|Panta Rhei Remailer Web Page - Part I|
Jack B. Nymble v2 is a feature-rich Windows email client which facilitates the use of anonymous remailers for anonymous email and newsgroup posting. It includes ease of access and automation for beginning users, as well as sophisticated control of remailer messages for more advanced users. Support is included for PGP encrypted messages, Mixmaster, attachments, and MIME mail.|
JBN2 also includes support for nym mail and nym account reply-block creation, centralized queuing and sending via SMTP, POP3 retrieval, NNTP retrieval, and automated nym mail decryption. It also includes a mini web browser used for downloading remailer reliability statistics, keys, and web pages. Support is included for PGP versions 5.5.3x and 6.x, in addition to DOS version 2.6.x. Mixmaster 2.0.4 is also fully supported.
The Jack B. Nymble v2 User's Manual documents most of the features in JBN2. This manual is in HTML format, which allows for more open distribution, translation, and integration with other documents. You can bring up the appropriate section of this manual from within JBN2 by pressing F1 from any window. You can also read and search it in your web browser by selecting Help|Open Default Browser. This document is divided into two files: JBNH-en.htm and JBNH2-en.htm. When searching be sure to search both parts.
This document is closely linked with the Reliable Remailer User's Manual, JBNR-en.htm, which should be placed in the same directory.
Those new to Jack B. Nymble are also encouraged to read the JBN2 Beginner's Guide.
Much thanks to:
The participants of alt.privacy.anon-server, Software Mailing List subscribers, and users for their continuing feedback and support of Jack B. Nymble.
Michael Uplawski for his translation and web page work on Jack B. Nymble v1's and Reliable's documentation, and his efforts at coordinating the FTP Site at Franken.
Electronic Frontiers Georgia (EFGA) for hosting a Potato Software and privacy-related FTP Site.
All those who made contributions toward the purchase of Jack B. Nymble's and Reliable's development software licenses.
Jack B. Nymble v2 Requires:|
An 800x600 or larger display is recommended
PGP Version 5.5.3x or 6.x (RSA required); or DOS Version 2.6.x
Mixmaster 2.0.4 (optional)
Jack B. Nymble v2 requires Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) to be installed on your system. For greater ease of installation and use, version 5.5.3x or 6.x (RSA required) is recommended. DOS versions 2.6.2, 2.6.3, and 2.6.4 may also be used.|
If you are using PGP 5.5.3x or 6.x:
To install PGP 5 or 6 for use with JBN, follow the installation instructions for PGP. Be sure to avoid PGP's Always Encrypt To Default Key features, which may compromise your anonymity.
If you are using DOS PGP 2.6.2, 2.6.3, or 2.6.4:
Use of Mixmaster with Jack B. Nymble is optional, but is recommended for greater security. Installation and configuration of Mixmaster is very simple. Mixmaster 2.0.4 is required; 2.0.4b45 or later is recommended. (Mixmaster beta versions 2.9 and 3.x are not currently supported by JBN2.)
Once Mixmaster is installed, Mixmaster remailers may be used in Message Books by selecting Remailers|Mixmaster.
Jack B. Nymble v2 offers a great deal of flexibility for users through its various configuration windows, accessed from the Window menu. This software comes with a preset configuration designed to get things running initially. For best results, make configuration changes gradually while you gain familiarity with the software.|
From each configuration window, press the Help button (F1) to see a description of each item.
Message Books are used to create mail messages. They may be saved to record exactly how a given message was sent. The next time you wish to send a message to the same person or newsgroup, you can open the book, update its contents, and create the new mail message.
Books also help improve your security. Remailer messages can be rather complex to compose, especially if you mail or post to several areas under different aliases. By creating a book for each type of message you send, you can avoid making errors which may compromise your anonymity and security.
To open a Message Book, go to Window|Explore and double-click on a TBK or BK file in the Books folder, such as Default.TBK.
A Message Book is very much like the message composition windows of most email apps, with the added ability to select a chain of remailers through which your message will be remailed.
Message Books may also be saved as Templates. A Template is a special Message Book used to spawn Message Books. For example, you might save a Template for posting to a newsgroup. To post, you would open the Template, add your message, and queue it. You can save the Message Book to record your message without overwriting the Template.
The Message page contains the basic email message, including headers, remailers chosen, and text.
