Remailer Policies

Edgar W. Swank edgar at spectrx.Saigon.COM
Sat Dec 19 08:09:32 PST 1992

I would like to expand on Hal's suggestion that remailer operators
post their policies on a)keeping logs and b) divulging same.
Hal says he keeps logs "for a few days" and might divulge logs of
"really vicious, racially or sexually harrassing" messages.
Presumably this would also cover anonymous threatening messages,
blackmail, etc.
We've already discussed use of PGP by pedophiles to encrypt
incriminating diaries.  It gets better.  PGP and remailers can
be used to encrypt and ship "kiddy porn" GIF files. Even private
possession of such material is a serious crime in the USA. A chain
of anonymous and encrypted remailers could be used to drop kiddy porn
into newsgroups like
I'm sure that would create quite a stir!
Perhaps Duncan or another attorney would like to comment on legal
liability of remailers in these kinds of situations. I don't think
there's currently any law on what records remailers would have to
keep; if you didn't have them, you couldn't give them up.
If this becomes a problem, expect legislation regulating or even
outright banning remailers. However, if remailer code has spread
over many national boundaries, such legislation may not be effective.
By the way, no-one has yet responded to my request to add features
to Eric's remailer to 1)remove the "sig" after "--" and 2)Anonymously
post to newsgroups available at the remailer site.  Both these
features are present in the Australian remailer at Pax. Unfortunately
that remailer seems less secure than Eric's in that it keeps more or
less permanent records of its users at the remailer site and it
doesn't seem to be able to chain to other remailers.

edgar at (Edgar W. Swank)
SPECTROX SYSTEMS +1.408.252.1005  Silicon Valley, Ca

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