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Re: encouraging digital pseudonyms



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At 3:16 AM -0700 9/22/97, Wei Dai wrote:
>One of Tim's suggested cypherpunk projects is to encourage the use of
>digital pseudonyms (i.e. cryptographically persistent entities not linked
>with True Names). I think the main reason why pseudonyms are not used more
>widely is the lack of support on client software, especially on the
>receiver side. When I see a piece of email sent to the cypherpunks list
>from an anonymous remailer, I typically delete it without reading, because
>there is no easy way to tell between anynoymous email (which are typically
>junk) and pseudonymous email, and there is no easy way to filter by
>pseudonym.

I'm planning to make more serious use of pseudonyms, digitally signed.
Despite what LD used to claim about my use of "tentacles," it was simply
too much trouble to do the elaborate cut-and-paste of using PGP 2.0, 2.1.
2.6, etc. for my Mac.

I still lack a good remailer-chaining utility--anyone know one for the Mac,
one that will read Raph's list of reliable remailers, slurp down the public
keys, construct a sequence of chainings?

But I now am using PGP 5.0, which is well-integrated with my mailer
(Eudora), and I plan to spend some effort creating some persistent, signed
personnas. (I won't say when, so don't assume any new "nyms" you see here
are mine.)

To this end, this message is being signed. With my new PGP 5.0 key. Signed
by my old (really, really, old) 1992 key.

>Of course the long-term solution is to get native pseudonym support on the
>client software, but in the mean time there is a fairly simple workaround
>if someone wants to volunteer a modest amount of resources. That person
>should set up a mailing list that simply resends cypherpunk traffic that
>are signed by pseudonyms. To help filtering, the pseudonym's key hash
>should be prepended to the subject.

This would be a quite good service, one requiring no conscious effort by
the original sender (that is, he doesn't have to use the "nym signature
checker" as the last remailer...he just posts to the list, and someone
else, as Wei describes, performs the "service" of checking the signature
and putting it in the From: field (or maybe the Subject: field, if he can't
overwrite the From: field).

>When this is done, those of us who want to can filter out everything sent
>by remailers to the cypherpunks mailing list and subscribe to the proposed
>service. If enough of us do this, it should motivate anonymous senders to
>set up persistent identities. If the trouble of generating new pseudonyms
>is not enough to discourage the anonymous junk, the proposed service can
>charge ecash or hashcash either per pseudonym or per email.

A good idea.

- --Tim May  (P.S. I haven't yet uploaded my new key to the MIT keyserver, as
I wanted to play with it for a while first, in case I need to generate
another one due to some problem.)


The Feds have shown their hand: they want a ban on domestic cryptography
- ---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:----
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
ComSec 3DES:   408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."



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