These fields have their usual function. The email addresses of the final recipient(s) of the message (or a mail2news gateway) are listed in the To field, separated by commas. The CC (Carbon Copy) and Bcc (Blind Carbon Copy) fields may also contain recipient addresses. The To, CC, and Bcc buttons may be used to search your list of email addresses (configured in Window|Addresses). Enter part of an email address, then press the button to search. The same buttons will open the Addresses window if no address is found.
In addition, the To field may contain special remailer commands for posting messages to newsgroups, if the last remailer in the chain supports post (P). With Cypherpunk remailers, enter in the To field:
The Nym field is used to send a message from your nym account. (When sending anonymous messages, the Nym field must be left blank.) To send a nym message, select or enter your full nym account address in the Nym field.
You may also specify Nym-Commands for the message using the N-C field (visible only if Options|Show Advanced is checked). The N-C field allows you to alter Nym-Commands on a per message basis. For example, if you want the nym-server to sign the message, enter +signsend.
For greater ease, enter headers in the entry box at the bottom of the Headers Box. The entry box will automatically search the Headers Box and update it with the header you have entered. This prevents duplicate headers. To remove a header, just enter the header's name and a colon, and press Backspace.
Only complete headers in the Headers Box will be added to the final message. If no text follows the colon, the header is disregarded. Blank lines are also ignored.
[Advanced Users Note: If you wish to include a multi-line header, enter the first line normally, and be sure to indent subsequent lines by at least one space. Some remailers may not accept multi-line headers.]
Your anonymous message will emerge from the last remailer in the list.
If AUTO remailers are included in a remailer chain, each AUTO remailer is randomly selected by JBN when you run the book (create the mail message), based on current reliability statistics. This means that each time the book is run, different, currently reliable remailers are used. The criteria for which remailers are chosen is configured in Window|Remailers Config|AUTO and Mixmaster.
To add a Latent-Time directive to a remailer, which affects how long the remailer holds the message before remailing it, select the desired latency value from the drop-down list to the left of the Add button, or type in the value.
Note: In the case of Mixmaster remailers, a Latent-Time directive may only be added to the last remailer in the chain. Further, if a Latent-Time directive is added, the remailer must support the hybrid capability. (JBN will warn you if you violate this limitation.)
A Message Book may be in Cypherpunk mode or Mixmaster mode (if installed). This determines what kind of remailers are used to send the message. To switch between Cypherpunk and Mixmaster mode, use the Remailers menu, or press Ctrl-M. When in Cypherpunk mode, the Remailer Chain list will be blue-green. When in Mixmaster mode, it will be magenta (light purple).
The font used in the Text Box may be customized in Window|Books Config.
PGP 2.6.x Users Note: For best results, select the key from the list. You may also enter PGP UserIDs or KeyIDs in the box. These are sent directly to PGP's command line. Any text in the Encrypt or Sign box after three or more spaces is ignored and not sent to PGP. For best results, use KeyIDs (0xAAAAAAAA), so that the command line to PGP will not exceed its maximum length.
Note: If you use extended binary characters in your message (used in some languages) and wish to clearsign it, be sure to set Options|Text Encoding to MIME 8 bit, or PGP may ASCII armor the message.
When the message has been created successfully, it will be queued. All mail messages are queued to a particular Send Profile (configured in Window|Send Profiles), which determines how the message is sent. When you press the Queue button, the message is queued via your default Send Profile. To queue via another profile, use the Message|Queue Via menu.
IMPORTANT: Once the message is queued, sending will begin immediately if the Send button in Window|Queue is pressed in. You can also hold messages in the queue by pressing the Send button (in Window|Queue) out.
If the Queue button is not enabled (you can't press it), you need to configure and enable a default Send Profile in Window|Send Profiles.
Tip: You can check to see which is the default Send Profile by holding the mouse cursor over the Queue button (without pressing it).
When a nym message is created, it is encrypted to the nym-server and signed with your account key. Nym-servers keep a cache of messages, and will not send the same signed message twice, even if it is received more than once. This allows you to send the same signed message several times through different chains of remailers. As long as one copy arrives at the nym-server successfully, the message is mailed. If more than one arrive, still only one copy is mailed.
