traffic analysis (was: blackmail / stego)

Steve Schear s.schear at
Wed Aug 27 17:30:45 EDT 2003

At 01:01 PM 8/27/2003 -0700, Jim McCoy wrote:
While IANL, it seems that the whole anonymity game has a flaw that doesn't 
even require a totalitarian regime. I would direct you to the various laws 
in the US (to pick a random example :) regarding conspiracy. Subscribing to 
an anonymity service might not become illegal, but if anyone in your 
"crowd" was performing an illegal action you may be guilty of conspiracy to 
commit this action.  You were explicitly trying to assist someone to avoid 
lawful detection of illegal activity, therefore you are in danger of being 
charged with conspiracy to commit the illegal act (even if the overt act 
was never successfully completed, which is where things could get really 
surreal for the remailer/crowds/proxy groups.) It is also worth noting that 
the burden of proof in a conspiracy trial is substantially lower than for 
other cases...

I too ANAL, but I think the prosecution would have to prove that you knew 
or should have known that your system was being used specific illegal 
acts.  Just knowing that someone "might" use your link to illegal purposes 
is insufficient.


"The fetters imposed on liberty at home have ever been forged out of the
weapons provided for defence against real, pretended, or imaginary dangers
from abroad."
   --President James Madison (1751-1836)

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