Congratulations to All!

Timothy C. May tcmay at
Tue Feb 23 13:33:18 PST 1993

With all the volume on this list, and the controversy over "Deadbeat" (in
both his/her content and the multiple postings), and the flame wars (not
here, of course!) over the anonymous postings, I wanted to say a few
things. I'll be brief.

* Congratulations to all on the amazing progress being shown. The
"problems" are themselves valuable learning experiences, spurring on new
developments and forcing important issues to the fore.

* The escapades of "Deadbeat" are especially valuable, as weaknesses are
revealed and fixes are implemented. The sociology of anonymous systems is a
largely unexplored territory. (From the phrasing he uses, "Deadbeat" seems
to be one of our regular posters, and is clearly not some malicious
outsider intent on destroying our system--and even if so, he's still doing
us a service!).

* Our own Lance Detweiler posted to sci.crypt a very long and excellent
summary of anonymous mail, remailers, and general issues. It is still
there, titled, "IDENTITY, PRIVACY, and ANONYMITY on the INTERNET."   I'm
surprised it hasn't been mentioned here more often. In fact, it ought to be
posted to _this_ list, in case someone isn't reading sci.crypt (that's hard
to believe, though). Others, like Hal Finney, have also posted recent
summaries of remailers.

* The "whistleblower" group idea is a good one, as is the "pools" idea. The
whistleblower application is already in use via a modem system in
Washington (I saw this mentioned about a year ago...I can dig up the
details, maybe), though not using any form of crypto anonymity. I confess
to having similar ideas some time back, which I mentioned at the first
physical Cypherpunks meeting, in September, though I completely missed the
importance in terms of _public relations_. In other words, I think it's a
great idea.

(The obvious benefits of an anonymous whistleblower group will make it hard
for government types to object. Even if a lot of "noise" is posted
(spurious claims, rumors, etc.), the exercise will be beneficial. And
journalists who begin to dip into such a group for possible articles, will
thus become educated themselves.)

* The actions of the "*" guys may have also spurred on some of our
activists. What Kelly Goen is proposing to do--spreading these crypto
anarchy methods to other politically active groups--is also a wonderful

* It seems we are getting lots of newcomers to the list (though I keep
seeing cancellations posted to the general list, too!). It might be nice to
hear from them about their reactions. And perhaps Eric Hughes could
occcasionally summarize list statistics, as he did several months back. For
example, how many are now on the list? How many "*.mil" sites? Etc.

* The recent interest by "Mondo 2000," "Wired," and "The Village Voice" in
Cypherpunks activity and in digital privacy in general suggests we are
doing something quite important and interesting.

* All in all, I think amazing progress is being made.

-Tim May
Timothy C. May               | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
tcmay at        | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409               | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA       | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839 | Public Key: MailSafe and PGP available.

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