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Re: Digital Postage (fwd)

Forwarded message:

> From: [email protected]
> Date: Sat, 27 Sep 1997 20:21:11 -0400 (EDT)
> Subject: Re: Digital Postage (fwd)

> I'm probably not thinking right Jim -- but what if I bought a postal
> money order, or such, with cash... sent it too you... along with
> an encyrpted email that referred to the serial number of the
> money order... then, you uncyphered my email... to verify payment, and
> recyphered my account info to me...
> Would something like that work to establish a paid-up account?

It would provided nobody was really concerned about tracking you. Let's
consider your scenario for a moment <any mistakes in comprehension or
description or my own>...


1.   purchase M.O. with cash, presumably in person

2.   use ground mail to get the M.O. to the remailer

3.   send encrypted email from your nym to me identifying which account
     it applies to.

4.   remailer receives the email and the M.O.

5.   apply funds to account.

I see a couple of ways a determined mallet could over time figure out who
was doing what with whom.

My primary assumption is that mallet has some reason to suspect a specific
party and their use of anon remailers.

When the M.O. is purchased, even by cash, the chances of getting put on
tape is pretty high. This places a clear link between at least one party and
the purchase of the M.O. (it has a serial #) and the time it was purchased
(M.O.'s have time stamps). Making it trivial to figure out which
security tape(s) to review.

The ground mail places at least a rough geographic area as to its source
unless you plan on travelling all over the states sending your M.O.'s. This
is too much trouble for a user except in very unique circumstances. My
grandmother for example probably won't travel across town let alone across
the state on each use.

By monitoring the physical mail at the remailer we can clearly link the mail
to the recipient.

When the remailer deposits the M.O. a record is going to be made about who
received it and how much.

My guess is that it would take about 3-4 cycles of this before mallet can
start putting a clear picture together of what and who is involved.

   |                                                                    |
   |    The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there   |
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   |  -====~~mm-'`-```-mm --'-                         Jim Choate       |
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