Shreyas’ Notes

Independent Study

HIST 300

fall, sophomore year

Term Paper §

I wrote a 26-page paper titled The US Government, Encryption, and the Perennial Crypto Wars for this class. Here’s the abstract:

From its origins in government research labs, modern encryption has come a long way. Not only does it allow governments and companies to protect their secrets, but it also allows individuals to browse and communicate free from the fear of being snooped on, facilitating freedom of expression and privacy. Over the past few decades, however, the US government has been trying to control and restrict access to encryption, citing—primarily—concerns around counter-terrorism, criminal investigations, and exploitation of children. This paper explores the history of such attempts, focusing on their motivation, scope, and impact. We shall find that they share similar flaws, including a lack of transparency, neglect of the civil liberties afforded by encryption, and a disregard for the opinions of security experts.

Tor and the Dark Web §

Doesn’t Tor enable criminals to do bad things?

[…] So yes, criminals can use Tor, but they already have better options, and it seems unlikely that taking Tor away from the world will stop them from doing their bad things. At the same time, Tor and other privacy measures can fight identity theft, physical crimes like stalking and so on.

The Silk Road: 2011–2013. $100M in business.

Ross “DPR” Ulbricht. Agorism.

motion to suppress evidence (4th amendment). appeal denied.

AI §

Tesla Autopilor deaths §

Pedestrian death in March 2018. Elaine Herzberg killed by Uber driverless car in Arizona.


The probable cause of the crash […] was the failure of the vehicle operator to monitor the driving environment and the operation of the automated driving system

[Uber’s] inadequate safety risk assessment procedures, ineffective oversight of vehicle operators, and lack of adequate mechanisms for addressing operators’ automation complacency.