1998-12-02 - “remailers operated by FBI”

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From: ulf@fitug.de (Ulf =?iso-8859-1?Q?M=F6ller?=)
To: holist@mail.matav.hu
Message Hash: 2502feb0571a5f7f89c38be4bfd25bca17de26dd953a3fba4974f39817e81542
Message ID: <m0zlBUu-0003bAC@ulf.mali.sub.org>
Reply To: <199811261817.KAA27682@toad.com>
UTC Datetime: 1998-12-02 18:01:59 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 02:01:59 +0800

Raw message

From: ulf@fitug.de (Ulf =?iso-8859-1?Q?M=F6ller?=)
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 02:01:59 +0800
To: holist@mail.matav.hu
Subject: "remailers operated by FBI"
In-Reply-To: <199811261817.KAA27682@toad.com>
Message-ID: <m0zlBUu-0003bAC@ulf.mali.sub.org>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> I wonder if this is also old hat to you people. If it turns out to
> be another FAQ, I promise to read some.

It is. The rumor of remailers being run by US authorities can be
tracked down to statements by Paul Strassmann of the National Defense
University and William Marlow of SIAC made at a Harvard conference.

The Austrian jurist Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger reported in February 1996:

| Both presenters explicitly acknowledged that a number of anonymous
| remnailers in the US are run by government agencies scanning
| traffic.  Marlow said that the government runs at least a dozen
| remailers and that the most popular remailers in France and Germany
| are run by the respective government agencies in these countries.

However, there has never been any remailer in France, and at that
time, there was no remailer in Germany. It is certainly not true that
dozens or even "all the e-mail anonymiser services" in the US are run
by government agencies. Strassmann and Marlow later claimed that they
had been quoted "out of context". They wrote, "We have no specific
knowledge of any particular agency of any government offering
remailers services.  Whether or how they use remailers is not known to
us.  Online users just need to be 'aware of the risks.'" But
unfortunately rumors are hard to stop.

Anyway, the possibility that some remailers may be compromized is part
of the threat model, and Mixmaster has been designed to be secure as
long as there is one honest remailer in your chains.

More information:

http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/ (search for Strassmann Marlow)

About the Mixmaster design:

> The extortionist was sending the notes via e-mail, using what the
> professor referred to as "e-mail anonymiser servers" in the US.

It seems he in fact used a service like hotmail.