Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Anonymous, Jun 26, 2003.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I'm looking for an objective opinion of COTSE. Some people swear by it and
    others pridefully use it to launch abuse. How private is it? How
    reliable, etc, etc, etc?
    Anonymous, Jun 26, 2003
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  2. Anonymous

    LLFormat Guest


    In my experience, very reliable. Email-wise, I love their 'gold-list' and
    email aliases. The latter being a clever way to track who might've sold
    your address to spammers. No IP address is sent with any mails either.

    I also welcomed the SSL feature of their email accounts, and the generous
    amount of web space offered. I think the space is something like 50MB, but
    you can go over that as long as you don't take the piss.

    Very quick customer query responses too.

    I personally never got my 'hands dirty' with the web-anonymity tools provide, so I can't comment there.



    LLFormat, Jun 26, 2003
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  3. Anonymous

    Guest Guest

    Hmmm, one word comes to mind. Carnivore.


    [i know nothing, NOTHING!] -Sergeant Hans Schultz

    Posted via TITANnews - Uncensored Newsgroups Access-=Every Newsgroup - Anonymous, UNCENSORED, BROADBAND Downloads=-
    Guest, Jun 26, 2003
  4. Anonymous

    [ Doc Jeff ] Guest

    The best way to determine this is to use it for yourself. The
    cost is so low that you could try it for a month and see if you like
    it. If not, you've spent very little. If you do like it, you can
    continue by paying for another month.

    I've been using COTSE's services for around six months. In
    that time, I have had absolutely nothing negative to say about it. Not
    one thing.

    I have had NO instances of spam or adverts in my COTSE mail
    box in this time. No viruses/trojans either. The options for e-mail
    which are available are, in my opinion, second to none. You can cook
    your mail in just about any conceivable way you can think of with

    I know of several people who use COTSE's services to avoid
    netkooks and stalkers. I suspect there are a lot more that I don't
    know about because they wish themselves to remain anonymous on the

    Reliability - in all honesty, every service has reliability
    issues at some time or another. I have never had a single problem
    connecting to COTSE that wasn't explained immediately to my
    satisfaction. That's something else - there's always someone available
    to help you, if not personally then at least through e-mail.

    I recommend COTSE to my own clients and anyone who asks me
    about it (see my sig block). I wouldn't do this if I didn't believe
    the place was worthwhile. I also should add that while I'm not a
    principal of COTSE, I have volunteered my time and abilities in their
    IRC-based helpdesk for a couple of years now. Now seriously - would
    anyone do this if they didn't believe in the service fully? I don't
    think so. :)

    Anyway, do check COTSE out. It is more than worth the price it
    costs. And if you need any help with it, do feel free to ask. I'd be
    more than happy to help.

    [ Doc Jeff ], Jun 26, 2003
  5. Anonymous

    nemo outis Guest

    Cotse is excellent - as good as it gets. Cheap, too ($6/month)
    considering the range and quality of services.

    They won't protect you if you use the service to make death
    threats to George Bush - but for protecting your privacy they
    will do all that is possible under the law.


    PS You can never be 100% sure that any privacy service
    hasn't been compromised or isn't a honeypot. However, cotse was
    around long before 9/11, the folks who run it have a track record
    for being privacy defenders, and the quality of service bespeaks
    "dedication to the cause." Guaranteed safety? No - not
    possible in this life unless you set the service up yourself,
    and probably not even then . But you won't find a better
    or more trustworthy third-party service.
    nemo outis, Jun 26, 2003
  6. Anonymous

    LLFormat Guest

    I thought about replying with something witty like ;

    "Here's another. Encryption". I'm glad I didn't as I'm sure to have
    misunderstood your post, and I've no desire to start an argument with
    people who probably know more about computer security topics than I ever

    I know this is off-topic regarding the original posters' message, but I'm
    curious as to how one would avoid the 'Carnivore' trap.

    Would encrypting emails attract 'unwanted' attention in the first place ?
    As (hopefully) the encryption could not be broken, would the composer of
    the mail in question face two or more years in the slammer for *not*
    handing over the passphrase ?

    I'm asking this as I've been a PGP fan for years. More recently, I've
    become something of a GPG fan on Linux.

    I'd love to use encryption more, just to be sneaky, but I'm nearly always
    faced with the following problems :

    1) Most people I communicate with using email, would most likely think that
    PGP is a new brand of tea.

    2) Or those with slightly longer experience with computers would say;

    "Why would you want to encrypt emails ? What are you hiding ?"

