To begin with let’s focus on the punk part of cyber punk; the part I would argue is far more vital. Punk, whichever facet or subculture, is based around a strong sense of non-conformism paired with an anti-establishment mentality. It’s a little more complicated than that, but we’ll leave it there for the sake of word counts
These attributes carry across to the cyber punk genre and subculture. Punk sentiments apply to the cyber world just as they do to the physical, with a mistrust or hatred of authority, conformity and the general masses expressed by those identifying with cyber-punk ideals. In literature this is epitomised by the ubiquitous, all powerful authority that has come to rule a particular setting. For example, the machines and the matrix itself in The Matrix, the various corporations in Deus Ex. Hell, even AUTO from WALL-E. Our cyber punk protagonists are the exceptions to the the rule of these authorities and their struggle lies in combating or surviving them.
In a world more and more dependent on the internet the characteristics that dominate cyber punk are a healthy reminder to be aware of a serious threat, however unlikely it may be. I’m not suggesting that we need to break out of some simulation and rebel against our 64-bit overlords, don’t get me wrong. Rather I merely suggest that as the internet grows in power and reach it is worth remembering the fears of cyberpunk and to beware them.