Panta Rhei Remailer Web Page - Part I

Part II

What Is Jack B. Nymble v2?

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.

About This Document

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:

    S.R. Heller for his continuing fine work on SPGP.DLL, which makes JBN2's integration with PGP 5 and 6 feasible.

    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.

Setup Instructions

Jack B. Nymble v2 Requires:

    Windows 95, 98, or NT (3.51 or later)
    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)


  • Install PGP on your system.

  • Install Mixmaster on your system. [Optional]

  • Check the signature of the JBN distribution you have downloaded using the SIG file. (Instructions are within the SIG file.)

  • Run the JBN setup program, setup_jbn2xx.exe. (JBN Version 1 Users: Be sure not to install JBN2 into the same directory as JBN1. You can keep JBN1 on your system.)

  • Dial in to your ISP, then select Jack B. Nymble v2 from your Start Menu|Programs.

  • Configure Jack B. Nymble v2.

PGP Installation

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:

    IMPORTANT: Your version of PGP 5.5.3x or 6.x MUST support RSA keys. Some versions do not, particularly freeware versions distributed by NAI. For several freeware versions which do support RSA, consult the links below.

    International PGP Homepage's PGP 5 and 6i - International Freeware

    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:

    JBN uses a standard PGP 2.6.x installation, as described in PGP's documentation. The following steps are required for PGP 2.6.x only:

  • Unzip PGP to a folder such as C:\PGP

  • In C:\Autoexec.bat*, add the PGP folder above to your PATH variable. For example:


  • In Autoexec.bat, add the following line:

  • In Autoexec.bat, add the following line:
      SET TZ=(your time code here)

    Example TZ time codes are shown below:
            For Los Angeles:    SET TZ=PST8PDT
            For Denver:         SET TZ=MST7MDT
            For Arizona:        SET TZ=MST7
            For Chicago:        SET TZ=CST6CDT
            For New York:       SET TZ=EST5EDT
            For London:         SET TZ=GMT0BST
            For Amsterdam:      SET TZ=MET-1DST
            For Moscow:         SET TZ=MSK-3MSD
            For Aukland:        SET TZ=NZT-12DST
  • To avoid keyring reading problems, it is recommended that you also set CharSet = latin1 in PGP's config.txt file:
      CharSet = latin1

  • Be sure to avoid EncryptToSelf features by setting the following in PGP's config.txt:
            EncryptToSelf = OFF
            MyName = YouForgotToSpecifySignID
  • Restart your computer.

  • In JBN's Window|Global Config|PGP, set the PGP version appropriately.

    * Windows NT Users: Windows NT does not normally use Autoexec.bat. Instead, environment variables such as PATH and PGPPATH must be set in My Computer|System Properties|Environment to set your PATH variable, or My Computer|Properties|Environment to set PGPPATH and TZ.

Mixmaster Installation

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.)

Installation Steps:

Once Mixmaster is installed, Mixmaster remailers may be used in Message Books by selecting Remailers|Mixmaster.

Configuring Jack B. Nymble v2

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.

Configuration Notes:

  • From any primary window in JBN, you can use the following Hotkeys:

      F1 - Show help for the current window
      F2 - Explore Window
      F3 - Queue Window
      F4 - Log Window
      F5 - View Mail Window
      F6 - Stats Browser
      F7 - Open configuration window for the current window
      F8 - (Panic) Abort all net connections

  • When you press OK from a configuration window, JBN performs a check on the parts of your configuration which you have changed, saves the configuration, and reports any problems. You can also perform a check on your entire configuration by selecting Window|Check Configuration.

  • In order to send mail with Jack B. Nymble, you must configure and enable at least one Send Profile in Window|Send Profiles.

  • To bring JBN's list of remailers up-to-date, dial in to your ISP and select Tools|Refresh Stats. If using Mixmaster, also select Tools|Get Mix Keys.

  • For best results, update stats regularly, or set Window|Stats Config|Refresh Stats Every n Hours. JBN will inform you when new remailers are added, at which time you may update your keyrings.

  • The configuration shipped with JBN includes URLs for stats and keys. These URLs may become outdated, in which case you will need to update the URLs in Window|Stats Config|Cypherpunk and Mixmaster.

  • IMPORTANT: It is highly recommended that you read the Program Security section of this manual for a clear understanding of where your data is stored, and how to improve your security.

