Skip to main content

Reclaiming Your Sovereignty

Like an overgrown jungle, the state has become so all encompassing that the path to reclaiming one's individual sovereignty can at times, be difficult to even see. Here is an attempt to clear the weeds.  What follows are 3 simple steps everyone can take, designed to drastically reduce dependance on the parasitical, political class... Step 1. Read Rothbard Read Rothbard & Hoppe, to know & understand freedom. This is the most difficult step, because it requires you to question everything you’ve ever been taught - from the moment of your birth up until now. Understand Rothbard’s invocation of natural law in defense of Lockean homesteading theory. Then, learn why Rothbard said Hans Hoppe’s Argumentation Ethics made his natural law defense seem positively weak. When you understand this, you’re ready to move on. Step 2. Be Your Own Bank Be your own bank, because a Goldman Sachs debt slave can’t be free. Cut your shackles & release yourself from the bondage of Federal Reserve

Operational Security: A Counter-Economic Guide





*Note: For legal reasons, this article is for educational purposes only*


Operational security is a key aspect of counter-economics. In fact, its the only element common to all counter-economic operations.

As such, it's a shame opsec isn't discussed more often. The reluctance to lay the issue out bare may be due to either a naivety surrounding the topic, or an unwillingness of agorists to embrace their black market roots. But remember Laertes, to thine own self be true!

As agorists, it's incumbent upon us to lay out a guide for operational security that newcomers can use to engage with the counter-economy in a simple, safe & secure manner. This is a first attempt at such a guide. The New Libertarian will be updating this piece from time to time as technology continues to progress.

Feel free to jump to any section that suits your needs.





I. KYC

II. Coin Mixers & Privacy Coins

III. E2EE

IV. Password Protection

V. Tor

VI. VPN


I. KYC

In the past, if two individuals wished to conduct a transaction who weren’t face to face, they required a trusted third party, such as Visa or a bank to verify both the transmission & receipt of funds.

During the age of private banking, there was a competitive market for this service & things functioned rather efficiently. As the market for this service became cartelized however, these third parties came to represent centralized points of failure.

Now, any malevolent actor seeking to censor or block your transactions only has to strong arm these firms. If they refuse to process your transaction, well, too bad for you!

The mechanism which these malevolent actors - aka politicians - use to accomplish this, are Know Your Customer laws, or KYC for short. This is why individuals have to provide a driver's license or state ID to open a financial account. By connecting your identity to PayPal or a bank, authorities can successfully monitor your transactions & block them as they see fit.

This changed on October 31, 2008.



Now, with the advent of Bitcoin, individuals who are not face to face can securely transact without the need for a third party intermediary. This is done by relying on a decentralized network of miners rather than one centralized firm. Thus, by choosing to use cryptocurrency rather than fiat, individuals no longer subject themselves to the KYC identity verification process.

This is the first & most basic step to achieving operational security.

II. Coin Mixers & Privacy Coins

Bitcoin transactions are preferable to fiat transactions because although the latter can be traced directly back to you, the former can only be linked to a pseudonymous Bitcoin wallet address. In the early days - the Wild West of Bitcoin - this was sufficient protection. Countless voluntary exchanges successfully occurred on the Silk Road securely cloaked in the pseudonymity of Bitcoin. But pseudonymity isn’t anonymity & nowadays, Bitcoin transactions are subject to more advanced blockchain analytics.

This means that if the feds reallllly wanted to link you to a Bitcoin transaction, they may be able to. There are several solutions to this.

Users of BTC and BCH can & should be using coin shuffling services. Check out this article to review some of the top coin mixers available.

Nevertheless, until coin mixing is integrated directly into wallets, or is in some other way more streamlined into the user experience, shuffling continues to represent an inconvenient, additional step. To remove this step, use a privacy coin.



Monero is your best option. Monero uses cryptographic tools like ring signatures to conceal the sender’s identity, stealth addresses to conceal recipients, & Ring Confidential Transactions (RCT) to hide the transaction amount. All of this means Monero transactions are private by default. For more on privacy coins, see this previous TNL article.

With your financial transactions now safeguarded, it’s time to think about communications.

III. E2EE

I truly can’t stress this enough: all counter-economic communication should use end-to-end encryption. You have several options, but at the end of the day, your best bet is Signal.

All messages on Signal use E2EE by default & thus there’s little to worry about. The only drawback is that you’ll be asked to provide a telephone number during the signup process. A quick workaround, is to pick up a cheap burner phone available from any convenience store. For all intents & purposes, it’s best not to use a local convenience store.

