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Re: LEOs running anon servers?

At 4:15 AM 9/20/96, "Michael Froomkin - U.Miami School of Law"
<[email protected] wrote:
>This claim was made at a symposium held at Harvard by a sometime lecturer
>at the National Defense college.  He later denied it.  Since lots of other
>things he said in the same lecture were plainly false (more likely his
>ignorance than a clever attempt to spread FUD), I wouldn't lose sleep over
>Anyway, who cares -- you just use encryption and chaining and all is well.

The coauthors (the other works for Science Applications) have never
supplied evidence for the verbal claim, as Michael notes. From there paper,
they seemed ill-informed, and apparently took most of their material from
published Web pages (e.g., Raph Levien's).

But I'm not as sanguine about chaining being enough. Think of it as a
"percolation" problem, similar to finding a path through a network.

To make this clear, if there are M remailers and N of them are "colluding"
(whether NSA-controlled or working for Burger King), and one chooses O of
them for a chain, what are the chances that one is compromised? To put some
numbers on this, if there are 30 remailers and 15 are NSA-owned and one
picks 5 remailers in a chain, there's a 3% chance that all the remailers
picked are NSA-owned. And so on. A standard probability calculation.

There are nuances to consider. Reputations of remailers (beliefs by others,
a la Demptster-Shafer propagation of beliefs). Using one's self a remailer
is always a nice touch. And so on.

I do think there is almost no chance any of the "well-known" remailers are
NSA or GCHQ-controlled, but the situation may change as remailers become
less well-known and more fluidly instantiated, and as the NSA begins to
take more serious notice of remailers than they apparently have so far.

--Tim May

We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, I know that that ain't allowed.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1,257,787-1 | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."