1994-08-11 - Re: RemailerNet

Header Data

From: eric@Synopsys.COM (Eric Messick)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 6069838f5d01e76240ad748ae9217986218fc3819b801c6e7a5f44e91a634d55
Message ID: <9408112258.AA09617@tiedye.synopsys.com>
Reply To: <199408110153.SAA15769@ucsd.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1994-08-11 22:58:20 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 11 Aug 94 15:58:20 PDT

Raw message

From: eric@Synopsys.COM (Eric Messick)
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 94 15:58:20 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: RemailerNet
In-Reply-To: <199408110153.SAA15769@ucsd.edu>
Message-ID: <9408112258.AA09617@tiedye.synopsys.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

In message <199408110444.VAA20478@jobe.shell.portal.com>, hfinney@shell.portal.com (Hal Finney) wrote:

>Other ideas have been proposed for this problem.  Chaum suggested
>having a public area where messages for a group of people would arrive;

This is an excellent way of getting around this problem, but it uses
lots of bandwidth.  Another idea I have been interested in is picking
a message up from the middle of a chain.  In other words, your return
address block lists 10 remailers (for example), and you just happen to
run the 7th.  After the message hits your remailer, it continues
through a few more hops and then gets eaten by /dev/null.  Your
remailer, meanwhile, has snarfed a copy of ALL of the traffic running
through it to another machine.  There you manually enter parameters to
use to scan for messages to you.  If the feds come to you and demand
that you perform this process while they monitor it, you enter
a different set of parameters that uncover innocent messages that you
arrange to be occasionally passing through.  If they've traced a
message all the way to the end, they'll know it was to one of the 10
remailer operators in the chain, but several of them are in
inconvenient jurisdictions...  and maybe one of these tap-points was
arranged to start another chain.....

>One problem with anonymous return addresses is that the address changes
>deterministicly as each layer is stripped off.  This allows the message
>to be tracked by introducing copies with different bodies but the same
>ARA (which is why Chaum specified use-once).  Eric Messick proposed a
>system in which the message bodies would be changed at each step by the
>remailers involved.  I don't recall the details, but I think that in order
>to read the message the user had to send it back through those same re-
>mailers after receiving it, to undo the transformations which had been
>done on it.

Not quite that bad.  Another message would have to be sent only if
there was insufficient postage for one of the remailers, and that
remailer decided to deliver it rather than just dropping it.
Otherwise, all of the info necessary to decode the message is known to
the recipient.

>  It was a complicated scheme and we really didn't spend enough
>time on it.

That is certainly true.  I've been trying to figure out how to
subdivide the project so that early implementations can be done
without sacrificing the ability to do the more complex stuff later.

>I view easy-to-use, secure ARA's as an unsolved (and perhaps unsolvable)

I don't think they can be unconditionally secure without wasting lots
of bandwidth.  Having one of the links be a wide area broadcast is
very secure, but expensive in bandwidth.  It's all economics...

>Hal Finney

-eric messick