1997-05-16 - Re: Anonymous Remailers

Header Data

From: Bill Stewart <stewarts@ix.netcom.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 2267a3e85c16d9805c6b82f536aceeb7b754931f2fb6f08680218744a8b54c7e
Message ID: <>
Reply To: <01BC603F.4B529240@pc1901.ibpinc.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-16 16:07:09 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 00:07:09 +0800

Raw message

From: Bill Stewart <stewarts@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 00:07:09 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Anonymous Remailers
In-Reply-To: <01BC603F.4B529240@pc1901.ibpinc.com>
Message-ID: <>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>>>> foreign intelligence agents
>>> myths.  disinformation.

It may be myth now, but we can work to change that!  (:-)

There may not be agents of Non-US Governments running remailers
that we know about yet, but there are intelligent Non-US individuals
running them, and Anarchists in North America, and 
Anarchists outside North America running remailers,
which if you're in the US Government is at least semi-threatening...
And the US Naval Research Labs folks are building Onion Routers,
which are relatively similar to remailers, and they're
Foreign Government Agents from the perspective of non-US cypherpunks.

A more common approach for government agents has been to post
news and send mail from various Internet addresses of convenience;
some of it has certainly been propaganda, and some has been
deliberate false information, as well as some being just
strongly-held beliefs of people I happen to disagree with.

If your remailer system is well-designed, running your mail through
the occasional KGB and CIA remailer is just fine, as long as you
also run it through systems you hope you can trust.  Even at that,
you may trust Alice B. Cypherpunk to run an honest remailer,
knowing that she's got a strong ethical policy against logging,
and not know that the NSA broke into her machine last year
and is been running a wiretap that's "perfectly US-legal" because
she's based in Amsterdam.

>Lucky, since I am considered contemptible by several c'punks, I worry
>about them more than I would about foreign intelligence agents. 
>I have actually considered sending some things through the remailers,
>but I don't trust them -- I don't find cypherpunks any less
>susceptible to ideology than foreign agents... 

Are you aware of any cypherpunks remailers publicizing their log files,
at least beyond their published policies (e.g. the "You SPAM, You Die"
policy that some remailers announce.)  The main events of this type
I know of are Julf Helsingius and maybe one of the Dutch remailers
giving the name of anti-Scientologist to the police when ordered 
by a court, and Julf closed anon.penet.fi after that.
There have been some remailer operators who will help track down hate mail
in response to complaints, and some who will help track down 
high-volume spammers, and they generally make their policies known;
others only do blocking.

Back when I was running a remailer, what I saw from the bouncemail
and the complaints was a certain fraction of attack-mail,
which I dealt with by blocking recipients, a fair bit of spam
such as phone-sex ads to usenet (ignored), a lot of test messages
(sometimes ignored, sometimes diagnosed), and a lot of help requests
with incorrect headers (which I generally tried to reply to,
especially after I'd killed the remailer.)  The only times I 
checked non-bounced mail (other than testing my remailer code)
was to clean out high-volume spam (my remailer was set to shut down
at certain volume levels) and to remove queued mail for people who
complained, (and of course if the spammers had the sense
to encrypt their spam, that wouldn't have shown much either.)

#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 stewarts@ix.netcom.com
# You can get PGP outside the US at ftp.ox.ac.uk/pub/crypto/pgp
#     (If this is a mailing list, please Cc: me on replies.  Thanks.)