1997-05-15 - Re: Anonymous Remailers

Header Data

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
To: Kent Crispin <cypherpunks@toad.com>
Message Hash: 911e8453b26625c2c948ca29943761951e617683f3c2f0ab1a9201831eee46d2
Message ID: <v03007807afa0691f003f@[]>
Reply To: <01BC603F.4B529240@pc1901.ibpinc.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-15 06:42:24 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 14:42:24 +0800

Raw message

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 14:42:24 +0800
To: Kent Crispin <cypherpunks@toad.com>
Subject: Re: Anonymous Remailers
In-Reply-To: <01BC603F.4B529240@pc1901.ibpinc.com>
Message-ID: <v03007807afa0691f003f@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 9:25 PM -0800 5/14/97, Kent Crispin wrote:

>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...

The main solution to such doubts about remailers and their logging or
snooping tendencies is to use many remailers, encrypted all along the way,
and with the remailers picked from diverse ideological points.

(Other solutions are of course for remailers to move away from the "human
in the loop" system of Unix box-based remailers toward a more
fully-automated, black box approach. This was the basis of Chaum's 1981
system...the remailers implemented in 1992 were acknowledged by all to be
pale shadows of these hardware-based mixes. There are still opportunities
for snooping, if the hardware is either compromised or is not built
according to published specs to reduce such snooping, and this is of course
an issue to discuss. Certain approaches using DC-Nets make even this kind
of collusion problematic.)

Further, a clever little fix is to make one's own remailer site a link in
the chain. All a snooping subset of remailers can do is trace the message
back to your own remailers. Obviously, they can't know if the message was
merely _remailed_ through your site, or _originated_ there. Thus, including
oneself as a remailer also provides excellent plausible deniability.)

But, finally, the most important point:

Whether you, Kent, "trust" certain of us not to snoop or meddle is not the
main point. It is not we who argue that remailers should be controlled, or
limited, or regulated, or banned. It is the government side.

So, we Cypherpunks would be happy to see remailers run by the Greens, the
Maoists, the Panthers, the Weathermen, the Aryan Resistance, the Kulak
Liberation Brigade, the Stonewall Queers, Dykes on Bykes, the Animal
Liberation Front, the Phalangist Party, a hundred other fringe groups, and
a few tens of thousands of individuals and small shops.

Collusion between a carefully--or even randomly--selected chain of, say, 20
of these various and mutually-hostile groups would seem to be "unlikely."

Kent, stop babbling and spend a few hours reading up on the basics of how
remailers work, the issues of collusion, and the discussions we've had for
several years on these issues.

--Tim May

There's something wrong when I'm a felon under an increasing number of laws.
Only one response to the key grabbers is warranted: "Death to Tyrants!"
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
tcmay@got.net  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."