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Cypherpunks Mailing List Archive — Basic Information

The following mailing list archive has been compiled using txt dumps available via Ryan Lackey’s archive at cypherpunks.venona.com/raw/.

There is also a structured archive available at cypherpunks.venona.com/date/. This archive largely matches the one hosted there, since it was parsed from the same dumps. There are some known issues that cause this archive to diverge from the one at venona.com:

  • The PPE timezone is not a known timezone and appears to be inconsistent when comparing raw dates with the structured archive hosted at venona.com. This timezone only occurs in the 1992 dump however.
  • Some posts which are replies to unknown posts actually appear (when looking at “Re: title” or quoted text in the body) to be orphaned replies to known threads. The archive at venona.com has done a better job at stitching these threads back together. The University will make an attempt at this in the near future.

Any other other issues/inconsistencies that you notice, the researchers here at CCU may not be aware of. For those please submit an issue.

Cypherpunks Mailing List Archive — Time Periods

This archive covers the period from the list’s founding in 1992 through to the early part of 1999. The main eras of the list can roughly be categorised as follows:

  • 90s Era – Mainly hosted on toad.com but moving to a distributed architecture in 1997. Archives are available for this period. This archive covers this period, as does Ryan Lackey’s.
  • 1997 – This article does suggest that there was a Usenet community at alt.cypherpunks for some time. The researchers here at CCU have not been able to find any archives of this era, and it appears to coincide with the move to the distributed architecture, so it may have just been an explored possibility and not have been very active.
  • 2000-2016 – Github – Mailing List Archive – Raw and unstructured
  • 2000-2013 – The list operated via a distributed architecture using the Majordomo mailing list software with a peak of 7 nodes. By mid-2005 al-qaeda.net hosted the only remaining node. Mailing list archives are not available for this period although the researchers here at CCU are pursuing lines of inquiries that may be able to produce them eventually.
  • 2013-Present – Following a brief outage caused by the failure of the al-qaeda.net majordomo installation during a package update, the mailing list was relaunched in July 2013 using GNU Mailman. This meant an end to the distributed architecture, but there had been only one node for 8 years at this point. Mailing list archives for this era are available at lists.cpunks.org/pipermail/cypherpunks/.

More information about this can be found in a section of the Cypherpunk Wikipedia page.

The current incarnation of the list is something of a shadow of the earlier community and, given that it already has complete logs, will not be included on this site. The researchers here at the University are actively seeking the mailing list archives for the period of 2000-2013 however, since the mailing list was still active and influential in the early 2000s. It is the key vision of the University to find and preserve these archives before they’re lost to history for ever.