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Re: for-pay remailers and FV (Was Re: Remailer Abuse)

Excerpts from fv: 6-Jan-95 for-pay remailers and FV (W..
[email protected] (4416*)

> Hmm. Maybe I don't completely understand how this is going to work, but
> won't _every_ remailer in the chain need to know your FV billing account?
> How would the rest of them charge via FV without knowing your billing
> account?  What Russell was suggesting (I think), was that only the first
> would bill via FV directly, so only the first would need to know your
> billing account, and then he'd settle up with the others at the end of the
> month. (A particular variation of that scheme is what you mentioned later
> in your message, and I'll get to that).

The latter is what I was proposing.  Only the first one would charge via
FV, but the other ones would form a "closed system" that you could only
get into by going through one that charged.

> But assuming that every remailer along the chain _was_ charging via FV, I
> fail to see how only the last one would need your billing account; seems to
> me they all would, and thus any one could collude with FV to violate your
> anonimity.

That's not my assumption.  I think you may have misread my mail -- I
*agree* with you on this point.  Sorry if I was unclear!

> The
> remailer operators still have to have an organization and remain in close
> contact, which I am uncomfortable with because it seems to make collusion
> more likely. 

As I said, it all depends on your level of paranoia....  I tend to think
that in such an organization, where the primary "product" is privacy,
each member would tend to watch all the other members like hawks, eager
to publicize any instance of the other guy not being sufficiently
zealous in protecting privacy.  (Of course, I'm assuming that people
like *you* will be running these services, i.e. people even more
paranoid about privacy than me.)

> And it's still dificult to intermix for-pay and free remailers
> within your chain, or even just for-pay remailers from several different
> consortiums. 

I think this is wrong.  In my model, each consortium model has two, a
for-pay and a for-free.  Anyone can send to a for-pay, but only a
consortium remailer can send to a for-free.  Not that complicated,

>  [The
> consortium, as far as I can tell, would also find it rather dificult to
> charge more for a longer chain, I can't think of any way for them to charge
> anything excpet a uniform amount regardless of length of chain, unless you
> give the first remailer a way to tell the length of your chain, which is
> undesirable. I'm not sure if this is a problem.]

To my mind, that's not a bug, it's a feature.  The consortium is
charging you a set fee for privacy, and you get to decide how many hops
are required to have a level of privacy you trust.

> And this level of paranoia would be perfectly well surved by a Julf/penet
> style remailer, which _would_ work well with an FV-payment system, as I
> agreed before.  The cypherpunks chained remailernet system as a whole is
> overkill for your paranoia needs, but appearantly not for the needs of
> those who use it over Julf's.  It appears to me, that an FV-style payment
> scheme can't be added to the cypherpunks chained remailer system without
> dropping it's security to the level of Julf's.  Which might be good enough
> for you, but not good enough for me, or presumably for anyone else that
> uses cypherpunks remailers.

This is true of the scheme that I said I would be satisfied with (one
remailer + FV), but not true, I think, of the "overkill" scheme, which
was the consortium.

> [Do you understand how cypherpunks remailers work, and the difference
> between them and a julf/penet style remailer?   Do you understand how
> encryption is used in a cypherpunks-style remailer chain to make it so each
> individual remailer only knows the next remailer along the chain, and not
> the entire rest of the chain?]

Well, I *think* I do, though I may be suffering from a bit of
dilletantism here -- I'm certainly no expert in cryptography, but I
think I understand the concepts involved.  We haven't even gotten into
the effect of encryption yet -- so far, we've just been talking, I
thought, about untraceability.  But as far as I can see, there's no
reason that the consortium pay-only-at-entry scheme couldn't work with
encrypted remailers.  Am I confused?  Couldn't you use the same
cryptographic chain as is currently used, where all the inner entries in
the chain are free crypto-remailers open only to other consortium
remailers, but in which the outer encrypted message had the FV payment
attached, which gained it entry to the remailer pool?

> 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
> technology.

Again, I think you mis-read me.  I haven't (nor do I care to) spent a
lot of time thinking about how to do remailers at all, let alone with
digicash.  What I was referring to was the basic objections that come
from using a digital cash scheme in the first place.

>  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
> block.
> 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.

I agree that FV doesn't meet the above requirements, but I don't see why
they're necessary for remailers.  In the consortium scheme I'd proposed,
the only thing that could ever be proven about you would be that you had
used a remailer.  Now, if the message was not encrypted, your anonymity
could be broken by collusion of FV and the "entry" remailer.  But if the
cypherpunks style cryptographic chain was used, i.e. if the contents
(including an inner envelope that said who you really sent it to) were
encrypted, nothing more would ever be derivable without the collusion of
everyone in the chain, and even then it would only be derivable if
certain records were kept.  

All I'm claiming is that it's do-able using the FV payment system.  I'm
not going to do it myself because I don't personally feel that this
level of untraceability is EVER legitimately necessary.....  -- Nathaniel