  • Those new to Jack B. Nymble are encouraged to read the JBN2 Beginner's Guide before proceeding.

Message Books

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.

A Message Book is divided into three pages, or tabs: Message, Extra, and Full Text.

Message Page

The Message page contains the basic email message, including headers, remailers chosen, and text.

    To, CC, Bcc, Subject
    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:

      Anon-Post-To: alt.test,alt.test.a
    If using Mixmaster remailers, enter in the To field:
      Post: alt.test,alt.test.a

    Nym, NC
    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.

    Headers Box
    The text box beneath the message headers is the Headers Box. This box contains additional email headers for the final message, such as a Newsgroups header, or a References header. Any desired email header may be entered here, or may be chosen from the drop-down list (configured in Window|Books Config|Choice Lists).

    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.]

    Remailer Chain
    The colored box beneath the Headers Box is the Remailer Chain list. This is where remailers are selected. To add a remailer, press Add. An AUTO remailer will be added to the list. You may then change the AUTO remailer by selecting a remailer from the drop-down list, or by typing its name in the box.

    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).

    Text Box
    The box beneath the Remailer Chain list contains the message's body (the text of the message). This area may be expanded to the full window size by double-clicking anywhere in the box. An edit menu is available by right-clicking.

    The font used in the Text Box may be customized in Window|Books Config.

    The Encrypt field, beneath the Text Box, is used to encrypt the text in the Text Box to the final recipient of the message. (Do not enter a remailer's key here. JBN automatically encrypts to all remailers in the chain.) Select the recipient's PGP key from the drop-down list, or press the asterisk (*) button. Pressing this button once will cause JBN to search for the likely key of the recipient based on the email address in the To field. Pressing it again will open the PGP keyring, where you may select the key, or multiple keys.

    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.

    The Sign field is used to indicate what PGP key should be used to sign the text in the Text Box. Enter a private key in this box. If the Encrypt field is blank, the message text is clearsigned.

    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 you have composed your message and chosen remailers, spot check the entire Message Book to insure it is correct. JBN's mail creation is highly automated, so it is important to verify your message before continuing. To create and queue the message, press the Queue button. As the message is created, you may be given warnings about remailers with poor reliability stats or insufficient capabilities. At each warning you may continue or cancel 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).

    The Replay button is used to resend a signed nym message (a replay file) through a new chain of remailers.

    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 Preview button is used to enable Preview Mode. If this button is pressed in when you Queue or Replay the book, JBN will show you each stage of message creation, allowing you to view where directives and headers are added, and showing you intermediate stages of encryption. Preview Mode is valuable for seeing how the final message will look, for diagnosing some types of problems, and for learning how remailer messages are constructed.

Extra Page

The Extra page contains extended message features, such as archiving and attachments. It also provides a larger space to edit message headers.

    Message Archive
    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.

    Work Folder
    This box is used to specify a work folder to be used for temporary files when this book is run. Because some types of messages require larger work space due to attachments, this allows you to control the work path of each Message Book. If this box is left blank, the global work path set in Window|Global Config|Work Folder is used. Work folders should have short DOS names, and may not exceed 7 characters.

    Attachments may be added to anonymous and nym messages using a variety of encoding and encryption schemes. JBN will format the attachments correctly for sending by a remailer.

    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.

    Encrypt Attachments
    If this button is pressed in, all message attachments are encrypted to the same PGP key as the message text. (Attachments are not encrypted unless the message text is encrypted. This will generate a warning.)

    Sign Attachments
    If this button is pressed in, all message attachments are signed with same private PGP key as the message text. (Attachments are not signed unless the message text is signed. This will generate a warning.)

    Split message if larger than n bytes
    If checked, and if the entire final message (as received by the recipient) will be larger than the specified number of bytes (characters), the message will be sent as multiple messages to the final recipient. Each final message will include all headers specified in the Message Book. If AUTO remailers are used in the remailer chain, the AUTO remailers will be re-chosen for each message, and will generally differ. The recipient email or news client will be responsible for reassembling the partial messages.

    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.

    This Headers box is the same box which appears on the Message page, in a larger format for easier editing. To quickly switch between the Message and Extra pages, double-click anywhere in the Headers box.

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.

Menu Items

Several menu items available from Message Book menus are detailed below.

