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Re: Anonymity: A Modest Proposal

Eli Brandt <[email protected]> writes:

>If you
>split the message into shadows, you avoid having anyone in this

Hal Finney <[email protected]> responds:
>...If the end user is
>responsible for reassembly, then that is tantamount to voluntarily
>agreeing to receive anonymous messages, and that is no problem...
>...And of course anonymous news
>postings via shadows would also have the reassembly problem.

It seems that there could at least be a hierarchy of shadowed newsgroups,
e.g. alt.freespeech.*,  requiring the enduser to use special software to
reassemble actual postings.  This could even be integrated into the
newsreaders, or even at a local newserver level.

To post to these groups, something like the current Mixmaster remailer
network might be used, with extensions for posting "shadows"
to these newsgroups.  So posting would require slightly more enduser
sophistication,and the ability to encrypt.  The client posting software
would hit ITAR, but presumably not the client reassembly software
(newsreader extensions, etc.), since it doesn't need the ability to

Then the newsgroup hierarchy itself would become the target of control
fervor.  Perhaps this could be fought with an emphasis on freedom of
speech and creation of newsgroups for "political expression", e.g.
alt.freespeech.talk.politics, etc.  It's unfortunate, but good soundbites
can be as important as good protocols:  "Freedom of Speech in Cyberspace:
Feds want to eliminate so-called "freespeech newsgroups" on the new
information superhighway..."

I haven't done my homework on protocols for distributing shadows.  Are
there problems with this, other than the obvious one of actually
doing all the work?

Doug Cutrell

Doug Cutrell                    General Partner
[email protected]                 Open Mind