Other messaging services that use E2EE include Telegram & even iMessages. Text messages from one iPhone to another are secure, but if either user is backing up their messages to iCloud, there will be a record. Telegram’s secret chats use E2EE & are a great option. It’s important to understand however, that normal Telegram messages & channels DO NOT use E2EE & thus are inadvisable for counter-economic purposes.

To incorporate encryption with email, use protonmail. All emails from one protonmail address to another use E2EE. Messages to and from accounts outside protonmail use other, lesser forms of encryption, but encryption nonetheless.


IV. Password Protection

How inconvenient is having to remember a different password for each of your online accounts? It makes matters worse when each account has different requirements - add a symbol here, capital letter there, don’t forget a number!

Forget about being inconvenient, it’s also insecure. Most people wind up using simple words they can remember & many even use one password across multiple accounts. This leaves you vulnerable to brute force attacks.

SoloKeys, is an open-source FIDO2 USB Key
Gradually, this old & inefficient style of online password security is being replaced with the use of FIDO2 USB hardware authenticators.  These security keys use fingerprints, facial recognition, button pushes, or virtually any other trigger, to grant or deny access to your online accounts.

Since these devices grant access to so many accounts, it’s important they stay secure. The best way of doing this is by using DiceKeys. For more on DiceKeys check out the video below.


V. Tor

Tor is a network that can be accessed through a special browser. Tor protects both the operators & users of .onion sites by securing data moving through the network. However, recent vulnerabilities have allowed bad actors to steal Bitcoin transactions, and thus, TNL doesn’t recommend using Tor for counter-economic transactions until the issue is resolved. For more on Tor, check out this episode of the Techno-Agorist podcast.



VI. VPN

VPNs are a crucial component of operational security in the Agora. A counter-economic deal negotiated over E2EE and settled in Monero is a wasted effort if the IP traces back to your home address.



After consulting fellow agorists and cypherpunks & reviewing the technology ourselves, The New Libertarian is comfortable recommending vypyrVPN. Find out more about them here.

Conclusion

Operational security is a key aspect of counter-economics. As such, agorists need to provide a clear pathway for newcomers to operate securely & effectively. This is a first attempt, which I hope will inspire other, more capable agorists of building on.

Share your ideas in the comments below!




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dear America, I Won't Be Locking Down

Dear America I won’t be locking down, not that I ever did. And I don’t care about the arbitrary mandates of a geriatric pedophile with a history of dementia. I don’t wear the muzzle or social distance. Nor do I have any plans to start. I won’t be avoiding friends or family & I actively seek out large public gatherings. Needless to say, it’ll be a cold, cold day in hell before the government injects my living body with a foreign substance or keeps me from my family on Thanksgiving Day. You see, I knew from day one that COVID was a hoax. More specifically, when videos of Chinese people dropping dead in the streets were being broadcasted by Western propaganda outlets, it became clear this was essentially a soft coup. As a general rule, anything coming from the CCP should immediately be assumed to be intentionally falsified for malicious purposes. Friends, what has happened is obvious. The political cartel has manufactured a virus because fear enables them to seize power & furthers

Against the LP

Agorism has no room for politics.  The Agora & political institutions can coexist no more than a state of marriage & bachelorhood can coexist. Counter-economics & politicking are likewise mutually exclusive. Frankly, it should seem obvious that engaging in politics & anti-politics is contradictory & self-defeating. It wouldn’t make much sense to get chemo in the morning & smoke a pack of Marlboros in the evening, so why would one seek to destroy the government today, and empower it tomorrow?  Just as a chemist who tests a logically inconsistent theory will experience failure, so too will social scientists & revolutionaries experience failure when they pursue inconsistent theories.  Note that without exception - every gain made by the liberty community in the past 15 years has been produced by the counter-economy & that no other faction of our movement can claim even a small victory . Here’s a brief look at the scoreboard: Whereas the LP & small gov

In Defense of Left Libertarianism

Marx was right, but Marxism is stupid. Let me explain… Marx’s fundamental critique that the working class is being exploited by the upper class is true. This is so inherently obvious in the modern political climate that I find it bewildering the notion even needs defending. In fact, today, the working class has been so thoroughly exploited that they can now be more accurately termed the working poor . Go to Manhattan, the neoliberal shithole from whence I came - and try to find a worker who both lives & resides there. You can’t. There aren’t any. The elites have successfully used a combination of high taxes & a denial of civil liberties to expel the working class from their homes. Trust me, I am among the expelled. The anarcho-capitalist habit of turning a blind eye to class theory is a grave mistake, as it sweeps real concerns under the rug. In doing so they dismiss the plight of an enormous contingent of the public - labor. No, we agorists aren’t seeking an abandonment of met