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Re: remailer abuse

From: Greg Broiles <[email protected]>
> I think adopting a submissive or apologetic stance with respect to the 
> operation of a remailer is a mistake. What we do is protected by the First
> amendment, supports a 200+ year tradition of anonymous political speech in
> America, provides a valuable service to a worldwide community, and can help
> avoid the very abuse they are accused of facilitating.

The problem is that the time when someone complains about the remailer is
exactly when they have received some obnoxious message.  This is often
their first exposure to the idea of anonymous remailers.  Such people are
the last ones who are going to be receptive or interested in hearing a
lecture about how remailers are protecting the First Amendment.  I
generally do my best to avoid getting into a debate with these people.  I
tell them I have added them to the block list, and usually that is the
end of it.

So while I think Greg's approach is fine as part of an intellectual
debate over the pros and cons of anonymity, it does not address the most
frequent complaints I see as a remailer operator.  I hope that over time
more people will become exposed to the idea of remailers and anonymity
other than in the form of some annoying anonymous message.  Then I think
they will be better able to deal with it when they do get some problem

> The child who was the
> target of the "Mr. Pedophile" message(s) should have been taught how to use
> remailers and how to maintain his privacy on the net so that, if he really
> is the victim of some sort of random child stalker, it won't happen again.

That message was not posted to Cypherpunks.  It asked in some graphic
detail whether this boy engaged in sexual relations with his parents.
However, the mother was surprisingly calm about it, and simply asked to
be blocked.  The fact that she knew about blocking gave me the
impression she was remailer-savvy, and as I wrote above this seems to
make a big difference.