JBN facilitates this ability with the Replay function. When you create and queue a nym message, if Options|Save Replay is checked, the signed and encrypted message is saved as a replay file.
To send the message through additional chains of remailers, either immediately, or at a later time (perhaps because the message did not arrive), simply open the book you used to create the nym message, select a new chain of remailers (or if using AUTO remailers, this will be done for you), and press Replay. The replay file will be chained though the selected remailers and queued for sending via your default Send Profile.
IMPORTANT: When you press the Replay button to queue a message, most of the Message Book is ignored by JBN. The replay file (or files for a multi-part message) have already been saved. All JBN uses is the list of remailers in the book, and the nym account address in the Nym field. You can change the text and headers in the book, but this will not affect the message queued by Replay.
Note that replay files are only good for about one week, after which the nym-server will not accept them. You can observe when the original nym message and replay file for the current book was created by holding the mouse cursor over the Replay button (without pressing it). If the Replay button is disabled, no replay file was saved (or the default Send Profile is disabled).
Each time you run a given Message Book (press Queue), any previous replay files for the book are deleted.
The Extra page contains extended message features, such as archiving and attachments. It also provides a larger space to edit message headers.
Message archiving saves or logs a copy of each queued message to a mail folder or text file for later reference. In addition, JBN can archive a copy of the book used to create the message. If Save To Folder is selected, each message written is an individual UNIX mail file in the specified folder. If the book is saved, it will be saved in the same folder as the message, including replay files if applicable. When viewing a sent message in the View Mail window, pressing the Open Book button (upper right corner) will open the associated book, allowing the message to be resent or replayed. When archiving the book with this method, you will probably want to disable Options|Auto-Save Book On Queue, or you will have two copies of every book.
If Append To File is selected, the message is appended to a UNIX mail file you specify. If Log To File is selected, only the message headers and remailer info is appended to the file - the message body is omitted.
The drop-down list next to the attachment box allows you to select how the attachment will be encoded. For most attachments use MIME Auto or UUEncode.
To add an attachment to the attachment list, enter the filename in the box, or press the asterisk (*) button to browse. Select encoding from the drop-down list, and press Add. IMPORTANT: If you don't press Add, the specified file is not added to the message.
To change an entry in the list of attachments, click on the entry, change the filename or encoding, and press set.
Split message if larger than n bytes
Most remailers have a size limit of messages they accept. Consult the remailer's capability string for its klen value. For example, a klen of 500 indicates that the remailer accepts messages up to approximately 512000 bytes (500 x 1024). When you queue a message you will be given a capability warning if the message exceeds any remailer's maximum size, providing each remailer's klen value is known.
Full Text Page
The Full Text page displays the same text displayed in the text box of the Message page, in a larger format for easier editing. To quickly switch between the Message and Full Text pages, double-click anywhere in the text box.
Several menu items available from Message Book menus are detailed below.
This saves the entire Message Book as a BK file.
File|Save As Template...
Note: Lines containing quoted text or URLs will never be wrapped if less than 80 characters long.
Note: If Options|Auto Wrap is checked, all text will automatically be hard wrapped when you queue the message, and it not necessary to use Edit|Hard Wrap.
Note: It is not possible to fully Undo the Reformat function. If you may need to Undo the Reformat, copy the original text to the clipboard before reformatting it.
JBN considers the following characters (at the beginning of a line) quote marks: > : | % & #
Message|Queue Via; Replay Via
Message|Reply To Clipboard
Note: JBN2 handles messages copied from Netscape and other email clients which JBN1 will not work with. If you have problems copying a message to the clipboard, save it to a file instead. Select Edit|Load Clipboard to load the file. Then select Reply To Clipboard.
Note: If "Anon-Post-To:" or "Post" is present in the To field when Followup Clipboard is selected, the Newsgroups will be placed in the To field instead of the Newsgroups header.
Options|Auto Wrap Long Lines
Note: Lines containing quoted text or URLs will never be wrapped if less than 80 characters long.
Options|Override Default Profile
Before pressing Queue, hold your mouse cursor over the button, and the default profile for the book will be displayed.
Remix provides greater security for Cypherpunk messages. However, remix is mostly used for reply-blocks. When sending outgoing messages, you may simply use Mixmaster remailers instead of remixing Cypherpunk.
For more information on Remix please consult the Remailer Reference.
