Cypherpunk anonymous remailer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A cypherpunk anonymous remailer, also known as a Type I remailer, is a type of anonymous remailer that receives messages encrypted with PGP or GPG, follows predetermined instructions, strips any identifying information, and forwards the messages to the desired recipient.[1]

This type of remailer is largely considered outdated[by whom?] and comes with flaws that were fixed in later generations, which are called type II and type III remailers. One such flaw is that the messages sent to these remailers are all sent in the order they were received. This allows traffic analysis to determine who sent the message. Before Mixmaster or Type II remailers, a solution to this problem was to send mail in batches;[2] alternatively, multiple remailers could be used in sequence to further obfuscate the sender.[3]

When Type II remailers came into existence, they built upon the technology of type I remailers. This made type I remailers mostly obsolete.[4] However, there are still websites and systems that rely on this general idea of layered encryption and identity obfuscation.


While they are mostly considered obsolete due to the Mixmaster being the most common and easily accessible remailer type, cypherpunk remailers can still be applicable in niche applications for those who have no other accessible options. For example, sites that are censored or blocked by governments can use remailers to circumvent the censorship. Cypherpunk remailers require the least amount of work and resources to run, and can therefore be a good solution for those with little assets or time to spare.

See also[edit]


  • The additional headers used in this context are referred to as 'pseudo-headers' because they are not included in the RFC 822 headers specification for email.
  • Messages sent to Cypherpunk remailers can be layered, meaning they pass through multiple Cypherpunk remailers in order to minimize the chances of identifying the sender.
  • Some Cypherpunk remailers also function as Mixmaster anonymous remailers, enabling them to divide long Cypherpunk messages into Mixmaster packets and forward them to the next remailer if it supports Mixmaster functionality.
  • Many users of Cypherpunk remailers may choose to repeat steps 1-4 in order to add additional layers of protection to their messages, routing them through multiple remailers for enhanced privacy and security.

Further reading[edit]

  • Email Security, Bruce Schneier (ISBN 0-471-05318-X)
  • Computer Privacy Handbook, Andre Bacardi (ISBN 1-56609-171-3)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ A joint project of the George Mason Society and the Global Internet Liberty Campaign [1]Archived 2021-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Anonymous Remailers. (n.d.). Retrieved August 10, 2023, from [2]Archived 2021-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Remailers: Send Emails without Registration. (n.d.). Retrieved August 10, 2023, from [3]Archived 2023-06-09 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Winkler, S., & Zeadally, S. (2015). An analysis of tools for online anonymity. International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, 11(4), 436–453. [4]Archived 2023-08-13 at the Wayback Machine