1997-06-04 - Re: Who “invented” remailers?

Header Data

From: Alan <alano@teleport.com>
To: Hallam-Baker <hallam@ai.mit.edu>
Message Hash: 609b29a9fc35c5ef861dda29440f612f200dcfe1ccf5cb0f9ca88364cfabf354
Message ID: <Pine.GSO.3.96.970604112313.13859B-100000@linda.teleport.com>
Reply To: <199706040457.AAA12535@muesli.ai.mit.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1997-06-04 18:59:46 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 02:59:46 +0800

Raw message

From: Alan <alano@teleport.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 02:59:46 +0800
To: Hallam-Baker <hallam@ai.mit.edu>
Subject: Re: Who "invented" remailers?
In-Reply-To: <199706040457.AAA12535@muesli.ai.mit.edu>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.96.970604112313.13859B-100000@linda.teleport.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Wed, 4 Jun 1997, Hallam-Baker wrote:

> I really can't get excited about US domestic policy. That is not where the
> crypto is needed. 

Arguable point.  Depends on if you fear getting busted because of which
causes you support.  For many that is a serious issue.

> Eve so if you hypothesise the extent of surveillance such that mixmaster
> remaillers are needed the constitution was thrown out long ago.

And your point being...?  The consititution is a document that is followed
only when it suits the purposes of those in power.  If it was not for the
factional infighting of the various branches of power, we would have no
rights left at all.

> Now this happened under Hoover and the FBI still have their headquarters
> named after him.

That is for three reasons:

1) Many in the FBI get off on that kind of power and see nothing wrong
with it.  (As long as they are the ones doing the survelence.  Try doing
it to them and see what happens...)

2) It is on all their stationary.

3) It is carved in stone on the building. 

> I'm having great difficulty making sense of the finely calibrated level of
> paranoia which makes mixmaster both effective and necessary.

Unfortunatly for mixmaster to work effectivly, you need a threshold of
usage.  That threshold has not been reached yet.  With the successful
campaign against remailers by those who oppose them, the problem is made
worse.  (As well as supporting a form of encryption not commonly available
to "Joe Sixpack".)  Currently, use of the Mixmaster remailer system is out
of reach of most of the average users out there.  The only serious project
to address that need has been Private Idaho and development has stopped on
that project.

> On the other hand it strikes me that if we could work out a better version
> of Julf's pi.net remailer there would be a considerable benefit to the net.

Julf's remailer was more of a nym server than a remailer.  A remailer
gives a one way path, a nymserver gives a path back for replies.
Currently the nymserver network is in pretty bad shape as well.  They are
difficult to use and are dependant on the whims of the remailer network.
(If one element in the chain of remailers goes down, you are screwed until
you can reset things.)  They also have people who would like to see them
shut down because they do not like the uses to which they are put.
(Spreading ideas that are illegal, immoral, and/or fattening.)

An easy to use nymserver would be a "Good Thing(tm)".  I believe it to be
possible, it just needs better ways of surviving the rubber hose attacks
such things come under from time to time.

Do you have a design that needs implementing?

alano@teleport.com | "Those who are without history are doomed to retype it."