Note: This setting is approximate. JBN will automatically use slightly different Max-Date times at each remailer to thwart traffic analysis.
At least one remailer in the remailer chain must support max to satisfy the expiration requirement.
For more information on Max-Date and Max-Count, please consult the Remailer Reference.
Options|Show Attachment In Subject
Options|Auto-Save Book On Queue
Replay files of nym configuration requests are also saved so that the configuration request may be sent through redundant chains.
Options|Auto-Name on Load
A Nym Book is used to create and update a pseudonymous nym account at a nym-server. Nym accounts allow you to mail and post with a pseudonym, and to receive replies, without the recipient, sender, or nym-server administrator having knowledge of your identity. (For the help file to nym-servers, send a blank message to email@example.com, or any operational nym-server. This is highly recommended reading for new users, as is the JBN2 Beginner's Guide.)
A Nym Book stores every aspect of your account. To create an account or make changes to an existing account, edit the Nym Book, then press Create. This creates a nym-server configuration request. This is then mailed to the nym-server (anonymously) and your account is updated. Once you have successfully created a nym account, you can use Message Books to easily send mail from your pseudonym.
Security Note: When a nym book is run (Create is pressed) the Nym Book is automatically saved. Note that a Nym Book file contains your Encrypt-Key passphrases. These passphrases are not generally a security risk, as they are primarily used to provide anonymity as your mail travels to you. The Nym Book file does not contain your private key passphrase. For even greater security, Nym Books may be stored on an encrypted drive.
To use nym accounts, you will need to have a moderate mastery of sending anonymous messages, and decrypting PGP messages. For this reason, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with JBN's anonymous email functions (send yourself anonymous test messages through several remailers, etc.) before attempting to create and update nym accounts. New users often find it frustrating to learn both aspects at once, because successfully creating a nym account requires the ability to send anonymous email successfully.
It is also highly recommended that new users create one or more test accounts to practice with before creating accounts to be used for real purposes. Mistakes you make while learning to use the software and remailers can leave a trail which may compromise later accounts. Remember that much of the data which passes through the net is archived. Keep your test account usernames and test messages bland.
Tip: To create a medium security nym account with a minimum of trouble, try the Quick Nym.NBK nym book in your Nyms folder. Instructions are included in the book.
The following steps outline creation of a new nym account:
Reply-blocks are used by the nym-server to send you mail, without the nym-server knowing your address. This is accomplished by means of several layers of public-key and conventional encryption. Multiple reply-blocks may be configured for an account, meaning that the nym-server sends multiple copies of each message through different chains of remailers. In this way, if one reply-block fails, due to an offline remailer, you still get a copy of your message. By using multiple reply-blocks and changing reply-blocks which aren't working, you can have a very reliable nym account.
Jack B. Nymble automates reply-block creation and update through the use of Nym Books. The Reply-Blocks page of the book may contain up to 30 reply-blocks, each of which may be enabled (Active) or disabled at any given time. (It is not recommended that you use more than 2 or 3 reply-blocks at a given time, as each reply-block increases vulnerability to traffic analysis.) In this way, the book can store many reply-blocks, and you can activate or deactivate a reply-block by pressing the Active button, and creating the request.
Creating a reply-block is much like creating a Cypherpunk message in a Message Book. A chain of remailers is selected, and a final destination is chosen (the email address where you want to receive the mail, or a newsgroup.) In addition, each remailer in the chain may be given instructions for handling the message, such as Encrypt-Key, which instructs the remailer to conventionally encrypt the message, or Latent-Time, which instructs the remailer to delay the message (for avoidance of traffic analysis).
The following steps should be followed when creating a reply-block:
Using an Existing Account
If you already have a nym account which you set up manually or using another program and want to use it with JBN2, follow these instructions to reconfigure your account to take advantage of JBN2's passphrase management and decryption features:
The Account page is used to set basic address, key, and options information for the account. Each time you create a nym configuration request (press Create), the nym-server is sent an update of this information, and your account is updated.
You can update just the Account page information of your nym account without updating your reply-blocks by unchecking Reply-Blocks|Update Reply-Blocks.
The full address of your nym account. When creating a new account, enter the desired address here. If you receive an invalid signature error from the nym-server, the account address you selected is already in use by another user.
