1993-03-30 - FWEE! latest WB news/ideas

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From: deltorto@aol.com
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: c8d357efe7c7bdf0f408943bf45b5d767fc529aa95bda5abb56d0c2d78ef693a
Message ID: <9303301434.tn14761@aol.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-30 19:34:27 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 30 Mar 93 11:34:27 PST

Raw message

From: deltorto@aol.com
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 93 11:34:27 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: FWEE! latest WB news/ideas
Message-ID: <9303301434.tn14761@aol.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain



Much Cpunx mail is passing under the bridge and my boat is brimming, but I am
bailing with alacrity. In this case, I prefer to view things as "half empty"
(with apologies to Confucius), to wit:

Eric Hughes contributed these [>>] kewl comments:

>>regarding Tim May's whistleblower test:
>>>I know you
>>>really wanted to post that nifty F-117A thing you OCR'd _somewhere_ but
>>>was not particularly helpful.  
>>I think it was extremely helpful.  Especially when we are in a design
>>phase, it is good to know just how strong a reaction there will be to
>>some of these posts.  It benefits us to have had the experience, not
>>just an awareness of the problem.

Touche`, mon ami. I guess what I meant to say was "I'M not ready," which is
different. I am getting ready-er. :-)

>>>Someone suggested a set of WB guidelines should be posted. 
>>Any guidelines must remain completely neutral about content of
>>postings.  A whistleblowers group is for expressing outrage.

And well should they be - neutral, that is. Any and all submissions to me at
<deltorto@aol.com> or on the list* are appreciated.

While I accept that WB's themselves might BE outraged, it is my hope to
enshrine in the WB Guidelines the idea that the area is for CONSTRUCTIVE
CRITICISM of some ABUSIVE STATUS QUO in government or industry that needs
attending to by the media or activist groups, and NOT simple OUTRAGE that
there's "bad stuff going on in government" (gee, really, Virginia?). We have
a loooong way to go with this and I would like it to at least get OFF on the
right foot. I'm sure that in short order, lots of "maroons" will be posting
spurious dingleberries (not _you_ Tim, you're just helping to test the system
<grin>!) and we'll be attacked by various three-lettered government agencies.
There will also be the many, many interested onlookers posting items of
value and waves of inane banter, but we'll have to develop strict
guidelines/metaprefixes to help filter that noise-chaff from the Pithy Stuff.

(Earpluuugs, gitcher-earplugs heere... fittycents! gitcher-eeearplugs!)

One among us, who shall remain anonymous mainly because I like him, suggested
in private to me that Organized Crime might be interested in providing an
"impervious" site for anon remailing, but I am publicly poo-pooing that idea
lest we get off on the wrong foot in deep water with cement overshoes (howzat
for mixed metaphors, big daddy-o?).

>>A whistleblowers newsgroup must remain value-neutral with respect to
>>all values except the freedom to speak.

Solid, baby. That's a 10-4, as long as the normal newsgroup guidelines such
as adhering to the general topic-flow are inherently adhered to by all
adherents (coherently, if possible).

>>Value neutrality must be taught; it will not come automatically.

Amen, however, once we achieve value-neutrality as a species we will either:
[1] simultaneously enter the Kingdom of Heaven hand-in-hand and thus never
    encryption ever again, rendering this entire discussion moot, or
[2] perish in a vast and uniformly logical fireball of hitherto unimagined

Pick a scenario, any scenario, operators are standing by at 976-ARMAGEDDON.
Self-fulfilling prophecies accepted upon receipt of your validated reality

>>This, and the ability to teach the defense of privacy, are in the long
>>run much more valuable than any one specific whistleblowing.

Perhaps so, but then one day, there may be that _one special whistle_ that
blown, iykwim. That's the one I'M listening for, the "Big Fwee," as it were.
as Bullwinkle might say to Rocky: "Give me Fweedom or give me Death." And
here's something you'll REALLY like:

>>>Nicholas Johnson, the former head of the FCC (under Johnson) 
>>>Ralph Nader's organization 
>>>Jim Settle (FBI Computer Crime Squad) 
>>>a fellow from the CIA  [his name's Ross Stapleton]
>>Dave mentions all these people are in favor of whistleblowing.  The
>>place where they can help the most is by affixing their signature to a
>>document that defends the whistleblowers group in advance of
>>"problems" with it.

Speaking of Boris & Natasha, with the _specific exception_ of the "fellow
the CIA" whose name I did not mention at his express request (| open mouth;
insert keyboard; repeat | Eric) and will not herein verify 'identity-wise'
(regardless of Mr. Hughes' dental bills), the above-mentioned entities are
well-intentioned and supportive of the WB idea in general and might well help
out with signatures affixed to such a predefensive document. The Devil's in
Details however, and they may balk depending on how "mature" that document
We can gather a lot of support beforehand, so spread the word now and have
people email me at <deltorto@aol.com> so I can put them into the db. The WB
Position Paper is "under construction" and will be pre-circulated on the
list for commentary and revision before being broadcast publicly.