    File|Save As...
    This saves the entire Message Book as a BK file.

    File|Save As Template...
    This saves the current Message Book as a TBK Template file. When a Template is loaded it becomes a Message Book (BK file). In this way Templates may be used to spawn Message Books of a particular use, without the original Template being overwritten.

    File|Name As
    Allows you to quickly change the name or pathname of the current book. This does not save the book.

    JBN will choose a unique name for the book. This prevents the book overwriting any existing book when it is saved.

    Edit|Hard Wrap
    The text in the text box will be hard wrapped (lines split with a hard carriage return where wrapping occurs) at the column position set in Options|Auto Wrap, or at 70 characters. If text is selected, only the selected text will be hard wrapped.

    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.

    Edit|Join Lines
    This is effectively the opposite of Hard Wrap. Lines are joined into paragraphs (long lines). In some cases it is useful to join lines of text before quoting or editing it. If text is selected, only the selected text is affected by Join Lines.

    Edit|Reformat Quote
    Embedded quoted text (following angle brackets (>) for example) sometimes becomes malformatted as it is quoted and wrapped multiple times in a discussion. To clean up a quote, select the quoted lines of a single speaker only (do not select lines belonging to multiple speakers). This function is similar to selecting Edit|Join Lines followed by Edit|Hard Wrap, except that each line is given the same quote characters (as if from a single speaker) regardless of how the quote characters have become malformatted. The quote characters of the first selected line are used for all lines.

    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
    Selecting a profile from these menus is the same as pressing the Queue or Replay buttons, except that mail is sent to the profile specified, instead of the Default Send Profile. Note that UNIX override is only performed if the Default Send Profile is used.

    Message|Reply To Clipboard
    Provides a quick way to reply to email messages or news posts via email. Copy the entire message to the clipboard, including ALL headers. Select Reply To Clipboard. The destination address, Subject, References, and other headers will be preset.

    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.

    Message|Followup Clipboard
    Provides a quick way to followup news posts, or to reply to some email messages. Followup Clipboard works like Reply To Clipboard, except that the email address from the From header is not copied into the To field. This allows you to preset an address in the To field of a Message Book or Template, such as a mail2news gateway. This functions allows you to reply anonymously to news posts with a single click in JBN. It is also useful for replying to mailing list messages.

    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
    Determines how wide lines are in the final message. If disabled, line length is virtually unlimited.

    Note: Lines containing quoted text or URLs will never be wrapped if less than 80 characters long.

    Options|Set Signature
    A signature may be associated with each Message Book or Template. This overrides the global signature set in Window|Books Config. Note: For security reasons, signatures are not added automatically to messages. You must paste the signature using Edit|Paste Signature. Alternatively, you can save a Template which already contains your signature in the text box. Every time you load the template, your signature will be present.

    Options|Override Default Profile
    When you press Queue or Replay, JBN normally queues the message to the Default Send Profile selected in Window|Send Profiles. (In that window, simply place your default profile on top before you press OK.) If a different profile name is specified in Override Default Profile, that profile is used as the default for the Message Book or Template.

    Before pressing Queue, hold your mouse cursor over the button, and the default profile for the book will be displayed.

    Options|Cypherpunk|Remix Compliant
    If checked, JBN will warn you if the remailer chain you have selected does not use remix remailers at each hop. (The last remailer need only support mix and cpunk.) Also, when choosing AUTO remailers, JBN will insure they are remix compliant.

    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.

    Due the vulnerability of Cypherpunk messages being replayed, it is desirable to have a remail request expire so that it cannot be used to send additional copies of a message in the future. If you set a Cypherpunk Expiration time, JBN will add Max-Date and Max-Count directives to each remailer which supports max. It will also ensure that AUTO remailers comply with the expiration requirement.

    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
    If checked, when sending a message which includes a single non-encrypted attachment, the filename of the attached file will be added to the Subject header of the final message. This may be used for email or news posts, and is particularly useful when posting large messages which are split into multiple parts. The filename in the Subject allows the receiving client to identify and assemble the parts more readily, especially with UUEncoded attachments.

    Options|Show Advanced
    If Show Advanced is not checked, the Remailer Editor and the N-C (Nym-Commands) field will be unavailable from within the Message Book.

