Cryptography, Power, and Morality

“If you’re a technological optimist, a rosy future flows from the wellspring of your work. This implies a limitation on ethical responsibility. The important thing is to do the work, and do it well. This even becomes a moral imperative, as the work itself is your social contribution.

But what if computer science is not benefiting man? […] Unbridled technological optimism undermines the basic need for social responsibility.

I think that people know at an instinctual level that a life in which our thoughts, discourse, and interactions are subjected to constant algorithmic or human monitoring is no life at all. We are sprinting towards a world that we know, even without rational thought, is not a place where man belongs.”

– Philip Rogaway, “The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work” (2015)