1996-05-20 - Re: The Crisis with Remailers

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From: “Vladimir Z. Nuri” <vznuri@netcom.com>
To: Steve Reid <root@edmweb.com>
Message Hash: 8c8d6bb24369470058c68d81d3add3e6e427f53cb90c4c3babf1730a80304bda
Message ID: <199605192015.NAA15002@netcom17.netcom.com>
Reply To: <Pine.BSF.3.91.960518183037.484A-100000@bitbucket.edmweb.com>
UTC Datetime: 1996-05-20 03:16:45 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 11:16:45 +0800

Raw message

From: "Vladimir Z. Nuri" <vznuri@netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 11:16:45 +0800
To: Steve Reid <root@edmweb.com>
Subject: Re: The Crisis with Remailers
In-Reply-To: <Pine.BSF.3.91.960518183037.484A-100000@bitbucket.edmweb.com>
Message-ID: <199605192015.NAA15002@netcom17.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

[remailer incentives]
>As you said, ecash postage could turn that around. The negative publicity
>part is probably the result of the general public's negative perceptions
>about anonymity. 

not!!! I should have made this clear, but imho no matter how favorably
the public sees anonymity, I still believe there will be little
incentive to run remailers until there is some kind of ecash
scheme. you are going to have "bad" uses of anonymity going on as
long as you provide the capability. ask the remailer operators to
estimate how much of their mail is simply taunts between college
students or sexual harassment. I doubt you will ever be able to
evade this.

what cpunks might investigate is an idea of having a pseudonym
server that somehow automatically registers complaints and stamps
messages with known reputation levels.

>People seem to forget that anyone can drop a letter into the mailbox with
>no return address. Did the Unabomber bring negative publicity to the 
>postal service, causing people to demand that return addresses become a 
>requirement? :-/

agreed, but the subject at hand was not whether anonymity is good or bad, 
but whether there is some incentive to run remailers.

>Liability depends on the jurisdiction, doesn't it? It would be ideal if
>all remailers were in countries where there are no laws that would affect
>remailers. Reducing liability also has the added benefit of protecting
>anonymity, since if the mailer can't be siezed, that does prevent log
>files (if any) from being siezed.

by liability I am also referring to a situation in which the 
internet provider is pressured to quit the service by *anyone* not
necessarily agents of the government. past examples are strong evidence
that it does not at all require a government to shut down a remailer
via pressure. anon.penet.fi at one point was pressured to shut down
by "a well known net celebrity"

>Remailers can already be set up _not_ to send to certain addresses, so I 
>think there's no reason that they couldn't be set to deliver _only_ to 
>other remailers.

hee, hee. I think you need to think that out a bit more.

>Right now, I think, remailers don't need to be mainstream, they just need
>to be there when people need them. And I think they can become mainstream,
>if you consider that anon.penet.fi is quite popular. 

well, the issue we were addressing is why remailers haven't proliferated
like other services. it is true that the usage of them has probably
gone up exponentially, or at least very significantly. but they don't
seem to have multiplied in number in the same way. growth in # of
remailers has been linear at best.

I would be interested if any longtime
remailer operators posted statistics about the amount of mail going
through their services.