    Options|Text Encoding
    If you use extend binary characters in your text, such as the various characters used in international alphabets, JBN must encode the text to avoid sending binary mail. By default, if JBN detects binary characters in the text box, it will use MIME Quoted-Printable (QP) encoding. If you check one of the Text Encoding MIME options, JBN will always use that option for all text, whether or not it is binary. This setting is also available from the right-click menu of the text box.

    Options|Auto-Save Book On Queue
    If checked, the current message book will be saved whenever you queue or replay the book. This allows you to have a copy of the exact book used to send the message, and to resend the message in the event it does not arrive. For more convenient book archiving, use the Message Archive facility on the Extra tab.

    Options|Save Replay
    This option determines whether JBN saves the signed and encrypted replay file (or files, if multi-part) for nym messages when the message is queued. If the replay file is saved, the Replay button may be used to send additional copies of the message through other remailer chains, to insure that the message arrives at the nym-server.

    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
    This setting only has an effect on Templates. If this option is checked when a Template is saved, whenever the Template is loaded, it will be auto-named (assigned a unique name which doesn't exist in the path). This setting allows you to more easily keep a separate book file for each message you send using a given Template. For more convenient book archiving, use the Message Archive facility on the Extra tab.

Nym Books

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, 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.

Creating a Nym Account

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:

  • Open the JBN Nym Book Default.NBK, located in Books\Nyms. Select File|Save As, and save the book under a new name, such as MyAccount. This will be the Nym Book used for your new account.

  • The first step in creating a nym account is to select a nym-server to host the account. In the drop-down list for Account Address (on the Account page), you will see example nym account addresses at current nym-servers. Select an account address, such as and enter it in the Account Address field.

    Note: If the account address you select is already in use, the nym-server will reject your request to create the account, stating that your signature is invalid. You can check the list of usernames currently in use by sending mail to or fingering list@ your nym-server. (For example, A better method (to protect your anonymity) is to select a very unique username.

  • Once you have selected an account address, you will need to create a PGP key pair for your account. This key will be used to authenticate your configuration and send requests, and to encrypt your reply mail.

    IMPORTANT: As of this writing, current nym-servers support only RSA keys up to 2048 bits. DH/DSA keys are NOT supported.

    If you are using PGP 5.5.3 or 6, create your RSA key using the PGPKeys program.

    If you are using PGP 2.6.x, select Tools|Create PGP Key from the Nym Book menu. When PGP asks for a key size, 1, 2, or 3, for best security type 2048. It is generally recommended to include your account address in your new key's UserID. For example:

      My Nym <>

  • Once you have created an account key, return to the Nym Book and press the asterisk (*) button next to the Account PGP Key field. Select the key you created and press OK.

  • Check the Create New Account box.

  • In Nym-Commands|Name, enter the plain pseudonym for the account, such as My Nym. Do not include commas, quotation marks, or an email address in this field.

  • Be sure the Cryptrecv option is checked for good security. You may also wish to enable other options.

  • Add one or more reply-blocks on the Reply-Blocks page, as described in the Reply-Block section below.

  • Create your configuration request by pressing Create. If any warnings or errors appear you may need to adjust your reply-blocks or configuration. Once successful, a Message Book will open containing the configuration request.

  • To send the configuration request anonymously, select several remailers in the Message Book (at least three for good security). Leave the Nym field blank (you are sending the request anonymously). Queue and send the message.

  • IMPORTANT: Anytime you send the nym-server a new reply-block (such as when you create a new account), it will send you a confirmation message. You must reply to this message (anonymously) to activate the new reply-block. When the nym-server receives the reply, it will know your new reply-block is working, and will activate it.

    If you don't receive a confirmation within a day or so (depending on how many remailers you used in your reply-block), either the request did not successfully reach the nym-server, or some of the remailers in your reply-block are not working correctly and the reply was lost. Refresh stats, update your reply-block with new remailers, and create and send a new configuration request. Repeat this once per day until you receive a reply. (Sending reply-blocks more than once per day may be counter-productive, as you may overwrite a reply-block before confirming it.)

    All replies you receive will need to be decrypted several times. JBN2 stores your passphrases when the account is created, and will automatically decrypt your mail. If you use another email program to retrieve your mail, you can copy it to the clipboard, open JBN2's View Mail window, and press Ctrl-B (Tools|Decrypt|Clipboard). JBN2 can also decrypt the mailboxes of other email programs directly.