Account PGP Key
Create New Account
Change Account Key
Nym-Commands are used to set account options, such as the name which appears on mail from the account, and other features. For a detailed description of these commands send mail to help@ your nym-server.
Advanced Users: If you wish to control what Template or Message Book JBN opens for the request, you have several options. First, JBN looks for a TBK file with the same name and path as the Nym Book you are running. If that isn't found, it looks for a BK file with the same name and path as the current Nym Book. If that isn't found, it looks for Default.TBK in the Nym Book path. Whichever Message Book is loaded, it is renamed to a BK file with the same name and path as the Nym Book.
The Reply-Blocks page is used to add one or more reply-blocks to a nym account, and to store unused reply-blocks. Any enabled (Active) reply blocks are created and included in the nym configuration request.
For basic usage of the Reply-Blocks page, please consult the above section Creating Reply-Blocks. What follows is a description of other advanced items which appear when Options|Show Advanced is selected.
For more information on directives, please consult the Remailer Reference.
If values are specified, these directives will be added to every remailer in the reply-block chain which supports the max capability. Explicit use of a Max-Size or Max-Count directive at a given remailer will override this setting.
For a discussion of reply-block probability variables, please send mail to help@ your nym-server. These variables are used to have mail sent through some reply-blocks only some of the time.
Remix-To, Encrypt-To, Anon-To
Note: If you check more than one of these directives, then the remailer must support the ext capability.
This page is intended as a place where you can make any notes on this account's configuration. This text is stored in the book file, but is not sent to the nym-server, and is not used by JBN.
Refer to the Notes page of the example Nym books in your Books\Nyms folder for an explanation of the book's usage.
Like the Notes page, this page may be edited by the user. In addition, if Options|Update Log is checked, JBN will add a detailed log of each configuration request, allowing you to make note of remailers, passphrases, and other information.
This information is generally not of a particularly sensitive nature. For example, your Encrypt-Key passphrases (which are also saved on the Reply-Blocks page) are primarily used to provide anonymity as your mail travels to you. From a local system perspective, as long as you use the Cryptrecv Nym-Command, they are a minimal security item. Thus the Log option is highly recommended as an aid to reply-block maintenance.
Several menu items available from Nym Book menus are detailed below.
This offers a quick way to replace all Encrypt-Key passphrases in a book. Regularly changing your passphrases helps improve your security and anonymity. You may be asked to move your mouse in random directions to provide random input. Note that only passphrases in active reply-blocks (Active button pressed in) are changed. Encrypt-Subject passphrases are NOT changed by this function.
Edit|Copy Reply-Block; Paste Reply-Block
Options|Update Nym Registry
If you change your reply-blocks very frequently or use many reply-blocks with many remailers, JBN's automatic passphrase management features may begin to lose some passphrases, causing decryption failures. If you are sure this is the cause, you may need to uncheck this option and export your passphrases manually to the Nym Accounts Registry. (See below.)
This function may also be used to export passphrases to JBN version 1. In that case, remove the headers (Tag:, Used:, etc) from each block, so that it includes only the passphrases. (Failure to remove these header lines will slow JBN1's decryption functions enormously.)
The Remailer Editor is available from within Message Books and Nym Books if Options|Show Advanced is checked. It may be invoked by right-clicking on the remailer chain list, and selecting Edit Directives, or by double-clicking on a listed remailer.|
The Remailer Editor gives you complete control over what directives are used for all remailers in the chain. This allows you to add custom directives, and to use directives in ways not supported by the fields of a Message Book or Nym Book.
The top of the Remailer Editor shows the full stats and options of the remailer being edited. Scroll down to view the remailer's capability string.
At the left of the Editor, the capabilities are displayed, or in the case of AUTO remailers, the current configured AUTO criteria is shown.
The text box in the center of the window contains the list of directives for the current remailer. These are the directives which are added to the '::' section of Cypherpunk messages, or to the headers of hybrid Mixmaster messages.
At the bottom of the text box, the entry box allows selection of preset directives (configured in Window|Books Config|Choice Lists), and manual entry of directives. The advantage of using this entry box is that duplicate directives are prevented.
Like in the Headers box of Message Books, if no text appears to the right side of the colon, the directive is ignored. Thus blank directives and blank lines may be left in the box.
