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Re: Anonymity and cost
Greg Broiles wrote:
> At a very basic level, anonymous (not pseudonymous, like the remailers
> are) messages are *cheaper*, because they carry less information; they
> do not need to send the bits which identify the sender.
I think the meaning of "anonymous" here is clearly with respect to
_traffic analysis_. The "cost of anonymity" is with respect to the
costs and delays of using digital mixes (remailers)). The relatively
few bytes of header information don't affect the cost in any
> This conversation seems to elide distinctions between low-level
> anonymity (where source information is simply not transmitted) and
> high-level anonymity, where source information is transmitted but is
> not used for social or political reasons.
Again, traffic analysis is the issue. (And I don't necessarily mean
NSA-type traffic analysis...Net-savvy investigators can trace messages
back to origins even when a message is ostensibly anonymous. So far as
I know, some form of mix/remailer is needed to ensure anonymity.))0
> A multi-hop message where the "From:" line changes with each hop
> costs almost precisely what a multi-hop message would cost without
> the "From:" line changes. Folks feeling detail-oriented can calculate
> the cost of the CPU time to strip header information vs. the cost of
> sending that header information to the next hop. I don't care about
> the answer, so I'm not going to.
This is not the "cost" that is being discussed. Stripping or changing
headers is a trivial cost compared to the latency delays that may
result when mix reordering is done (how much latency is involved is a
function of several things, including reordering desired ("N"), amount
of other traffic).
> Anonymous video conferencing is available now; go to Kinko's, pay
> cash for the use of their video conference room. Or, ask/convince
> the recipient to consider the conversation "off the record".
Neither of these kinds of "anonymity" are cryptographically
interesting, or strong.
Timothy C. May | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected] | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
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