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Re: T. Wells & Anonymity



  This seems to be a case where technology can easily be applied to bring
about a mutually satisfactory solution. If Mr. Wells wants to moderate his 
anonymous posting service, why not have it immediately remove all header
information from the message, and store the result for later verification
and posting. Thus, Mr. Wells can still "weed-out" the annoying childish-insult
messages that someone like BIFF might post anonymously while protecting the
privacy of those who have legitimate needs.

  On the other hand, I feel Mr. Detweiler has gone a little overboard
in his attack in what seems to be an attempt to protect the masses from
their own stupidity. The simple facts of the matter are, any time you use an
anonymous remailer without encryption you run the risk of having your email 
intercepted. One thing people need to learn is that the world is a risky place
and any action you take can have negative consequences. I certainly
wouldn't send threats to [email protected] expecting Hal's
or Julf's remailers to protect me.

  Even using encryption, an anonymous remailer operator as well as many
other people can do traffic analysis. Unix keeps tons of logs which
are quite easy to parse. (I recently got finished writing syslog accounting
software which tracks all the path of all messages sent and
received on a system bills them based on bandwidth.)

 There are several things you can do such as remailer chaining, using
private machines (off the network), etc but none guarantee absolute
privacy.

  If you are concerned about protecting the masses, write up your own
"Remailer Safety FAQ" detailing the benefits and dangers.


 
-Ray

p.s. is there a proposal out there to increase the security of
moderated newsgroups? I was thinking that it might be a good idea
to incorporate digital signatures into the moderation protocol
such that newsreaders could filter out messages which didn't have
a proper moderator's signature.


-- Ray Cromwell        |    Engineering is the implementation of science;    --
-- EE/Math Student     |       politics is the implementation of faith.      --
-- [email protected]  |                         - Zetetic Commentaries      --