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Re: (fwd) "Will You Be a Terrorist?"
In article <[email protected]>,
Timothy C. May <[email protected]> wrote:
>I think the recently-passed Crime Act has implications for what some
>are calling "terrorist speech" and that Cypherpunks remailers may be
>construed as "PROVIDING MATERIAL SUPPORT TO TERRORISTS" in the
>context of being "communications equipment."
I don't see why anonymous remailers are singled out: as written,
it seems that *any* electronic service could be singled out for
this (for example, netcom doesn't require proof-of-identity
"Envision burning police cars."
In any case, perhaps a way around this can be found: what we may
need is "stealth remailers," software that will behave as a remailer
through non-obvious "security holes" with correct cooperation from
software the original user runs.
For example, hack sendmail so that it never wants to reverse-lookup DNS
and given a particular set of commands (saying "EHDR" for 'enhanced
headers') will operate as an anonymous remailer. Such sendmail-hackage
could be distributed with other changes that give enhanced security
(for example, that turn off EXPN and VRFY) so that people could claim
that they had no idea that they were operating an anonymous remailer.
To add encryption to this model, perhaps changes to sendmail could be
fashioned that incorporate encryption in such a way that it appears to be
purely intended for protection of mail going to the machine, but a
side affect could be that every so hacked sendmail becomes a remailer.
This has one problem, though: so far, you can't chain with this model.
You could fashion a way to cross information from message content
to envelope: but that's not a change to sendmail that can be lightly
made -- you'll get random lossage from people whose messages unwittingly
almost fit your protocol.
So, what's further needed is a comment field in the message envelope
that can be chained. This would be fairly trivial to add to the
RFC822 protocol, and "extra stealth code" could take care of
Advantage? A lot of people, I think, would like to add encryption to
the MTA layer of mail if it could be done seamlessly. If these
changes allowed the hacked sendmail to negotiate with the destination
sendmail to determine whether or not it is also hacked, falling back
to standard operation if the other one is not, then it's seamless.
This is a good feature to have generally available: a fair number of
people would install it just on these merits.
Of course, the existence of these "stealth features" would be an open
secret: however this would lend, to take a phrase from the crytofascists,
"plausible deniability." 'Sorry, I just heard about a more secure
sendmail and ftp'd it. Didn't say anything anywhere about this in
the README files....'
Everybody still with me? Anybody? Sound like work people are willing
to do/think is worth doing? I'd certainly be willing to do some work
on this -- might even be able to justify it as part of my real job,
which does involve designing and implementing encrypted protocols.
L. Todd Masco | "A man would simply have to be as mad as a hatter, to try and
[email protected] | change the world with a plastic platter." - Todd Rundgren