global financial surveillance EET, etc?

Question time!


Do we have right to our digital privacy if no one is hurt?

Do we have right to our digital privacy

including our financial transactions

if no one is hurt?

Do we have right to our digital privacy

including our financial transactions protecting them from the tax office

if no one is hurt?

OK, if not - who defines the borders of our digital privacy?

(Those ones who have approved and enforce all these dictatorship laws?)




Do we deserve absolute digital privacy?

In these days, it does not matter if you answer "yes"or "no".


Absolute digital privacy is technically achievable (including protection of all your transactions against the government)

Thanks to crypto technologies

  • truly anonymous cryptocurrencies
    • Monero, ZCash, ZCoin, Dash, SDC/
  • fully decentralized cryptomarkets (OpenBazaar,
  • anonymization networks (Tor, I2P)
  • smart contracts (Ethereum)

Cope with the fact:

There is no place for government regulators to intervene to this economy or see any financial transactions.

Strict regulations and bans always lead to "subversive" counter activities

  • Internet censorship -> rise of VPNs

  • War on Drugs -> rise of street drug markets/crypto markets

  • High employee expenses (including minimum salary) -> rise of ilegal workers 

  • High taxes -> rise of offshore companies

  • Probition / regulation of cash / economic dictatorship -> rise of cryptocurrencies

Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse

  • types of criminals who use the internet to facilitate crime and consequently jeopardize the rights of honest internet users

    • terrorists

    • drug dealers

    • pedophiles

    • organized crime

  • the term was coined by Timothy C. May in 1988 when discussing the reasons for limited civilian use of cryptography tools

Four Horsemen on their "ride"

  • Europol & Interpol call for "bitcoin" regulations, ban of Bitcoin mixers because of terrorists, drug dealers...
  • Encryption ban proposal in the UK to fight with "terorists"
  • Regulation (in some countries) of Tor/I2P exit nodes because of pedophiles

Do we have right to our digital privacy including child pornography?

Do we have right to our digital privacy including computer rendered

child pornography

with no real victim?

Child pornography facts

  • Very sensitive topic, unfortunately people do not think rationally in this case
  • Ofted used as an excuse for Internet censorship (IFW), shutting down of Tor/I2P exit nodes, to compromise undesirable "important" people
  • Tor/I2P hidden services are full of child pornography that cannot be technically taken down (and easily available for most people)
  • Should we criminalize people for a posession of any sensitive content if they do not directly support child abuse (they do not pay it & they do not distribute it?)
  • Australian case of "little breasts"
  • What about rendering artificial child pornography?
  • Consider the situation when 0-day malware compromises millions of computers and infect them with child pornography. Should we criminalize all these people? What about uploading to blockchain?


  • We are heading to the most individualist society we have ever lived
  • Current (and future) technologies can provide us both surveillance control as well as unimaginable digital freedom
  • Expect the government will lose a lot of control over our the virtual world (thanks to the rising of "Cryptoanarchy world")
  • And yes, we deserve absolute digital privacy if no one is hurt

Borders of digital privacy

By Pavol Luptak

Borders of digital privacy

The first implementation of asymmetric cryptography (PGP) at the beginning of the 90s, created a cypherpunks' belief that digital privacy is an integral part of ourselves and should be absolute. Simply no one has a right to intervene to our digital liberty. Since the 90s, the Internet has been changed a lot. It has become the government and social manipulation tool over the entire population. In 2006 Data Retention Directive was applied to all EU citizens. Few years after, other laws prohibiting using cash above specific thresholds were also adopted. Of course allowing financial surveillance of all people who use bank accounts. Many European countries started to use central government reporting systems (e.g. Czech EET) which can be misused to gain sensitive correlations about shopping habits, money flows or customers' solvency. The close cooperation of mobile network operators with the governments allows locating and targeting of almost all citizens, their movements, calls, and messages. Draconian privacy laws as the UK 'Snooper's charter' allow government backdoors to any communication. Digital dictatorship is here. In the EU. The following moral & philosophical questions arise: * How deep should we care about our digital privacy? And how much of our digital privacy are we willing to sacrifice for "social welfare"? How much anti-privacy draconian laws can we tolerate? * If our personal details, personal communication or personal data are the inevitable part of our digital privacy, does it also include our personal financial transactions in cryptocurrencies? * If not, which part of our digital privacy 'belongs' to governments and which not? * And who defines these borders of digital privacy? * Or do we deserve absolute digital privacy? Just because it is technologically feasible?

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