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Kepler Sticka-Jones

Archive From Youth Voices — Journalistic Views on Encryption

Published April 11, 2016

I was incredibly fortunate to have taken an AP English class during my senior year of high school. In this class, we analyzed and discussed a variety of books ranging from Robert Reich’s Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future to George Orwell’s 1984. But more than the rich curriculum of literature we studied I’m thankful for the writing we did in the later part of the course.

The teacher who taught the course was taking part in an experimental program, in collaboration with English teachers from other high schools throughout the country, to give high school seniors exposure to digital writing and publishing. In order to complete their writing assignments, students would publish prompted writing to and use the platform to give feedback to other students on their writing. Shortly after graduating I got an email from the service alerting me that they were changing domains and the version I used for class was going to be archived. In the spirit of preserving my published writing from the service, below is one of the prompted articles I wrote.

The original post can be found on

The first article I used to research more on the issue of encryption and the role the US government has played in its history comes from the journal American Scientist. In an article published earlier this year, titled Cypherpunks write code, the author chronicles how groups of early internet cryptographers would groups up and discuss the issues surrounding cryptography. Eventually these groups would find their way into becoming activist, working for the protection of the individual’s right to privacy — later becoming “hacktivisim.” Possibly most interesting this article tells the origin story of one of the internet’s most famed activists Julian Asange. The article can be found here:

The second article which I used during research is titled “If Internet Activism Is Forced to Go Underground, Democratic Communication May Be Lost.” In it the author discusses the innovations which have risen up due to government’s surveillance around the world. Toward the end of the article the author discuses some of the underground networks of the internet, without going into much description. I believe this ties in very well with the previous article. Following the discussion of underground networks the author expresses worry of networks splintering due to the stresses of surveillance — however I have hope. The article can be found here: