1993-03-23 - REMAIL: Anon.penet.fi no more

Header Data

From: jthomas@coconut.mitre.org (Joe Thomas)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: b13aac41e030959e088ed32214837fd7505bc85824db712ef41f2d9b66e995de
Message ID: <9303231705.AA05316@coconut>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-23 17:09:00 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 23 Mar 93 09:09:00 PST

Raw message

From: jthomas@coconut.mitre.org (Joe Thomas)
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 93 09:09:00 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: REMAIL: Anon.penet.fi no more
Message-ID: <9303231705.AA05316@coconut>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

You probably have seen this already, but it's certainly of relevance  
to cypherpunks:

> Newsgroups:  
> Path:  
> From: julf@penet.fi (Ze Julf)
> Subject: Anon.penet.fi no more
> Organization: No!
> Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1993 15:03:59 GMT
> Message-ID: <1993Mar23.150359.16883@penet.fi>
> Lines: 54

> The anonymous service at anon.penet.fi has been closed down.  
Postings to
> netnews and mail to arbitrary addresses has been blocked. To enable  
> who know each other only by their anon ID's to arrange alternate
> communication paths, mail to anonymous users will still be  
supported for
> two weeks. After this period all database entries will be deleted.

> Due to the lawsuit-intensive climate in the US, many anonymous  
services have
> been short-lived. By setting up anon.penet.fi in Finland, I hoped  
to create
> a more stable service. Anon.penet.fi managed to stay in operation  
for almost
> five months. The service was protected from most of the usual  
problems that
> had forced other services to shut down. But there are always going  
to be
> ways to stop something as controversial as an anon service. In this  
case, a
> very well-known and extremely highly regarded net personality  
managed to
> contact exactly the right people to create a situation where it is
> politically impossible for me to continue running the service.

> But of course this political situation is mainly caused by the  
abuse of the
> network that a very small minority of anon users engaged in. This  
> group of immature and thoughtless individuals (mainly users from US
> universities) caused much aggravation and negative feelings towards  
> service. This is especially unfortunate considering these people  
really are
> a minuscule minority of anon users. The latest statistics from the  
> show 18203 registered users, 3500 messages per day on the average,  
> postings to 576 newsgroups. Of these users, I have received  
> involving postings from 57 anonymous users, and, of these, been  
forced to
> block only 8 users who continued their abuse despite a warning from  

> In retrospect I realize that I have been guilty to keeping a far  
too low
> profile on the network, prefering to deal with the abuse cases  
> instead of making strong public statements. Unfortunately I  
realized this
> only a couple of days before being forced to shut down the service,  
but the
> results of a single posting to alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.d gave  
> positive results. I take full blaim for my failure to realize the
> psychological effects of a strongly stated, publicly visible  
display of
> policy with regards to the abuse cases. For this I have to  
apologize to the
> whole net community.

> On the other hand I am deeply concerned by the fact that the  
> opposition to the service didn't come from users but from network
> administrators. I don't think sysadmins have a god-given mandate to
> dictate what's good for the users and what's not. A lot of users  
> contacted me to thank me for the service, describing situations  
> anonymity has been crucial, but I could never have imagined in my  
> dreams. At the same time quite a few network administrators have  
> comments like "I can't imagine any valid use for anonymity on the  
net" and
> "The only use for anonymity is to harrass and terrorize the net".

> Nevertheless, I really want to apologize both to all the users on  
> network who have suffered from the abusive misuse of the server,  
and to all
> the users who have come to rely on the service. Again, I take full
> responsibility for what has happened.

> 	Julf

Very sad, rather scary.  Sorry to hear this, Julf.