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Re: remailers

Fen Labalme quotes some messages with concerns about people needing
permission from the sysadmins to run remailers.

The current remailers, based on Eric Hughes' approach, don't have this
problem.  I don't even know who the sysadmin is on the system where I
run the remailer.  They don't know anything about it.  Eric's
remailers don't require continual processes to be run, root
privileges, hacking the mail tables, or anything special.

All you need is to be on a Unix system which supports the ".forward"
file.  This is typically implemented by the mail programs which
deliver mail to the user's mail file.  The programs check to see if a
file called .forward exists in the user's home directory, and if so
they treat its contents as either a program to pipe the incoming mail
into, or a user name or list of user names to send the mail to.

This is the hook by which Eric's remailers operate.  The .forward file
is set up so that mail is piped to a program which sorts the mail
based on its headers, using the mh utility slocal or, in my case, a
perl script which provides some of the same functions.  Each message
is checked like this, and if it doesn't contain any of the special
stuff which activates the remailer software, it is simply deposted in
the user's mailbox file as usual.  Otherwise the remailers run and
forward it as requested.

With this solution, there's no need for anybody to be aware that you
are running a remailer, as long as it's not too much of a load in
terms of extra message traffic.

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