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Many Important Items in the News
I urge all Cypherpunks to keep up with what's happening in several newsgroups:
* alt.security.pgp and sci.crypt, for the latest in availability of PGP,
MacPGP, etc. Also, a debate over Dorothy Denning's ideas on key
registration and restrictions on crypto. (And for entertainment, David
Sternlight and our own Perry Metzger are duking it out. Sternlight caused
MacPGP to be pulled off the announced archive sites.)
* news.admin.policy, for the latest on Julf's shutdown of his anonymous
server, and for discussion of proposed successors. The whole shutdown is an
important topic--perhaps someday Julf will be able to tell the whole story.
Mention of the "Cypherpunks remailers" has been made in several
places....this may be a good time to a) prepare for a wave of new users, b)
be sure the code is solid and ready, and c) advertise the existence of the
remailers and which one are up, which ones require PGP, etc.
And given that our systems are "even more anonymous" that Julf's was, the
abuses seen with his system will have to be faced on our systems. The
alleged abuses of Julf's system: supposedly a picture of a burn victim was
posted to one of the erotica groups (tacky in the extreme, but hardly
illegal or a threat), instructions on how to poison cats (also tacky but
not ipso facto criminal), etc. (I don't know what the culminating case was,
nor will I speculate.)
As we've talked about before, some folks may try to shut us down by
deliberately posting extremely controversial material.
There was also a major flamewar over the weekend when one Richard DePew
decided to initiate his "ARMM" ("Automated Retroactive Minimal Moderation")
program, which sent out "CANCEL" notices for anonymous messages posted to
certain groups. Very controversial, and a sign of things to come. (The
connection, if any, with Julf's shutdown remains unclear. Certainly the
whole issue of anonymous postings reached a head this past weekend.
Sternlight's threats about PGP may have been involved as well. Julf?)
(Cypherpunks remailers may want to change the "Nobody" and "Anonymous" tags
to names that are less screenable, less susceptible to censorship by
ARMM-type programs. Using a rotating list of fictional or historical names
may be an approach, but I'm sure we can think of many ways to bypass
These are certainly interesting times.
Timothy C. May | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected] | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409 | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839 | Public Key: MailSafe and PGP available.