>>If we can gather enough signatures from a wide enough spectrum
>>of the political process, the publication of the document alone
>>will be worth press coverage.  It might also be worthwhile to
>>take out a few big ads in major newspapers and print a position

Agreed, wholeheartedly. I am quietly trying to garner support from various
left-leaning politcos as we type (She with the pugilistic name for one). I
caution all that this is currently an "idea under development" and they are
post-nasal-Hip enough to regard it as such until we broadcast its
widely. Needless to say, almost everyone I have spoken to about it is
fairly-to-extremely enthusiastic about the idea and wants immediate access
it's online. I also plan to send a note to Billary Clinton when we have our
schtick happening, so's the White House can tune in and listen to the crackle
of disgruntled Govvamint Employees.

Again submissions for the WB Guidelines and the WB Position Paper are
encouraged. Keep in mind that this is a positive, constructive outlet for the
technology we're discussing on this list and a great opportunity for good
press. And write lots of clever stuff so I don't have to, willya?  :-)

>>[Re: comments from xxxxx Mistah CIA-mon xxxxx]
>>>done "correctly," the system can 'perhaps be somewhat protected' from
>>>posting by pranksters/attackers with bogus revelations - it might
>>>require someone to preview postings 
>>There's no need to preview anything.  Let people say whatever they
>>want.  Then, should the CIA wish to confirm something, they can issue
>>a statement with a digital signature attached to it, referencing the
>>post in question.

I explained what the "nameless one from the CIA" had to say rather poorly. He
was not proposing that his Agency have any previewing capabilities, although
ventured in the most generic terms the opinion that CIA Tech would be doing
it's best to break the anonymity as soon as possible (anon remailer
technologists take heed of the most subtle and pernicious attacks). Rather,
what we discussed as two private citizens interested in Freedom of Speech and
the Occasional Corrective Force applied to the Tiller of the Ship of State
was more along the lines of:

>>Review and verification [...as was ably interpreted by E. Hughes...]

...by a Cypherpunk committee monitoring the WB list or _another group_ whose
charge is to evaluate claims by anon posters for their veracity and to
establish the reliability of such sources for future correspondence. I
that this would be far too involved for the Cpunks to deal with and that it
would have to be the responsibility of the interested parties in the media or
activist org's to verify anon WB claims. We can at best provide good
for them to use, IMHO. Furthermore, there was no implication that ANYone
edit postings (least of all the Certifiably Insane Agency), only that those
chartered with verification might scribble them into invisibility if it was
determined by the committee that the source was chronically unreliable.
anon bombers and other nefarious monkey-wrenchers, lest you SLIP on your own
banana protocols.

This Verification Thing, by the way, is the single biggest issue with the
entire WB process and the one that frames encryption as an interesting
solution to the problem of establishing successive levels of trust between
postees and verifiers (on top of the basic anon remail technology). More on
this later as Those Who Know Far More than I Do contribute their Wisdom.

IMPORTANT NOTE along those Lines: would all Cypherpunks who:
[1] run an anonymous service
[2] have new improvements to existing anon services
[3] have experience and/or the desire to actually run the WB remailer system
[4] know what a dingleberry is

...PLEASE make yourselves known to me asap so I can know who the players are
and co-ordinate who can be asked to provide what part of the process and
There is no purchase necessary and no commitment for now, I just need to
a db of skills and volunteers. For this purpose ONLY, please mail me at
<yinyang@aol.com>. Please include (and format in NEON for easy readability):
[1] What you would be willing to offer in the way of remailer
    software/hardware technology and wisdom, etc.
[2] Your current Public Key (even if you think I already have it and esp if
    bin slackin' off sending it) [that means YOU, Gnu... git with the
[3] Your t-shirt size (S, M, L, XL) and 1-bit chromatic preference (B or W)
[4] Your favorite recipe for fudge brownies (optional, but really helpful)

Hey, is this great or what?


* My mail reader (sweet Eudora) and I are noting a strong propensity for
to FORGET to use metaprefixes in their SUBJECT lines. Once again, and on
of all those suffering masses who have to sift daily through Unsubscribe
dribble, flame-flotsam and other ubiquitous jetsam, I ask that ALL
with even a passing semblance of politesse put appropriate "PREFIX:
blahblahblah" thingies in the SUBJECTs of their postings to the list: it's a
courteous habit to get into (...that, and wearing clean underwear on a second

- -------
PS/FYI: All of you who have requested an anon ftp site for MacPGP v2.2 will
have much longer to wait (zzzzzzz-HUH?!?). Also, the version about to be
(ftp details soon) will be the "final" version and not the .91 beta
mentioned. I will also make it available to CompuServe people  who can then
forward it along to colleagues, friends and relatives FOR EDUCATIONAL
ONLY. Any weasel who sent me mail asking for it thusly and who didn't include
CompuServe address better get aboard - you know who you are. It will be a
self-expanding archive, fully System 7.1-compatible. There's even an
custom folder icon for that educational "ooohhh-aaahhh" factor.
Version: 2.2