When the gods dance...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

RIP, Len Sassaman: cypherpunk and anonymity hacker

RIP, Len Sassaman: cypherpunk and anonymity hacker

GuidoDavid sez, “Len Sassaman, a cryptographer, activist and biopunk died yesterday, he lost the battle against depression in Leuven, Belgium. He is survived by his widow, Meredith L. Patterson, also a hacker and biopunk. His work and actions inspired me and shaped the world we live in, as he was active during the Crypto Wars and
designed and wrote anonymizing tools.

He will be missed, but I hope that his
legacy will go on and I am certain he will continue inspiring our efforts.”

An obituary posted on Facebook by Sassaman’s friend and fellow hacker Pablos Holman recounted the pair’s early work on crypto-systems after they met in 1999.

“We were reimagining our world, riddled with cryptosystems that would mathematically enforce the freedoms that we treasured. Anonymous remailers to preserve speech without fear of retribution; onion routers to ensure nobody could censor the internet; digital cash to enable a radically free economy.”

While much of their work was an academic “geek utopia exercise”, Sassaman liked to “get his hands dirty”, which led to numerous visits from Federal agencies over remailer abuse, according to Holman:

“Len, you are, in fact, an inspiration to those of us who inspired you. You made something great of your life. You left a lot behind for us. Thanks for letting me be a part of it all.”

A memorial service for Len Sassaman will be held in San Francisco, on
Saturday, July 30th, 2011, 2-5pm, at DNA Lounge (375 11th St, at Harrison).

An additional service will be held at DEF CON, on Friday evening, August 5th,
2011, in the Skytalks room. More information will be available at the con.

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to eff.org, or jpfo.org

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