Eternity Uncensorable?

Wei Dai weidai at
Tue Aug 12 14:41:24 PDT 1997

On Tue, 12 Aug 1997, John Kelsey wrote:

> >If n>k this also increases reliability and resilience of the
> >eternity service against technical attacks.
> This part is somewhat more useful.  However, n copies of the
> message are probably better.

The nice thing about information dispersal is that each share is only 1/k
the size of the original.

> I think the general problem here is unsolveable--running an
> Eternity server is just going to be a dangerous thing to do if
> you live somewhere where the police are likely to see
> possessing, distributing, or selling some of the information on
> it as a crime.  There are two possible solutions I can see:
> Either make Eternity servers so widespread that taking down
> individual servers in individual jurisdictions is futile, or
> find some jurisdictions where virtually *nothing* will provoke
> the police to act.  (Note that legal jurisdiction isn't the only
> issue here.  Some groups may be willing to use terrorist tactics
> to shut down these servers.)

The point of using information dispersal is not to defend the Eternity
servers, but rather the exit remailers.  Adam's Eternity servers do not
need to be defended because they only act as a gateway between USENET and
the web.  Clients can run Eternity servers on their local machine and
directly access their local USENET spool. 

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