disposable remailers (was Re: Eternity Uncensorable?)

Andy Dustman andy at CCMSD.chem.uga.edu
Fri Aug 8 00:57:29 PDT 1997


On Thu, 7 Aug 1997, Adam Back wrote:

> You know how middleman operators work...  they always, always send
> mail via another remailer and never deliver mail to a user.  (I'm not
> sure if they detect this by looking to see if the address is on the
> remailer list, or just always add an extra hop?)

I think by definition a middleman always chains through one or more
additional remailers. When I ran dustbin, it was a "smart middleman",
i.e., if the recipient was a known remailer, it wouldn't bother to chain
(remailers rarely complain), otherwise it would chain through a single
remailer. I have a procmail script which does this as well using mixmaster
only (some definitions are missing here): 

# Smart middle. If not to another remailer, send it through a random mixmaster.
# Mixmaster 2.0.3 compatible.

:0 f
* MIDDLE ?? (on|yes)
*! ? grep "$TO" $RLIST $TYPE2
| formail -bf -I"From:" -I"To:" -I"Comments:" -IMessage-ID: \
        | $MIXPATH/mixmaster -f -to $TO -l 0 

# We made it this far, so send out the mail.


An even smarter middleman would detect PGP messages and deliver those
directly to end recipients, since those people are unlikely to complain
about anonymous mail, and chain if the message was plaintext. The risk
involved with this type of middleman operation should be rather small.

Andy Dustman / Computational Center for Molecular Structure and Design / UGA
    To get my PGP public key, send me mail with subject "send file key".
For the ultimate anti-spam procmail recipe, send me mail with subject "spam"
"Encryption is too important to leave to the government."  -- Bruce Schneier
http://www.ilinks.net/~dustman    mailto:andy at CCMSD.chem.uga.edu      <}+++<

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