1993-10-02 - PGP in FIDO

Header Data

From: anonymous@extropia.wimsey.com
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 383204084ba19f20f3cb75aba31615f74b65c33703f48cfe66de8719a8410151
Message ID: <199310021906.AA13098@xtropia>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-10-02 19:28:48 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 2 Oct 93 12:28:48 PDT

Raw message

From: anonymous@extropia.wimsey.com
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 93 12:28:48 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: PGP in FIDO
Message-ID: <199310021906.AA13098@xtropia>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

 * Reply to msg originally in CYPHERPUNKS

 > My question is this: how does he know that the mail is encrypted if he's
 > not examining the mail that passes through his system? If he *is*
 > examining the mail that passes through his system, it seems likely that he
 > is violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

In that FIDOnet mail points (or individual BBSs) are not required to
pass or accept encrypted FIDO traffic under FIDOnet rules, some run a
specific program that scans for the "PGP MESSAGE" string and bumps it to
a SECURENET mail hub (or, in some cases, _kills_ it).  It is not done by
individual, personal inspection - at least not at mail hub level.

Anyway, the ECPA is basically irrelevant in the BBS world, as 1] almost
every BBS states at log-on that there is no such thing as truly
"private" e-mail on the system as the sysop can, will and does see
messages in all areas, and 2] he is personally _liable_ for any illegal
activity on his BBS, so he can reasonably be expected to keep an eye on
e-mail for anything that will put his ass in a sling.

There has been a very heated war in FIDOland over PGP and other
encryption.  Considering the risk that sysops take on by permitting
secure (?) communication on their BBSs, I must say I admire their
courage when they allow it and participate on SECURENET.  Personally,
_I_ would never stick my neck out like that, though I convinced many
FIDOnet BBSs to do so for my own political and purely selfish reasons.

BTW, this message comes via FIDOnet and was originally PGP encrypted for
the remailer, and the cypherpunks@toad.com mailing is converted to a
conference on a FIDO BBS where I read the message to which I am