Standard Headers for Anonymous Remailers

Pierre Uszynski pierre at
Wed Oct 6 19:45:24 PDT 1993

> From: Karl Lui Barrus <klbarrus at>
> The attitude expressed by the individual on shows a problem we
> will have in educating others - "anonymous posts CAN destroy a civil
> conversation".  Yes, maybe so, but in my experience on mailing lists,
> bbses, etc. I've noticed that "flame wars" and "anonymous posts" have
> NO correlation, and are quite independent of one another.  
> Since I've seen "flame wars" on systems with absolutely no anonymous
> posting facilities (or none that were used), I conclude that civil
> conversation is destroyed by strongly held differences in opinions (or
> some other factor I can't pin down).

I'll second that. The main menaces against "civil conversations" have been,
on Netnews, flame wars and wars between two individuals. After
the first few messages, the flamers and the opponents are clearly
identified. They are usually proudly posting under their usual Name (as
they are all fighting for their Reputation, and for establishing their
opponent's Incompetence) (... do we recognize anybody yet :-? ) I actually
can't remember such a war involving an anonymous poster (as in "using
penet or similar").

What destroys discussions (and forces people to leave them...) is the
tendency of threads to start genuine, and to end as flame wars.
Certainly, for-money systems would tend to shorten flame wars..

On the other hand in the few discussions against anonymous posting, some
people were arguing for "accountability" who were clearly forgetting
the proportion of people who use handles or pseudonyms as their default
setup. These are not anonymous per se, but in the current fickle netnews,
what's the difference? (BlackNet would make a difference :-) Only in the
most outrageous fraud cases (votes, forgery...) are pseudonyms tracked back
to their account holder.

Solution (1/2 kidding): Build an anonymous remailer that gives a choice
of "obviously anonymous output", or "random pseudonym output". You
could even take the pseudonym from the phone book, or from the names
of the people who used the newsgroup in the past :-)

pierre at

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