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What's to stop the geeks/nerds working in the bowels of the government/corporate structure from inserting back doors allowing circumvention of government surveillance?

My vision of the "shadow internet" is based on that: the fact that the ethos of the people who maintain the infrastructure is surversive, and they have superior knowledge of the infrastructure.

Then again, that only works during the time period when the technology is new. Once it becomes commoditised, the technicians don't have a hacker culture.

On which, see The Jargon File: hacker

A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular.
One who breaks security on a system. Coined ca. 1985 by hackers in defense against journalistic misuse of hacker (q.v., sense 8). An earlier attempt to establish worm in this sense around 1981--82 on Usenet was largely a failure.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 21st, 2010 at 04:48:48 AM EST
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