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Re: Response to Uni's "Lawsuit" Message


On Tue, 24 May 1994, Curtis D Frye commented on Black Unicorn's recent
post about his threatened law suit against "tmp" and Netcom.  While I
agree with Curtis' response, that is not the purpose I am writing this
response.  I would like to focus on one suggestion for providing anonymous
Internet access. 

Curtis wrote:

> . . .
> One way I had foreseen providing (relatively) anonymous Internet access for
> my Cypherpunk comrades was to establish an account with no personal
> information in the system log, post a cash or money order payment to DGS's
> bank account, and retain an account name-indexed list where I could email
> individuals whose accounts were due to expire.  The problems with this
> scheme?  Keeping track of who was who and making sure no one grabbed
> someone else's userid (zero knowledge proofs, anyone???) is one, legal
> liability for providing such a service is another.  I need to research the
> applicable regulations which state how much customer information we are
> required to maintain, if any.  Anyone out there familiar with the laws of
> the Commonwealth of Virginia on this point?
> The weak link in the system?  Me.  Numerous points of failure and
> susceptible to lawsuits and other legal/non-legal forms of "rubber hose de-
> anonymization".

How about this, instead:  A company called "ID Anonymous, Ltd." sets up in
a business secrecy jurisdiction.  It buys Internet access accounts in bulk
from DGS, Netcom, etc. (ID1, ID2, ID3, . . .).  It then resells them to
people living in the service territories of the various access providers. 
ID Anonymous, Ltd. collects monthly fees from all of its sub-users.  It
pays the Internet provider a single check each month for the monthly fees
of all its anonymous account.  Under such a system, there is no weak 
link.  If a user misbehaves, DGS or Netcom can cut off the offending 
account, but nobody can reveal the identity of the underlying user.  By 
being located in an offshore jurisdiction, ID Anonymous, Ltd. is not 
susceptible to lawsuits or rubber hose techniques.  QED.

 S a n d y