1993-01-10 - Politics of Rmailers

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From: mjr@netcom.com (Matthew Rapaport)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: e77a1f1c33a0362b7f318c3e73eb7d747c8ec0322042934ab01408fea3e9aea4
Message ID: <9301100521.AA28337@netcom2.netcom.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-01-10 05:21:39 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 9 Jan 93 21:21:39 PST

Raw message

From: mjr@netcom.com (Matthew Rapaport)
Date: Sat, 9 Jan 93 21:21:39 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Politics of Rmailers
Message-ID: <9301100521.AA28337@netcom2.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

***** norm@netcom.com (Norman Hardy) *****

>I can imagine a system administrator choosing to require that
>all mail originating from his machine include a signature that
>correctly identifies the local name of the sender.

I can too, but I suspect they wouldn't last long, particularly if they were
commercial systems and their paying users felt that the anonymity option was
something to be desired.

I worry about institutional constraints much more, particularly at the
national level "All machines on the Internet in this country will insure
that mail originators are identified...", etc. Even this can be overcome
technically though (smarter signature strippers).

>This obviously does not include the entire population for at least the
>recipient is not sympathetic.

This isn't necessarily so. I can appreciate some other person's desire
to remain anonymous in certain kinds of transactions. Also, people in other
parts of the world seem much more sensitive to issues of privacy then we
here in the US tend to be.

>If society polarizes into camps then there may be remailers in
>each camp. A remailer in one camp is unlikely to service messages
>from the other.

Well maybe, but this goes against the philosophical, political,
and technical grain of the International Internet as it now exists. I
note that the world already *is* polarized into camps to a greater or
lesser extent.

If there is eventual political and social fallout from the use of alias
remailers, I think it would be more of an us (the Internet community who use
remailers) vs. them (everyone else) kind of thing. I have detected murmurs
of dislike for people who use remailers just on general principles (i.e. you
should take responsibility for what you say).

matthew rapaport     Philosopher/Programmer At Large      KD6KVH
           mjr@netcom.com     70371.255@compuserve.com