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Re: Anonymity: A Modest Proposal

Lance Cottrell writes:
> I think one solution to this problem is to encourage (require) the use of
> pseudonym servers. Having a server like alpha as the entity on the from
> line has several advantages.
> 1) Less Spam since it takes some effort to set up the nym and it will be 
> taken away as soon as the spam starts.

I fear this will be a short-lived gain. User-friendly scripts for 
establishing pseudonymous accounts are pretty easy to write. They may be
beyond the average Fast Money Maker, but I expect myself and others will be
putting them out on the Net for general consumption. 

I can certainly imagine one of those scripts being expanded to automatically 
create [email protected], ..., [email protected] and emitting 
the same spam once from each pseudonym to a different destination. You would
want to apply a statistical spam filter (of the kind mentioned recently by
Greg Broiles) to the entire output of each pseudonymizer in an attempt to
nip such spams in the bud.

Semi-permanent account status confers privileges to the user, IMHO. I
believe a pseudonymous account ideally should be treated the same as a 
regular account on an ISP. For example, an admin will not unilaterally close 
an account upon receiving a single complaint about the account user. 
Certainly I don't know of an ISP that routinely blocks its users' accounts
from sending mail to selected other accounts. Lest I seem too presumptuous, 
let me say that I realize all immediately foreseeable pseudonymizers are
free services. Clearly these service providers can set whatever policies they
wish, and are not directly competing with the fee-charging ISPs. Perhaps 
future fee-charging pseudonymizers will consider these criteria in offering 
enhanced services.

-Futplex <[email protected]>