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setting up disposable remailers
Some thoughts on solutions to the remailer operator liability problem.
It occurs to me that the risk for the remailer owner could be reduced
by separating concerns. That is, introducing separate roles for
setting up the remailer so that the identity of as many parties as
possible is not determinable to the litigator.
- person owning the remailer
- person installing remailer software
- person handling complaints to the remailer
In this model a new remailer owner would anonymously email a member of
the cypherpunks list asking if they would be interested in installing
a remailer in the owners provided account.
The remailer owner would anonymously open an account with an ISP
offering anonymous shell accounts, and accepting digicash, or cash,
and anonymously email the account details to the installer.
Optionally, a third party (the maintainer) could be persuaded to
accept complaints for the remailer, and (anonymously) send signed
instructions to the remailer to bar certain receiving addresses.
The only determinable target for a typical litigator would be the ISP.
If a more powerful adversary were the litigator, such as a TLA anxious
to demonstrate an excuse for it's continued existance, it is possible
they may retrieve the identity of the installer (if they do indeed
have taps and large IP traffic recording facilities for instance).
They may try to hold the installer responsible if unable to find the
owner. Model 2 goes some way to reducing risk for the installer.
In this model the additional separable role of setting up a shell
command mail processor on the account is introduced. What I mean by
this is as has been discussed on the list recently, that a mail
handler which executes signed shell commands emailed, and anonymously
emails back the command output.
That is to say the remailer owner now passes the account information
to the installer of the mail processor. The shell installer sets up
the command processor, and leaves.
Now the owner gives the PGP secret key of the command processor to the
remailer installer (or if the owner feels competent, does this part
Provided that the anonymous remailers used for all of the steps are
type2 mixmaster remailers, the system should be much more secure.