In general, cypherpunks opposed the censorship and monitoring from government and police.
In particular, the US government’s Clipper chip scheme for escrowed encryption of telephone conversations (encryption supposedly secure against most attackers, but breakable by government) was seen as anathema by many. This was an issue that provoked strong opposition and brought many new recruits to the cypherpunk ranks. Matt Blaze found a serious flaw in the scheme, helping to hasten its demise.
Steven Schear first suggested the warrant canary in 2002 to thwart the secrecy provisions of court orders and national security letters. As of 2013, warrant canaries are gaining commercial acceptance.
Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or “inconvenient”. Censorship can be conducted by a government, private institutions, and corporations.
Governments and private organisations may engage in censorship. Other groups or institutions may propose and petition for censorship. When an individual such as an author or other creator engages in censorship of their own works or speech, it is referred to as self-censorship. It occurs in a variety of different media, including speech, books, music, films, and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of claimed reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children or other vulnerable groups, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel.
Book burning in Chile following the 1973 coup that installed the Pinochet regime.
Direct censorship may or may not be legal, depending on the type, location, and content. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and frequently a claim of necessity to balance conflicting rights is made, in order to determine what could and could not be censored. There are no laws against self-censorship.