There are two variable strings which may be included in directives in the Remailer Editor: $next and $final. When Message Books and Nym Books are run, $next is substituted with the email address of the following remailer in the chain. If the current remailer is the last remailer in the chain, $next is empty (blank).
For example, to use a Remix-To directive which specifies a chain of remailers, use this format:
(The last remailer in such a chain should always be $next to prevent discontinuity. Otherwise, your message will arrive at a different remailer than it was encrypted for, and will be discarded. JBN will issue a capability warning if you attempt to do so.)
When Message Books are run, $final is replaced with the email address of the final recipient, for the last remailer in the chain only. For other remailers, $final is empty (blank). In general, the only use for $final is with an Anon-To directive.
$final is not used in Nym Books, and is always empty.
In the case of Mixmaster remailers, directives may only be added to the last remailer in the chain, and then only if the remailer supports the hybrid capability.
When opened from within Message Books, the Remailer Editor includes a Garbage field. This field is used to add an amount of random radix-64 garbage to the message at the current remailer stage. This garbage inflates the message and makes it appear larger than it actually is. This in turn thwarts traffic analysis based on trying to determine which message into a remailer generated which output message.
The amount of garbage is specified in kilobytes. If an r follows the amount, such as 15r, then the amount added is random, between 50% and 100% of the amount specified.
In addition to adding garbage, JBN will add the following Cutmarks directive at the remailer:
When the remailer receives and decrypts the message, the Cutmarks directive will cause the remailer to remove the garbage, thus shrinking the message back to normal.
Note: If you don't want the garbage to be removed by the remailer, add any other non-blank Cutmarks directive, such as Cutmarks: ====. JBN won't add a Cutmarks directive if you do.
What is the difference between Garbage and Inflate? Garbage is a client setting in JBN, which causes it to add garbage as the remail request is being constructed. Inflate is a remailer directive which causes a remailer to add a specified amount of garbage to a message during processing. Inflate may be used in conjunction with Garbage and Cutmarks to cause a message to alternatively grow larger and smaller and then larger again from one hop to the next. (See the Dummy CPunk.TBK file in your Books folder for an example.) Garbage may be used with any remailer, because JBN generates the garbage. Inflate may only be used with those remailers which support the inflt capability.
Note: Although Garbage is listed in the remailer chain list like a directive, it is not a directive. It is a client setting.
Each Message Book has two default directive templates: one for Cypherpunk and one for Mixmaster. Nym Books have only a Cypherpunk default directive template.
The default directive template determines what directives are initially added to a remailer when you add it to a chain. A standard default directive template for Cypherpunk remailers includes:
Anon-To: $final Anon-To: $next(If the remailer is at the end of a chain, $final will be the final recipient address (from the To field), and $next will be blank (causing the second Anon-To directive to be ignored). If the remailer is in the middle of a chain, $final will be empty, and $next will be set to the next remailer's address.)
The standard default directive for Mixmaster remailers is blank (contains no directives).
Each book has its own default directive templates. To change the default directive templates for a book, open the Remailer Editor and edit the directives. Then press the Set As Default button.
IMPORTANT: Setting an invalid default directive template may cause incorrect directives to be added to each new remailer you add to a chain, and will thus cause problems when the message is sent. Also note that all books spawned from a book inherit its default directive templates.
To reset the default directive template, open the Remailer Editor, completely clear the text box, and press Set As Default.
As an example of a use for changing the default directive template, consider the following Cypherpunk template:
Anon-To: $final Anon-To: $next Latent-Time: +3:00rWith this default directive template, each time you add a remailer to the chain, it will automatically be assigned a +3:00r latency. (You can then change the latency of any remailer in the normal fashion.)
The drop-down lists of remailers in Message Books and Nym Books include a remailer called 'AUTO'. When an AUTO remailer is added to a chain, this instructs JBN to randomly choose a remailer for that position when the message or reply-block is created. Each time a Message Book or Nym Book using AUTO remailers is run (created), the AUTO remailers chosen may be different.
JBN version 1 users should note that JBN2 has much more sophisticated AUTO remailers which take into account all aspects of remailer capabilities. Because of this they may be used with greater latitude, including their use in complex reply-blocks.
