1993-03-26 - Re: REMAIL: cypherpunks strategy

Header Data

From: gnu (John Gilmore)
To: Marc.Ringuette@GS80.SP.CS.CMU.EDU
Message Hash: 19405baf28e4797e1bf6bbc16ee9fd7a19bb7179a808159759c2547f3cadf23b
Message ID: <9303260911.AA15667@toad.com>
Reply To: <9303260414.AA12167@toad.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-26 09:11:43 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 26 Mar 93 01:11:43 PST

Raw message

From: gnu (John Gilmore)
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 93 01:11:43 PST
To: Marc.Ringuette@GS80.SP.CS.CMU.EDU
Subject: Re: REMAIL: cypherpunks strategy
In-Reply-To: <9303260414.AA12167@toad.com>
Message-ID: <9303260911.AA15667@toad.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> We must address a strategy question before it jumps on us.  Do we want to be
> yet another "this remailer exists, let's stomp on it" whipping boy, or will
> another tactic be more effective?

It depends on the location and setup of the remailer(s).

> [ My suggestion for how to do this:  encourage thousands of users who
> support anonymity to run the software, and make it easy for them to
> do so.  Then, thousands of users must be kicked out in order to prevent
> remailers being available! ]

Thousands of users are not enough.  If individual users are doing it,
they are too subject to pressure from their system managers.  We don't
have software capable of rerouting among a thousand remailers, 100 of which
get their accounts canceled daily, 100 new ones added each day.  We
aren't likely to get it soon, either.

To permanently restore at least last month's level of service, we need
a couple of dedicated, firewalled, buttressed sites.  You want a few
geographically separated people who own their own systems (or who own
or run the company that owns them), who have solid network links
(possibly redundant), and who are fully committed to the idea -- as
committed as funet.fi to persist past the vilification and harassment
and threats.

And those people need backup from the rest of us -- legal help if they
need or want it, money to pay the networking bill if things get tight,
loans of backup equipment during failures under load, system
administration when folks try to break in and trash their machines,
software creation and maintenance, advocacy, policy work, advice, and
a bunch of shoulders to cry on and warm words of encouragement.

Three to five people providing such setups, in collaboration, would
wedge a steel-toed boot so firmly in the door that it couldn't be
slammed by any dyspeptic "net god".

Are we up to this job?  If not, let's scale back what we're trying to
do.  I'd rather succeed at raising consciousness on the issue for a
later try, than try now to set up such a beachhead and fail at it.