Anonymous Remailers

Robert A. Costner pooh at
Tue Aug 19 06:03:44 PDT 1997

Once again Tim's ability to convey information befuddles my ability to respond.

While I would support Tim's suggestion that the KKK has as much right to use an anonymous remailer as much as anyone, Tim doesn't provide much help here.  When  looking into which court to sue Georgia in over anonymity, we had a choice between Federal Court and State court.  While the Georgia's 11th district Federal court has been pro free speech and we thought would favor anonymity, the state court has not been so respectful of the constitution.  The Georgia State court's last ruling on anonymity was to declare that anonymity was illegal.  The case in point is that a KKK member wanted to wear his mask in public.  As is the case in several states, Georgia passed a law declaring the use of a mask to be illegal.  This was upheld by the state supreme court.

The real problem here was not anonymity, but the use of the KKK as a representation of why anonymity should be allowed.  Had this been a 10 year old in a Halloween mask on the last day of October, the case would surely have gone differently.  So much for the conceptual reasons why Tim's comment does not help.  On a more "where the rubber hits the road" view, Tim's comment fails on the grounds that he apparently has nothing to do with the Georgia KKK.

In Georgia, while we have won a temporary injunction and assume we will see the law fully struck down, EFGA is still involved in lawsuit against the state over internet anonymity.  I actually don't contemplate another affidavit in this case, but it may happen.  If I need to write another affidavit in support of the remailer, I will only have about two weeks to get it done.  We hope the Georgia lawsuit will resolve itself in another 30 days or so.

I'm actually more concerned about action against the remailer itself.  I wouldn't be surprised to be approached concerning criminal charges against myself concerning the remailer's operation.  We began discussing this with attorneys and others more than a year ago.

I have no idea what the court would make of my submission of material I received anonymously.  While I could submit "I have been told....", "I have received comments that tell me...", I can't personally testify under oath to Tim's example of removing the ZOG gov't.  I can state that I've been told the remailer has been used for purposes that I wouldn't personally approve of and express my apologies to parents of a particular little girl.  The fact remains that unsolicited feedback on the system has not been good comments.  We could use a good story or two.

Another issue is internal in the operation of the remailer itself.  While I'm not the only one involved in the operation of the remailer, I get called on to defend it's existence.  The question of why to have a remailer, and the question of why to set up and run a remailer are two different things.  The remailer sounds good in theory.  Actual operation of the system is a different thing entirely.  The remailer is more than just a pain.  It is a time-bomb waiting to go off.

If anyone has any comments on how they have used the Georgia Cracker remailer, I'd appreciate the comments being emailed to me.  Anonymously or not.

  -- Robert, pooh at

At 10:06 PM 8/18/97 -0700, Tim May wrote:
>You made a lot of hay about setting it up, if I recall correctly. If you
>didn't know what remailers are, and what they protect, why did you set it
>More to the point, do you think anybody is now going to "break anonymity"
>to tell you that allowed them to notify the authorities that
>their father was raping their baby sister? Or that it allowed Hamas
>supporters to funnel technical information to drive the ZOG government out
>of Jerusalem? Or whatever.
>And if someone used a remailer to send you accounts of what
>was used for, would you trust these accounts?
>An affidavit sounds like a legal statement. If you "need to write an
>affidavit explaining why the remailer should not be shut down, " just who
>is threatening to shut it down?
>Tell them the remailer is an important conduit for protecting
>the secure communications of the Grand Wizards of the Ku Klux Klan, a
>Georgia organization. If they balk, ask if the Klan does not have a right
>of free speech and security in their papers and homes.

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