1994-02-17 - Well known ports and name service

Header Data

From: hughes@ah.com (Eric Hughes)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: e9539b092de7f273f432592a0e4a7e74ab6e77c636411406bfe098668245ace9
Message ID: <9402171745.AA02945@ah.com>
Reply To: <9402171652.AA00789@igi.psc.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1994-02-17 17:50:43 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 17 Feb 94 09:50:43 PST

Raw message

From: hughes@ah.com (Eric Hughes)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 94 09:50:43 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Well known ports and name service
In-Reply-To: <9402171652.AA00789@igi.psc.edu>
Message-ID: <9402171745.AA02945@ah.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>  Usenet is
>  a public space.  Sure, people have attempted to moderate parts of it, but
>  all they've really done is split off from the public space to form private
>  spaces which have restrictive policies on content.  

Any forum which captures the desirable qualities of a public space
will therefore have to restrict content in some way.  The trick is not
to restrict content too much, and to make sure the restrictions cut
broadly across opinion boundaries.

>  First of all, I'd like to see remailer servers running on a well-known
>  port.  That way, anyone could stick up a remailer, provided they had
>  access to a C compiler.  

The problem with a well known port is that it restricts remailers to
one per machine.  Then in fact only one person per machine could set
up a remailer.  This does make a difference, because the sysadmin is
not the only one technically able to monitor the remailer; its
operator is also able.

A pseudonymous service, like a pseudonymous person, should not need to
be linked to any particular machine except during an actual
transaction.  If I have a pseudonym, I can post from anywhere and my
identity is communicated by a signature.  Likewise should a
pseudonymous service be able to hop from machine to machine.

The techniques of location-independent computing, developed for radio
links, can be applied here.

What we need is a name service which has public keys as identities and
which can map virtual and pseudonymous services to various
combinations of IP address, port number, and protocols.  In the
decentralized spirit, this name service should not have a root.
Someone Saturday mentioned that there was a paper from some Plan 9
folk about rootlessness; pointers will be welcome.