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Re: Remailer Abuse

At 4:20 PM 01/06/95, Nathaniel Borenstein wrote:
>Yes, it is is true that if digicash starts working for real money, it
>will answer your objections quite nicely.  However, there are lots of
>objections to that sort of system, too, they're just different ones.  As
>both the FV and Digicash folks have pointed out many times, we have very
>different technologies that fill very different requirements, it's not
>an either/or choice.  I think you could build interesting anonymous
>remailers on each system, too.  -- Nathaniel

Try to bring up objections to a digicash-style system that are applicable
to remailers.   I agree that they are different technologies that fill
different requirements, but it seems to me that the particular requirements
of a remailer system are only met by a digicash/magic money style

 I think  an electronic cash system that will work with remailers, must
satisfy these things:
1) You need to be able to enclose the "signifyer" of the transaction inside
encryption.  Whether the "signifyer" is the cash itself, or an agreement to
make a transaction together with a billing number, or whatever, you need to
be able to enclose it in a PGP (or other arbitrary PKE protocol) encrypted
2) The "signifyer" of the transaction (which again might theoretically be
the cash itself, or some kind of billing number) alone shouldn't be enough
to reveal the identity of the anonymous user.

Number two up there is what most of us _mean_ by "anonymous digital cash",
and FV simply doesn't meet it. FV might be perfectly adequate in some
circumstances, but it doesn't meet that requirement, and many of us aren't
going to feel comfortable using a system to pay for remailer access (among
other things, certainly, but remailer access is something that is worthless
without anonymity) that doesn't fulfill that requirement.  If the
"signifyer" alone can be used to determine who I am, even if it takes the
collusion of FV and a remailer op, I'm not comfortable with that.  Number
One is neccesary for the ecash protocol to work within the remailer
framework effectively; I've got to send each remailer it's payment within
an "envelope" that no one else can penetrate.

The use of an ecash payment system which doesn't meet these two
requirements can't help but _lessen_ the security of the current
conglomeration of remailers. Which is unacceptable to me.  Remailers should
be trying to approach the goal of ensured secure anonymity, and requiring
payment by an ecash system which doesn't meet those two requirements would
seem to be retreating from that goal, in a rather dificult to reverse