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06/23/2003 Archived Entry: "Gary Marbut's second privacy/monkeywrenching tip"
GARY MARBUT OFFERED TWO CUTE PRIVACY TIPS while I was stranded at his house last month. I shared the first one on June 12. Here's the other.
This one is for users of PGP and similar forms of encryption. And -- amazingly! -- it's the first idea I ever heard of for turning spam into something useful.
If you have reason to think the feds might be interested in your e-mails, arrange with a friend to swap spam. Create an encryption key -- or two or three. Make 'em the biggest, most unbreakable keys you can generate. Then encrypt the spam you receive and send it back and forth to chosen friends using these special keys.
Federal code-crackers are thus faced with attempting to break multiple large keys -- and the only thing they'll get out of it is viagra ads.
To make this work, you must remove the original headers on the spam messages and replace them with headers that clue your friend in to the fact that they're dummy messages while not giving the game away to the snoops. (For instance, you might have a word beginning with XX in every dummy message: "Vital update about XXander" or "The secret can be found in the last XX-Files episode." And you might change your game code from time to time to keep others from catching on.)
If you and your friend also have SpamAssassin or another customizable anti-spam program, you can then divert the dummy messages straight into a special e-mail box. It'll really be trash, of course. But call it "Chem-Bio Info" or "Arsenal."
Posted by Claire @ 01:37 PM CST