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Re: On the crime bill and remailers

Black Unicorn <[email protected]> writes:
>I believe anonymous 
>remailers have some use.  But they are so targeted to prevent GOVERNMENT 
>observation and intercepts, that they just plain look bad.

I strongly disagree with this.  Anonymous remailers as presently constructed
will be almost completely ineffective against any significant government
attempts to surveil email traffic.  The government does have the resources
today to defeat most uses of remailers.  Since present-day remailers lack
padding features, the correspondence between incoming and outgoing messages,
even with encryption, is relatively easy to establish.  This is made worse
by the lack of general support for reordering, which renders the task
almost trivial.

Instead, anonymous remailers are clearly targetted against non-government
traffic analysis, generally local associates, system operators, employers,
supervisors, and so on.  They allow people to communicate without
repercussions and retribution at work or at school.  They let people exchange
email in an insecure environment while hiding both the message address and
its contents.  They allow whistle blowers to expose malfeasance without
being punished.  These are the kinds of things the remailers are good for.

Claims here that remailers are designed to support sedition or to
prevent government surveillance are both wrong and harmful.  This kind
of material could show up at some future prosecution of a remailer
operator.  It is important that we understand clearly what the capabilities
and limitations of current remailers are.