Re: [SLRN] using mixmaster to anonymize posting with slrn



* Alan Connor wrote:
On news.software.readers, in <20060616091538@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
"Troy Piggins" wrote:

<snip>

Here's the full list I gleaned from that thread for possible
future inclusion in my scorefile, although read below:

<snip>

Excellent. A keeper. Thanks much, Troy.

No problem.

I think I came to the conclusion that if someone wants
anonymity, that's cool. Personally I don't care too much,

Everyone on the Usenet is anonymous until proven otherwise,
Troy. And that means in the real world, not just with something
published on the Internet.

My name is not Alan Connor and I don't have an account with
Earthlink (I use someone's Earthlink account. It's really a
private shell account.) I've never even _been_ in the state
these posts seem to originate from.

To make a point of being anonymous is just silly.

It establishes that the poster is playing games or is
dumb as a brick.

I'm willing to pretend that I believe that your name is
Troy Piggins and that you are posting from Australia, just
because it doesn't matter. You aren't flaky or stupid

You need to tell that to my girlfriend... :-)

or abusive. I like you.

But you _could_ be a 300 pound woman living in Queens, New
York, New York, USA, living in a tiny apartment with 35
cats.

Cats. I hate cats. Why did it have to be cats?

I don't [think I] post anything controversial that warrants
anonymity. But some have other agendas.

They aren't trying to hide from people, Troy. They are hiding
their true posting history so that we can't see who they
really are.

I never said they were trying to hide from people. Did I?

Anyone with a few kilobucks to hire an international personal
investigating firm could have them tracked down in a blink.

That's a _lot_ of people. Most middle class Americans could
just charge it to one of their credit cards.

Any government agency, organized crime group, or medium-sized
corporation could track them down in a blink.

They only remain free or alive or healthy because they are no
threat to anyone.

You kinda lost me there. Isn't it easier to add a scorefile entry?
Never mind. I [think I] know what you meant.

What they post is just GARBAGE.

Nobody reads it. You obviously don't, or you'd know it
was GARBAGE.

Actually, I read articles with subject headers that interest me. If
someone posts from an anonymous remailer but with a subject heading I'm
interested in, then I'll read it. Takes but a flick of the finger to
mark it deleted if I don't like the content. And most I don't need to.

_I_ post extraordinarily controversial and even subversive
articles on the _appropriate_ newsgroups.

And I take _real_ measures to hide from powerful people
and organizations.

Or rather, real pros take those measures for me.

No. I am not going to describe any of the details. I don't
even know some of them. But I am a _long_ way from any
direct connection to the Internet.

I disagree, else I wouldn't be reading this ;-)

But I don't make a point of being anonymous. That would
be counter-productive, wouldn't it?

And I post under ONE alias and without the "X-No-Archive:
yes" header.

Ah, but how do we *know* that you only use one alias at any given time?
You've changed it over the years, I assume?

My point is this - what is the difference between you using an alias and
someone else's connection (ie no real links to _you_), and someone who
posts using a single word common name like Mike/David/Fred, or someone
who posts via a newsserver/gateway that hides their real source?

Don't take offense. I'm not throwing you in the same pool as
spammers/trolls.

Ok, google groups advanced search for an author named Mike will turn up
shitloads of hits coz it's common. So? What's his/her posting history
got to do with it? If it's a reply to a post of mine, I'll read it. If
it's an interesting topic, I'll read it. Just because they have a
single word nym doesn't make them any different to someone with a 2 word
nym, they're just words.

Take each post on its merit.

Of course there are some turkeys who pop up regularly and post garbage.
Doesn't take long to figure them out and deal with it.

The XNA header? Personally I like to be able to search google's
archives to supplement my terrible memory. But if someone posts without
it, so? If you are interested in the topic, and are concerned about
other being able to find solution in the archives etc, followup with
full quote of theirs.

Anyone can go to:

http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search

and see who I am. No, I am not proud of a lot of it,
but I don't hide from it.

