1993-03-01 - more annoying philosophizing on anonymity

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From: ld231782@longs.lance.colostate.edu
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 227690eb803c8bf8ce93c21b191c41a5140d395a4d05f9cb320ec66da1e2563b
Message ID: <9303010540.AA10913@longs.lance.colostate.edu>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-01 05:41:19 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 28 Feb 93 21:41:19 PST

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From: ld231782@longs.lance.colostate.edu
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 93 21:41:19 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: more annoying philosophizing on anonymity
Message-ID: <9303010540.AA10913@longs.lance.colostate.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

OK, I'll keep this brief. Yes, the postal service delivers anonymous
mail. Yes, you can make anonymous telephone calls using pay phones. 
But like all hastily construed analogies, they fail in the magnified
specifics.  The problem here is that the fragile remailers being built
right now are operated by *individual users*, while these other
services are parts of vast public infrastructures. Now, until anonymous
servers become part of the vast public infrastructure (I'll give us all
the benefit of the doubt on this one), operators will be *extremely*
vulnerable to what goes through their remailers. 

All this idealistic ranting about free speech is really inspiring (uhm,
occasionally) but it doesn't help people whatsoever (in fact, it
clearly is a very strong turn-off!) who want to establish remailers and
anonymous posting services *right now*.  For their sake, please switch
off the impassioned speeches for unattainable lofty heights.  (My
previous message is my own feeble gesture of penance.)  These people
will go somewhere else if they find that our ideas are hopelessly
naive, impractical, unrealistic, etc.

Somehow, I just get the feeling that people won't be quite so
uninhibited and be a bit more subdued when the first cypherpunk
operator is jailed on contempt-of-court charges for refusing to decrypt
his log/alias files, or prosecuted for destruction of evidence, or
whatever. (Or maybe this would be a call-to-arms on the level of the
Alamo or Pearl Harbor.)

Mr. Ringuette is discerning in his view that some
talking-past-each-other is going on based on issues of time frames and
assumed/hidden agendas; and that the issue is the most serious one
facing us *right now* is right on target.

Please accept some minor sacrifices in the short term for some vast
gains in the future.  I think if we take the position that some ugly
and gross mechanisms for anonymity limitations are put into place right
now, they can be training wheels that will eventually mostly be taken
off in the future, but in the meantime help to convince the world of
our `good faith' intent, and serve as practical models for future
systems. (What, you say we don't have good faith or practical systems? 
Maybe I'm seriously deluding *myself*.)