The Anonymous Remailer Page

A Down And Dirty Tutorial

Section IV: Chaining Remailers

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1. What Does "Chaining" Remailers Mean?

Pretty simple, actually. As you've seen from previous sections, anonymous remailers simply take mail you send them, strip the headers off, and remail the body wherever you've instructed the remailer to send it. A question that's not as obvious as you might think is: "Can you send anonymous mail to an anonymous remailer?"

Answer: Sure you can. Let's say for example that you take the email I used in the last section, go through all the steps, and am ready to mail it to my "austria" remailer. I can go through all the steps again, and send it to "austria" through ANOTHER remailer (say "dizum" for example). Voila. A chain of remailers. The chain goes from me to "dizum". Dizum, using the instructions I enclosed, forwards it to "austria". Austria, using the instructions I enclosed, forwards it to the final recipient.

The concept is simple. How complicated is actually DOING it? Well, let's see, shall we?

2. How To Chain Remailers

For starters, if you are not THOROUGHLY comfortable with what we were doing in Section III, go back and do it some more 'till you get a good handle on it, or you're going to be seriously lost here. You've been warned.

Let's start off with our original message from Section III. As you may recall, we want to send the following to "someone@yahoo.com":
This is a message that I'm sending.
Now, I'm not going through all that again (see Section III to refresh yourself on the details), but the bottom line is that you wind up with something that looks like the following, which you'll be addressing to your remailer:
::
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-----
Even though it's a PGP message, and has an odd format, and generally looks pretty weird, when it's all said and done, it's just another email message. Let's say we're going to be sending it to the "austria" remailer (email address "mixmaster@remailer.privacy.at"), but you want to use another remailer to get it there (chaining it).

The first step is to decide what other remailer you want to use. In this case, we'll use "dizum". Just to make sure we're up to speed, I'll repeat: We went through the whole process in Section III to prepare the above message to be sent to "someone@yahoo.com" through the remailer "austria". Now, instead of sending it directly, we're going to send the above message to "austria" through the remailer "dizum". Got it? OK, let's proceed.
Step 1: Prepare the encrypted message you want to send to "austria" by adding the information that "dizum" needs to get it there. Remember that "austria's" email address is "mixmaster@remailer.privacy.at". This is the same thing we did in Step 2 back in Section III:
:: <---------------------------------------|
Anon-To: mixmaster@remailer.privacy.at <---| <---- These are the three lines you're adding.
<------------------------------------------|
::
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 2: Encrypt the whole ball of wax using "dizum's" PGP Public Key. Note that you are encrypting an encrypted message. Nothing wrong with that. When "dizum" decrypts it using their private key, the message created above should pop out, which instructs them to mail it to "austria". You should wind up with something that looks like this:
-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
Version: N/A
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=wQKZ
-----END PGP MESSAGE-----

Step 3: Remember, you have to tell the remailer that the message that they're getting is encrypted to their key using PGP:
:: <---------------|
Encrypted: PGP <---| <---- These are the three lines you're adding.
<------------------|
-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
Version: N/A

hQCMAx8q6DIxI0s3AQQA2LfSgbrDMn+NDUd8DR+KPOTYlJLD34POEF92JvRrnCqT
Bpx8KtyBYpxut65L17aitfziW6amdYDf5Y6vybWn0rGglNveLoMOqEWEWgl8C/bS
nedQsh+86gUw50f1yWK4QcL78Lr39ZTZfBmk/kNqflVxyNl6jLwcoy+e1Y+z7Y6l
AkoN+DY8kq6kx2w0nYPk8ZeclnSj/T0Ll42p7Yd74fL6e+3lfje1/5R8a51KV/Lf
+VvPABTjzPez7h6JcSZqqHPrTWO1bugpdtp+gTfmzO4stmlhztKmhjEZJtaDPuN5
rLKi7yW1ITrZ5ICJ1c+QqpV9rA3SnHLC75uoZB+FfA0SB93Zdsqh1u3pvGXeUrCY
cvNF8aTe1eu3lyVbUoZ1t68paXvY8bXPlIiag/XxNBjc8/GZaZzqFWQB6hrHMMhw
hXur214XisWXeWou1WIu9j+PTZtd7zG5sYhKhLiojzL80yJ+BchVhKOc21OvW7Y1
cmKAqEhiWG/VVOSJmSMTNQxo3j8u3WDt6IM0/6LXd+Tv2+CiEWPF71nunaWOkkAv
xBP5qNhRUeqoZJeIbZ704PnQeVl1V5kVhgxl/ACxEL/UJ4/8VDGXlmoNEGW8OpoR
UFUkohU0SSdZWv+COEYvhQsvUn/1KPLOBLJx+uL0SWDoT5cp/DBQ5iQc2UukDNIg
h2+h8zjO+NtTiu1N4CF7pkztJEpdGe4u8ZMChLWAwNpOFJFjGIlIltnXqMeYNyTl
Egi9kJJSfAqM5Fh3dwUlAftGQvp7/bE6C5h3u+LqLCOTNsOqxZohdNxKZRnS2qPb
0DAgo1IuoRWDPThsbzufJtZ3mWmNtMby3yAxmsp4M7enuu0YFHDekB+XyCfUznk6
97Clezo2giK6Jb/qp/SVps7qzygg2WdohCDKHSCIvUEzqc/+ILWxz/7Nh0zSu93q
QaVKaA2B+gvE0aCP
=wQKZ
-----END PGP MESSAGE-----

Step 4: Paste the whole thing into your email client and address it to "dizum" (by now you should have looked up their email address: remailer@dizum.com).

Step 5: Punch the "Send" button.
Note that this entire process can be repeated to chain more than two remailers. A word of caution, however. Remailers are never 100% reliable, and the more remailers you chain, the more errors you are compounding. Further, some remailers don't like some others, for no apparent reason, and ALWAYS drop their stuff. In short, chaining more than two or three remailers is just begging for lost mail.

Now, if you're lost, go back to earlier sections and start over. You must get all these concepts down before you can move on to the next section, 'cause things are about to get truly weird.

How weird? Well, how about using anonymous remailers to not only send stuff anonymously to folk, but to allow them to RESPOND to you WITHOUT BLOWING YOUR COVER? Before you proceed, you need to make sure you've got everything we've talked about so far down and locked in, or you're gonna have the biggest damned mess you ever saw.

With that cheery thought, lets move on to Section V: Two-Way Anonymous Communication.

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