JBN chooses AUTO remailers based on stats and the criteria in Window|Remailers Config|AUTO and Window|Remailers Config|Mixmaster. When choosing remailers, JBN will also take into account what directives you have included for the AUTO remailer. AUTO remailers will also obey a klen limitation based on the message size, providing that a remailer's capability string includes klen.
By saving a Message Template (TBK file) with AUTO remailers, you need only open the template and add your message. Each time the book is used, different remailers are automatically chosen based on current reliability stats.
For reliable AUTO selection, it is recommended that you automatically refresh your stats every 4-6 hours (configured in Window|Stats Config).
In a book window, select Remailers|Show AUTO to see the list of currently qualified AUTO remailers.
Occasionally when a book is run, JBN will report insufficient qualified remailers to fill an AUTO location. This means that taking all factors into account, a suitable remailer for that position could not be found. In some cases pressing Retry will succeed, because in complex chains the order of selection may be critical. (JBN tries several ordering arrangements before reporting failure, but will try more if you press Retry.) In other cases, the error is due to a simple lack of qualified remailers.
If you receive this error, you may need to reduce the criteria in Window|Remailers Config. Alternatively, using remailers in simpler ways may free up more qualified remailers. For example, including a Remix-To directive at a remailer limits selection to remix and remix2 remailers.
If you are wondering why JBN can't find a remailer for a particular AUTO position, try making a list of all the remailers which you think are qualified for that position. Next, change the AUTO remailer to the first remailer on your list, and run the book. You will be shown the warning which prevented that remailer's use. Do this for each remailer. The only aspect which the above method does not take into account is the Distance requirement, which stipulates that a remailer may not be used twice within a certain distance in the list. Reduce your list with that criteria as well.
When using Expiration and Max-Date in Message Books and Nym Books, JBN will try to choose the first remailer so that it satisfies the Max-Date requirement. JBN will only report a failure if no remailers in the chain support max.
Use Preview mode, by pressing in the Preview button, to have JBN show you the list of remailers it has chosen, and give you the opportunity to re-select.
RANDOM remailers are only available when using Mixmaster remailers. AUTO remailers are chosen by JBN. RANDOM remailers are chosen by Mixmaster based on its stats file (which JBN updates), and the settings in Window|Remailers Config|AUTO and Mixmaster. (Note: If you have disabled Window|Remailers Config|Mixmaster|Auto-maintain mixmaste.con, you must set your RANDOM criteria in Mixmaster's mixmaste.con file.)
In general it is better to use AUTO remailers, because JBN takes more factors into account when choosing remailers. However, there is an important use for RANDOM remailers.
When you send a message through Mixmaster remailers which is larger than 10K (compressed), it is sent via multiple Mixmaster packets. The final remailer in the chain, upon receiving all the packets, reassembles the original message and mails it.
If you include one or more RANDOM remailers in your chain, each packet will be sent via a different remailer chain, thus making it more difficult to track larger messages.
The last Mixmaster remailer for all chains is always the same (even if you make it RANDOM) because this remailer must assemble all the packets. It is recommended that you NOT use a RANDOM remailer as last in a chain. Instead, choose the remailer yourself, or use an AUTO remailer, which will be chosen by JBN.
The reason for this is that JBN does not know which remailers Mixmaster will choose for RANDOM positions. If the last remailer is RANDOM, JBN cannot warn you about capability or message size problems of the last remailer. If you use an AUTO remailer, JBN will insure the last remailer is qualified.
The other use for RANDOM remailers is if you use JBN's Chain feature. If Options|Show Advanced is checked, above the remailer selection box you will see "Chains: 1". If you click on the word Chains JBN will increment the value to 2, and so forth. This setting is used to indicate that you want this message to be sent through multiple chains of remailers. This redundancy helps insure that the message reaches its final destination. As long as the last remailer in the chain receives one copy, the message will be mailed. If the last remailer receives more than one copy, still only one message will be mailed (providing the remailer has Packet ID logging enabled, which most do).
When using 2 or more chains, use RANDOM remailers in your chain. Mixmaster will choose different remailers for each chain.
As discussed above, it is suggested that you use an AUTO remailer for the last remailer in the chain, or select a remailer yourself. Mixmaster will always use the same remailer in the last position anyway, and if you use an AUTO remailer instead, JBN can insure that a qualified remailer is selected.