1993-01-10 - Cascading-Automatic aliases

Header Data

From: mjr@netcom.com (Matthew Rapaport)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 6039e3da2a9185de527d75fd832ec45fe8eada2748c51dc47542d89e33f76635
Message ID: <9301101601.AA03100@netcom2.netcom.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-01-10 16:02:07 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 10 Jan 93 08:02:07 PST

Raw message

From: mjr@netcom.com (Matthew Rapaport)
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 93 08:02:07 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Cascading-Automatic aliases
Message-ID: <9301101601.AA03100@netcom2.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Hal Finney:
> I think it would be better to only provide anonymity when asked.

Johan Helsingius:
> It all depends on the intended target audience.

I have to agree with Johan here, and with the way all (?) the Aserver
creators/administrators have chosen to go. Consider the following scenarios,
assuming that Person-X does not know anything about the particulars of the
Aserver(s) he/she is routed through when making a direct *reply* to an
anonymous message.

A) Person-X doesn't care if he/she is aliased when he/she replies, but
he/she is aliased anyway.

consequence: Not much, the message still gets through (as would a re-reply,
so if the Person-X *wants* to make his/her identity known later he/she can
always state it in a message body).

B) Person-X *wants* to be aliased in his/her reply, but *isn't* because the
Aserver doesn't do it automatically, and person-X isn't aware that such a
"switch" needs to be thrown.

consequence: Potentially disasterous to person-X!

I submit that automatic aliasing, by default, is consistent with the very
purpose of Aservers, more exactly their intended, legitimate, uses!

This doesn't mean that Aliasing software shouldn't contain some provision
for turning ON a switch that passes you through un-aliased, but this switch
should be for users who KNOW the server and how to modify its default
behavior. I wouldn't object to such a switch, but personally I don't see
much use for it either. Once I knew I wanted to reveal myself to someone, I
could just tell him/her in a message body. If they want to reveal themselves
to me, they can do likewise, and then we can address each other's machines
directly, bypassing the Aserver(s).

Now if these same creators/administrators would only *turn off* the
automatic (default) message saying: "An alias [ALIAS####] has been created
for you on Aserver@somewhere.in.the.world" the privacy of what seems to be a
growing, potential, aliasing network (Anetwork) would be significantly
enhanced. Reversing the default here would be consistent with the "most
conservative assumption" approach otherwise already taken with respect to
matthew rapaport     Philosopher/Programmer At Large      KD6KVH
           mjr@netcom.com     70371.255@compuserve.com