The Anonymous Remailer Page

A Down And Dirty Tutorial

Section III: Instructions For Using A Remailer

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Alrighty, then. Assuming you've been following along so far, you have a list of anonymous remailers (from the remailer page you opened in Section II) and their PGP Public Keys (which you added to your keyring as you followed along in Section II).

Let's email something to "someone@yahoo.com". (If you're smart, you'll replace this address with your own, so you can see what it looks like when you get it.)

Step 1: Open any convenient text editor. Notepad works nicely. Type in the message you want to send:
This is a message that I'm sending.

Step 2: Add some required stuff to your message so the remailer software knows what to do with it when they get it. In the following example, the stuff in RED is notes I've added to explain things. DO NOT INCLUDE THE RED STUFF.
:: <--- This "double colon" is required to be in the first space of the first line of the message.
Anon-To: someone@yahoo.com <-- This line tells the remailer who you want the mail sent to.  It must be in EXACTLY this format.
<-- This blank line is required.
## <-- This "double pound" is required.  It tells the remailer that what follows is a header you want included; in this case, the "Subject" line.
Subject: This Is A Practice Anon Message <-- Self explanatory.  It must be in this format.
<-- This blank line is required.  It tells the remailer that what follows is the message body.
This is a message that I'm sending. <-- The message body.  It can be any length, contain blank lines, or whatever.
OK? Now, taking out all my red notes, what you have should look like this:
::
Anon-To: someone@yahoo.com

##
Subject: This Is A Practice Anon Message

This is a message that I'm sending.

Step 3: Encrypt the whole thing to a remailer's PGP Public Key (which should be on your keyring, if you've been following instructions). You'll need to remember which remailer you're using, as no other remailer can DECRYPT the message. When the remailer gets it and decrypts it, it will have the mailing instructions and message you put together in Step 2. Your notepad should now look something like this:
-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
Version: N/A

hQCMA8LCjIDvaPU1AQP+LVuaTk+tVNTDlt4rLwnXfU6OGZbuQotRE8AkQQ/+H2m1
iob6z3wIHRM7DTF4VNAeZstKE5A9YS1/fTO9KUzVtlBxlTpUcMk1PhtDBau2+Nfe
PR3NnPITIyu3HTcHmbxCd5saJkucdcgV6Bp0KBGXkKMrED/mLUJ8yip7rqF0G8Gk
lvJGDtvhVchVhXPcBgQBjjwHwB9qKsqpIyj5TYT955klgsWbBiXf7CU6WIEoa358
QV4gJ1uywB2bLNyN6r6iMNyJ9W6jWo6J8On/RsTl1mQT6aW1gK24QA+H4UMbDYMU
TQViO4NvU2yspOos1R0b4d4yQYrYyz37Fym/73BI0j/qar1mFgQ4DGSidQYF/kS+
/hru3NI1Gw==
=JSLz
-----END PGP MESSAGE-----

Step 3: Tell the remailer that you're sending a PGP encrypted message. This is a hold-over from the old days when many (if not most) remailers accepted non-encrypted messages. Some still do. In any event, you have to add the following lines. NOTE the blank line between "Encrypted: PGP" and the PGP message. This is REQUIRED. When you're done, your notepad should look like this:
::
Encrypted: PGP

-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
Version: N/A

hQCMA8LCjIDvaPU1AQP+LVuaTk+tVNTDlt4rLwnXfU6OGZbuQotRE8AkQQ/+H2m1
iob6z3wIHRM7DTF4VNAeZstKE5A9YS1/fTO9KUzVtlBxlTpUcMk1PhtDBau2+Nfe
PR3NnPITIyu3HTcHmbxCd5saJkucdcgV6Bp0KBGXkKMrED/mLUJ8yip7rqF0G8Gk
lvJGDtvhVchVhXPcBgQBjjwHwB9qKsqpIyj5TYT955klgsWbBiXf7CU6WIEoa358
QV4gJ1uywB2bLNyN6r6iMNyJ9W6jWo6J8On/RsTl1mQT6aW1gK24QA+H4UMbDYMU
TQViO4NvU2yspOos1R0b4d4yQYrYyz37Fym/73BI0j/qar1mFgQ4DGSidQYF/kS+
/hru3NI1Gw==
=JSLz
-----END PGP MESSAGE-----

Step 4: Cut and paste all the above from Step 3 into the "message body" of a "New Email" window from your email client. What you should have is a new email ready to send that has nothing in the "To:" block or the "Subject:" block. I use Pegasus Mail, so mine looks like this:


Step 5: Fill in the "To:" and "Subject:" blocks on your new mail. The "To:" should be the email address of the remailer you encrypted the message to in Step 2. The "Subject:" block can be anything, since it's stripped off by the remailer and isn't used anyway. You should probably put SOMETHING in there, as your email client may get confused if you leave it blank. Since I encrypted my practice message to a remailer called "austria" and their email address (from the "statistics" page you were looking at back in Section II) is mixmaster@remailer.privacy.at, my email now looks like this:


Step 6: Hit the "Send" button.
Piece of cake, yeah? Good. Now, before you proceed, go back to the top and do it again. In fact, you should send several messages to yourself through various remailers. It will help you get an "automatic" understanding of what you're doing, and it will also help you understand some of the differences between remailers. You will note that on some of them, you may have to wait upwards of several hours (or more) for the message to land in your mailbox. Take a look at the headers on the messages you're getting. They will go back to the remailer, but no further.

The final comment for this section: Why don't we just do all that in the email client instead of screwing around with Notepad? Well, actually, you can. If you are going to, however, be careful. First, if you accidentally hit "send" before you're ready, you'll either have a message going nowhere or a message that's emminently trackable roaming around out in cyberspace. Second, email clients have this nasty habit of adding stuff to your message. Auto-signatures, for example. You need to be careful about that in any event, but it's simpler if you don't have to deal with it till you have to. Consider whether an anonymous message is doing any good if your email client is automatically tacking your signature block onto all the text it can find in the email body.
(<<<Handy Hint!>>> Turn that crap off! You're welcome.)
And, finally, it just seems easier to keep track of the steps on the nice clean pages of Notepad.

Anyhow, pretty cool, right? You ain't seen nothing yet. In our next section, we'll talk about "chaining" remailers. Don't go there yet -- practice, practice, practice. When you've got a handle on using a single remailer, then proceed to Section IV: Chaining Remailers.

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