I respect someone who stands behind their words.

Minor correction, they can't "see who you are", they can see what you
posted. You may argue that what you post is who you are, but not
really. Like you said somewhere else here, you could post abuse under
one nym and ask nice questions or give real answers under another.

Some posters seem to achieve anonymity by posting through
remailers, mail2news gateways, news servers that hide posting
IP addresses, hiding/munging real email addresses, and simple
things like using a nym/alias rather than their real name.

Yes.

That doesn't make them trolls.

True. But that's only one factor.

The issue is not, I repeat, anonymity. It is posting under
MULTIPLE aliases and/or using the "X-No-Archive: yes" header
in order to hide their true posting history.

But how do you know how many aliases someone posts under?

It's the *content* of one's
posts that make a troll.

That's not true at all.

It is in my view. We'll have to agree to disagree.

John Smith is being incredibly abusive and trashes your
favorite group for a week and then vanishes.

Then Alistair Clooney shows up here and wants your help.

He seems to be a real nice guy.

But he's actually John Smith, and you have just helped him be a
better troll.

How did I help him be a better troll? Did he ask for trolling advice?
Did I give it to him? Of course I wouldn't.

The only solution is to practice zero-tolerance for nymshifters
and XNAs.

Or actually read their posts once in a while to see they aint all bad.

You may argue that there are patterns
to trolling, and that they use the above M-IDs or From patterns
in high percentages. This doesn't interest me. I haven't been
trolled. I don't seem to piss off the right people.

It's an art :-)

I'm no artist. I'm an engineer. Everything is straight lines :-)

No one trolls me, now.

Yes they do.

You can't troll someone who doesn't read your articles.

But we have to. Every time you post an accusation of someone being a
troll and that you haven't read their article, you see all the traffic
it generates. That wouldn't happen if you didn't post. Don't like the
look of someone, please don't followup.

To be honest, most of the time you make a post like that, the OP was
genuine (unless it was obvious flamebait). And it makes you look silly.
Sorry. Go back and read some.

I am concerned with the future of the Usenet.

It is dying because of the trolls.

Because people like you are overly-tolerant and newsadmins
make it easy for them.

I don't tolerate trolls. I never followup to them and I delete them
immediately.

You exacerbate the problem by posting followups or [OT] pings to them.
That just increases the traffic and pins a very large target on you.

It has to be stopped at the grassroots level.

Many of the best groups have already retreated to private
newsservers and mailing lists.

So have many of the best people.

More and more groups are becoming moderated, too.

And this doesn't always work out well: The moderators
often kill honest and learned dissent.

It's the spammers that shit me. Of course, if I discover the
above list of M-IDs etc match high percentage of usenet spam,
then I'll implement them.

Most of the bad trolls and spammers (Usenet and Mail) are the
same people.

Notice how often their posting histories contain groups
favored by spammers: abuse, MTAs, hacker, mail, spam, privacy,
anonymous, etc...

My single-most effective spam posting rule to date has been
this one:

Score: =-9999 % GG original posts
Message-ID: .+googlegroups\.com>$
~References: .+
{:
~From: [posters I like]
~Subject: slrn
~Subject: leafnode
}

It kills all OPs made from GG, unless it's from someone I
allow, or it has my favourite newsreader/newsserver in it's
subject. Followups I can read, and through that I can download
the OP if desired. And followups from GG I can read too.

I meant to explain that my reason for leaving slrn and leafnode in there
was if someone needed to use GG to get slrn or leafnode working.

So it's cool as long as noone followups (is that a word?) to
spam.

That's a good one, all right.

Excellent post, Troy,

Just my 2 cents.

--
Troy Piggins : "My karma just ran over my dogma"
,-o
o ) Ubuntu linux 6.06 http://ubuntu.com RLU#415538 http://counter.li.org
`-o uptime: 11:18:09 up 12 days,8:25,7 users,load average:0.02,0.02,0.00
.