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Re: Remailer latencies

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On Sat, 27 Sep 1997, Anonymous (nee Monty Cantsin) wrote:

> Good point.  Also, using a dialup gives you another layer of physical
> privacy.  You could even move the machine around from time to time.
It has been :-)

> What is on your machine that has to be deleted?  I suppose you'd want
> to power cycle it since the private key (or a passphrase) will be
> sitting in memory.  Is there anything on the disk that must be
> deleted?
I would feel better, and I'm sure a lot of others would too, if I had the
time to safely wipe the remailer's private key (in addition to cleaning the
passphrase from memory). Ditto for my personal keys :)

> More operations questions: according to Raph's chart, your machine has
> an "uptime" of 99.64%.  I assume that means Raph's experiments showed
> that 36 messages out of 1000 disappeared.  Did I assume correctly?
More or less. 

> If so, what accounts for these message losses?  I would expect that if
> your machine was down, even for a couple of days, that the incoming
> messages would be queued up on other machines and none would be lost.
It's more like "of the last 1000 messages sent, 9964 of 'em have made it back
to me."  Because of the way I have to have things set up, there are almost
always a few messages in transit. I have, very occasionally, actually seen my
remailer listed at 100%; somewhere over 99% is far more common.

> BTW, my intention is not be critical of your volunteer work running a
> remailer, but to develop an understanding of the issues involved.
Excellent. You certainly can't be faulted for that :)

> Even a response like "the machine was down for three days because I
> was in Las Vegas partying" is useful because it would suggest that
> remailer operators are not adequately compensated for their work.
I thought that much was a given.  AFAIK nobody's making any money anywhere
off the remailer net; it's a labour of love.

To contribute to another thread at the same time: there is a
semi-experimental hack for Mixmaster that parses a message for hashcash.

IMO, it's unlikely that hashcash, Digicash, or anything else is likely to
become the preeminent modus operandi for remailer operators anytime soon, but
it's likely to happen eventually simply because it's possible, so someone
will do it. For me, the remailer doesn't consume any exceptional new
resources, so the added cost to me of running a remailer is very nearly zero.
(Those are mostly the "administrative" costs of dealing with complaints,
adding people to the blocklist, and cleaning up after the occasional spam
bomb.)  Others, with different circumstances, may be more eager to pursue a
profit-making solution.

dave (bureau42 admin)

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