    Annoying, but a fact of life for me.


    LLFormat, Jun 26, 2003
  7. Five days, it used to be seven, we recently dropped the length of time
    we hold them due to the size. I know, only two days shorter than a week
    so it still fits to say we have them for a week :)
    Plus they have a more professional looking web site than we do.
    That's true, we aren't designed to give you anonymity from the US
    government because we operate under their laws. However, I don't think
    anonymizer can provide that either for much the same reasons. If you
    need that kind of anonymity don't trust any single service, use the

    A very unique privacy service, no other service compares.
    E-mail, Usenet, Anon Proxies, Web Hosting, and more.
    No one gives you more control over your e-mail than we do!
    Stephen K. Gielda, Jun 27, 2003
  8. Anonymous

    nemo outis Guest

    First, cotse's fee. Despite your whinging, you have admitted
    that cotse's fee is indeed lower.

    Second, cotse's services are better and more complete.

    Third, cotse's rep ("the currency of the realm" for
    security services based on trust) is higher.

    Fourth, cotse does not require you to use any special software,
    together with a large number of intellectual property enforcement
    provisions (incuding identity disclosure for alleged breaches of
    the licence agreement).

    Fifth, and most important, cotse does not make unrealistic and
    disingenous representations - as you do - that it can provide a
    shield for illegal acts (let's hope you are not a spokesman for
    anonymizer!) Cotse explains in clear and simple language the
    types and levels of protection it is designed to give
    (i.e., a privacy shield) and what it neither can nor is willing
    to protect (illegal acts and grossly abusive ones such as

    In fact, to anonymizer's credit and your discredit, anonymizer's
    User Agreement (section 7.3) explicitly prohibits illegal acts.
    And item 4 of section 8.3 provides that the supplier (i.e.,
    anonymizer) is not obliged to keep confidential any information
    that it is required by law to divulge (and in a number of other
    cases including spamming). Anonymizer states that it normally
    keeps logs only for 48 hours, but then goes on to add the proviso
    that it may keep them longer. (Anonymizer's User Agreement goes
    on for over 7 densely-worded pages. Not disqualifying by itself
    but rather worrisome in terms of simplicity and clarity.)

    The powers of the US government, if they are focussed, and if
    they want you bad enough, are enormous. Anyone who used
    *any* commercial service - and one based in the US at that! - to
    make, for example, death threats on the internet against GWB
    would be a fool of the first order.

    Anonymizer appears to provide a useful commercial privacy shield.
    However, to pretend that it could - or would - protect you from
    the consequences of your illegal acts and Big Brother is madness.

    nemo outis, Jun 27, 2003
  9. Anonymous

    Dave Korn Guest

    You could always run a mix-based web proxy like JAP, ya know... ever
    thought about it ? Best thing since IMO.

    moderator of
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    Dave Korn, Jun 28, 2003
  10. Anonymous

    A Guest

    Yes, encrypted emails would attract attention. But, if you regularly
    receive encrypted email to the point that encrypted mail is normal for you,
    who would be able to determine which messages should be flagged for extra

    Keep in mind, too, that the laws governing Carnivore (well, at least
    pre-9/911) were such that Carnivore could only monitor email for specific
    individuals for which a warrant had been obtained. It's not like they hook
    it up to a server and monitor all email accounts. But, after 9/11, this
    may very well be the case.

    I don't think there is a crime against handing over your passphrase. A 5th
    Amendment (United States) right against self-incrimination may be
    sufficient. If the court orders one to hand over the passphrase and that
    person refuses, they most likely would be held in contempt and could be
    incarcerated for some time. However, if the PGP key expires during that
    time or if the information is no longer relevant after a certain period of

    Has anyone tried overcoming key expiration by using a backup of the key on
    a machine with its clock set to an earlier time?

    Yes, we all have that problem. If more people used PGP for the majority of
    their email communication, it would improve security and make traffic
    analysis extremely difficult.
    That's a common argument but it reflects a very simple-minded view of the
    world. It's also not a logical argument, but who cares, right? What
    people don't realize is that they would never send half the email they send
    out through the regular mail on postcards. Encryption is the equivalent of
    a very good envelope.

    Everyone has something to hide. Not every secret is criminal; privacy is a
    form of secrecy. My bank and credit card information is private. So are
    my feelings toward some of my neighbors. I'm definitely not going to
    slander my boss in company email without encryption.
    A, Jun 30, 2003
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