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Re: Remailers and ecash


Lucky Green wrote:
>On Sat, 27 Sep 1997, Anonymous wrote:
>> There also seems to be an idea that there is some big R&D investment
>> in adapting a remailer to use e-cash.  There isn't.  You have to open
>> an account at Mark Twain Bank.  You have to figure out how to call the
>> Digicash executable from within a Perl script.  (Since nobody has
>> corrected me on this, I am becoming confident that it is really as
>> easy as I think.)  Why not try it?  Worst case, you lose a little
>> time.  Best case, you get rich and the remailer network takes off.
>There are a number of technical reasons why you really don't want to call
>the standard commandline Ecash client from a script to add/retrieve Ecash
>from Mixmaster remailer packets. The biggest problem being that you can
>fit only a few coins into the packet header as specified. There is
>no feature in the standard Ecash client that allows coin level
>control. DigiCash firmly resited and continues to resist adding it. A
>$0.25 payment could be paid as three coins or as 25 coins. The user has no
>control over this. For this and a number of other reasons, DigiCash's
>software is unsuitable for the task.
>You certainly could use DigiCash's software with Type 1 remailers. Though
>why anybody would want to pay for a service as insecure as Type 1
>remailers is beyond me. Type 1 remailers should be removed from service.

Nonsense.  Type 1 remailers offer a certain level of security.  It is
suitable for many applications.  Type 1 remailers require a fairly
determined attacker to thwart.  They would certainly keep you safe
from the IRS, but maybe not the NSA.

Even if you were running a child kidnapping ring and failing to report
the income, you would be pretty safe using Type 1 remailers.  The NSA
would never take the chance of revealing their capabilities just to
save a few kids.

In this instance, Type 1 remailers offer a real benefit in that it is
easy to extend them with new features, such as accepting payment.

> Furthermore, the barrier to entry is too high for the consumer.

Correction: for many consumers.  The barrier for entry is not too high
for the hard core "privacy extremists" of the cypherpunks list.  And,
were there a sizeable number of goods and services purchasable using
ecash, you might discover many consumers did not find it too high a
barrier to entry.  Getting ecash is certainly easier than getting a
credit card.

>All these problems are about to be solved by third party
>software. Perhaps then we will see for-pay remailers.

Maybe, but today this is vaporware.  In my experience, plans based on
vaporware are unreliable.

Monty Cantsin
Editor in Chief
Smile Magazine

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