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Send Email Anonymously (5) — Chaining Remailers with PGP
Part 1: One of the Internet's greatest features is its (at least potential) anonymity. Find out how to make it almost impossible to trace you by chaining remailers with PGP.
 More of this Feature
• Part 2: Use PGP with a Chain of Cypherpunk Remailers
• Part 3: Finishing and Sending the Message
 
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Anonymity

Simply not telling your name and using an "anonymous" email account are two ways to send emails anonymously. While they offer only limited amounts of security and anonymity, using a remailer allowed us to effectively hide our name and email address.

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By chaining remailers we were able to further obfuscate the path that leads from us to the recipient. Combining remailers with PGP finally made it almost impossible for the recipient to identify us.

Chaining Encrypted Emails

But even when we use encryption when we send email trough one remailer, the operator is at risk. And if the operator is at risk -- which, by itself is bad enough -- your anonymity is too.

Since the operator of the remailer has the secret key to decipher the PGP-encrypted message we send them, they know both us, the sender and the recipient. The sender readily appears in the From: line of the message (to eliminate that line is the whole point of using a remailer). The recipient's address can be deciphered from the encrypted message. It has to be deciphered for the remailer to know where to forward the anonymous message to.

This is why using merely one remailer with PGP-encryption is not enough. Here too, we have to build a chain for maximum security and anonymity.

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