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Re: On the crime bill and remailers
Hal <[email protected]> writes:
| 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.
Why not make distributed remailers then? You could set up a chain using
either mail or ftp or ? that would take all messages and fragment them
into nice 1K blocks and then either mail or otherwise transport the
blocks to other physical machines, these machines would then follow the
imbedded instructions on how to reassemble the blocks into a coherent
message and mail it out. Admittedly there is no sure fire method to
prevent someone from monitoring all of the traffic generated but it
should be possible to generate so much traffic that just wading through
the volume would take more time than is practical. Also by encrypting
all packets going between remailers and making the packets uniform
sizes should help make monitoring more difficult.
I'm not sure that I'm worried about the government monitoring my
communications as much as I'm worried about individuals with bad
intentions monitoring my communications.
Mike Markley <[email protected]>
I'm not a Microsoft spokesperson. All opinions expressed here are mine.