1997-06-20 - Re: Getting Back to our Radical Roots

Header Data

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Message Hash: de939be7efcda0876b6472c232126b4a86a6a7c2a1ad12a48dcfb1cc3ba1b627
Message ID: <v03102810afd0a2bd9123@[]>
Reply To: <199706202052.NAA05467@f16.hotmail.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-06-20 21:32:16 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 21 Jun 1997 05:32:16 +0800

Raw message

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 1997 05:32:16 +0800
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Subject: Re: Getting Back to our Radical Roots
In-Reply-To: <199706202052.NAA05467@f16.hotmail.com>
Message-ID: <v03102810afd0a2bd9123@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 1:52 PM -0700 6/20/97, John Smith wrote:
>>The resources used to break DES, if as many people hosted remailers and
>>anonymizers on their machines, would further Cypherpunks goals a lot
>>than breaking DES, which we all know was breakable (as we know what "56
>>bits" means).
>There were messages here some time back about systems like anonymizer
>but chainable and using cryptography.  Did anything come of that?
>Efficient anonymous web browsing could be a killer app for crypto.
>Use anonymous web access to get to hotmail accounts like this one
>and you have anonymous email, easy to use.

A hurdle or speedbump is the one of latencies:

* e-mail is expected, or accepted, to have latencies of minutes or even
hours. And as the packet sizes of e-mail messages are typically small, e.g.
3 KB, adequate mixing or entropy can be gotten in a remailer by mixing 10
or so messages, repeated several times though various hops.

* Web access is expected, or required, to be fast and peppy...people will
hardly tolerate (i.e., will not use) a site which spends minutes between

Whether minutes are needed between actions depends on the degree of mixing
sought, and the amount of other messages or Web accesses....

Also, a remailer can be done with *one way" paths, while Web accesses of
course require two-way paths. Two-way paths present oft-discussed hurdles
for anonymity. (Reply-blocks, message pools, etc.)

These are not unresolvable problems, from what I can see, but are typical
engineering tradeoffs, a la the usual:

"Speed, anonymity, interactivity. Pick two."

(Or something like this...)

PipeNet will help. Several groups are sort of working on new schemes. I
have my own thoughts about fixing this problem.

--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."