A remailer enables you to send and receive email while
your real email address secret, by retransmitting your email with an anonymous
provides protection from reading your communications, remailing also protects
knowledge of your email's true destination -- disguising
your real address.
The first widely used remailer was at penet.fi,
hosted by Johan Helsingius's in Helsinki, Finland. The site obtained world-wide
notoriety for it's audacious global provision of anonymity for the
emailing masses in the 1990's. However, he eventually had to close it down
after a court case brought by the Church of Scientology successfully forced
email address of a user that had posted information about the religion, rendering
its purpose moot in his eyes. However, as is so often the case with information
as with life itself, the cat was
out of the bag, and other remailer services sprung up to take its place with
increasing technology and feature sophistication.
The two most popular type of remailers in use today are summarized below:
- Cypherpunk. Also called Type I remailers, and usually incorporate PGP
encryption. You can
chain Cypherpunk remailers, but each extra node in the chain increases the opportunities
for communication interception.
Also called Type II remailers, originally designed by Lance
who also invented the orginal anonymizer.
Mixmaster remailers are good for chaining to further obscure any connection between
email's source and destination. These remailers
divide all messages into fixed size packets, so that all communications between
remailers look the same, greatly complicating any attempts at traffic analysis.
Most remailers also vary
the retention time before remailing to help protect against time-based analyses.
Resources. The following sites provide information about remailers: