Bringing this thread kicking and screaming back of topic,
here is a fine example of how NOT to use anonymous remailers...

Guy Macon wrote:

>A google search on [ justlinux.ca ] shows Roger Maynard,
>way back in 1994, before he learned how to forge and
>nymshift, posting with his real name and a very familiar .sig...
>
>| From: maynard@ramsey.cs.laurentian.ca (Roger Maynard)
>| Organization: Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, Canada
>| Message-ID: <2oblrb$sba@ramsey.cs.laurentian.ca>
>
>...
>
>| cordially, as always,
>|
>| rm
>| --
>| Roger Maynard
>| maynard@ramsey.cs.laurentian.ca
>|


A wise person using anonymous remailers to hide his identity
figures that that word "anonymous" is there for a reason,
and avoids identifying material such as sigs. That leaves
any attacker with the daunting task of compromising the
remailer network.

A moron such as Roger Maynard, on the other hand, thinks
that he can engage in legally actionable behavior by using
anonymous remailers for the actual legally actionable
acts and otherwise using his normal news server to taunt
his intended victims.

By doing this, he destroys the protection that the remailer
network offers.

SCENARIO ONE: CRIMINALLY ACTIONABLE BEHAVIOR
If the police suspect that Roger Maynard commits actual crimes,
the police can get a court order and have his ISP log everything
he does. They can also seize his computer and analyze the
contents. If he injected his posts to the remailer network
unencrypted, the police have everything they need right there.
If he does encrypt, they can still log that he communicates with
an anonymous remailer before each illegal post comes out of the
other end of the chain, and there may be traces on the disk that
can be recovered. It is even possible that the police might
break in while he isn't home and install a hardware keycatcher
or a camera that looks at his monitor. They could even try to
detect the electronic emissions from his PC from a van parked
outside -- but that is unlikely in a normal criminal case. If
they think he he is a terrorist, however, all bets are off.

SCENARIO TWO: CIVILLY ACTIONABLE BEHAVIOR
If one of Roger Maynard's victims sues him, his "you can't prove
I did it" taunting is likely to bite him in the arse. In civil
lawsuits, the standard in not "beyond a reasonable doubt" but
rather "preponderance of evidence." Thus if the jury finds that
they can't prove that the output of the anonymous remailers is
from Roger maynard, they can still find that it is slightly
more likely than not that it was him and find against him.

Let's contrast this with a user trying to hide his identity
with anonymous remailers who is *not* a moron; He does everything
he can to not reveal who he is or where he is. He may run his
own remailer so that his posts are buried among many others to
hinder traffic analysis. He studies the documentation on how
to use the network and follows the advice given. The police
and the suing lawyer don't know where to look. The remop doesn't
know either, so court orders are useless.


--
Guy Macon



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