Eternity Uncensorable?

Kent Crispin kent at
Tue Aug 12 12:28:34 PDT 1997

On Tue, Aug 12, 1997 at 12:46:02PM -0600, John Kelsey wrote:
>[ To: cypherpunks at, Wei Dai ## Date: 08/08/97 10:37 pm ##
>  Subject: Re: Eternity Uncensorable? ]
>>Subject: Re: Eternity Uncensorable?
>>To: Cypherpunks Lite <cp-lite at>
>>From: Wei Dai <weidai at>
>>Date: Wed, 06 Aug 1997 11:33:55 -0700 (PDT)
>>I suggest using information dispersal to spread risk amongst
>>remailer operators.  Use Rabin's information dispersal technique
>>to divide up a document into n shares such that k of them can
>>reconstruct the original, and post each share via a seperate
>>remailer.  It would be hard for the government to single out an
>>operator to go after since an individual share by itself is
>I'm a little concerned with the usefulness of this idea in a
>legal sense.  Imagine the physical analogue:  Alice buys the
>guns and masks, and leaves them in a pre-arranged place.  Bob
>anonymously buys a car and leaves it, with the keys inside, in
>another pre-arranged place.  Carol and Dave collect the guns,
>masks, and the car, and use them to rob a bank or hijack an
>airplane.  Do you suppose the feds will have any problem
>prosecuting Alice and Bob for their part in the conspiracy?

Yes, I think there might be problems for the feds in this case.  Your 
analogy is not at all accurate, since the remailers have no knowledge 
of what their individual shares contain, and didn't supply any of the 
input data to begin with.  Here's a different analogy:

Alice and Bob and Carol and Dave run mailbox outlets.  Elmer and Fred
jointly rent several mailboxes.  Elmer mails a single piece of a gun
to each mailbox in a sealed package -- ABCD can have no way of
knowing what is in each package.  Fred goes to each mailbox and gets
the package inside, takes them all home, and assemble a weapon used 
to commit a crime.  It is hard to see how ABCD could be included in 
any conspiracy, because they were providing a general, legal service, 
and they had absolutely no knowledge of the conspiracy.

Kent Crispin				"No reason to get excited",
kent at			the thief he kindly spoke...
PGP fingerprint:   B1 8B 72 ED 55 21 5E 44  61 F4 58 0F 72 10 65 55

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