  • Once your account reply-block has been confirmed and activated, open the Nym Book for this account, and uncheck the Account|Create New Account box. (This will prevent JBN from sending your public PGP key every time, among other changes.) Select File|Save, then File|Exit.

  • Remailers tend to go down occasionally, and some remailers go out of service permanently. If the stats for remailers in your reply-block begin to fall, you should update your reply-block(s) with current remailers, and send a new request.

  • To send mail from your pseudonym, use a Message Book. Select your nym account address in the Nym field, and add several remailers. For greater automation, consider adding your private key passphrase to Window|Nym Accounts Registry|Key Passphrases. This allows JBN to automatically sign your outgoing nym mail.

    IMPORTANT: Never test your nym account by sending non-anonymous mail to your nym account, or by mailing your real account from your nym account. The best way to test both outgoing and incoming mail is to send a nym message to your nym, from your nym, using a Message Book with several reliable remailers.

  • Several example Nym Books are included in your Books\Nyms folder. Please read the Notes page of these books for more information.

Creating Reply-Blocks

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:

  • Select a reply-block tab. Select Edit|Clear Reply-Block. Press the Active button in. Important: If this button is not pressed in, the reply-block is not sent to the nym-server.

  • Select several remailers from the drop-down list and add them to the remailer chain list, just as you do when creating a Cypherpunk message in a Message Book. About 3 remailers are recommended for both security and reliability. The more remailers you use, the more likely failure becomes.

    Note: The first remailer in a reply-block chain is always 'Nym-Server'. This is the Cypherpunk remailer located at the nym-server which first receives your message.

    AUTO remailers may also be used in reply-blocks. In this case, each time the book is run a new selection of remailers is used based on current stats, and how you have used the remailers. This is a good way to quickly update reply-blocks with currently reliable remailers. Consult the Log page after a run so that you know which remailers were used, and may monitor their stats.

  • For some or all of the remailers you have added, especially the nym-server, click on the remailer in the chain list, and add a passphrase to the Encrypt-Key field. To use a random passphrase for maximum security, press the 'R' button. Encrypt-Key will cause the remailer to conventionally encrypt the message. If you don't use Encrypt-Key at a remailer, it may be much easier for an observer to track the message going into and out of the remailer.

  • Optionally, add Latent-Time values to one or more remailers. A Latent-Time such as '3:00r' instructs the remailer to hold the message for a random amount of time up to three hours.

  • Set a final destination for the reply-block. If you want to receive the replies at an email account, select Anon-To: and enter the email address. Leave Subject and Newsgroups blank.

    If you want the encrypted replies to be posted to a newsgroup (such as alt.anonymous.messages which is for this purpose), either:

    • Select Anon-To: and enter a mail2news gateway. Include a Subject and Newsgroups header.


    • Select Anon-Post-To: and enter the newsgroup. Include a Subject header, but leave the Newsgroups header blank. When using Anon-Post-To, the last remailer in the chain must support the post capability (P).

  • When you have created and used several reply-blocks, you may wish to select Options|Show Advanced. This adds several fields to the reply-block window, and allows you to use the Remailer Editor for designing more advanced and secure reply-blocks. For an explanation of the directives which Show Advanced displays, and for information on remailer directives and usage in general, consult the Remailer Reference.

    Advanced users please consult the Reply-Blocks Page section below.

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:

  • If you created the account with JBN1 and have the Nym Book, open the book with JBN2, save it to your JBN2 Nym books folder, press Create, and send the message. As soon as you have confirmed the new reply-block(s) your account will be fully configured for use with JBN2.

  • If you created the account manually or with another program, follow the instructions for Creating a Nym Account above. Use the same account address as your current account and the same PGP key. If you want the reply-blocks to be the same, use the same remailers and passphrases. Or, take this opportunity to upgrade your reply-blocks with random passphrases and additional remailer features. (If you are an experienced remailer and nym account user, you may wish to enable Options|Show Advanced.) Create, send, and confirm the account as instructed.

Account Page

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.

    Account Address
    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
    The PGP key for this account. A nym account requires a public/private RSA key pair for operation.

    Create New Account
    Check this box only when attempting to create a new account. Once you receive a confirmation request from the nym-server, this box should be unchecked. If checked, JBN sends your public PGP key to the nym-server, and requires you to add at least one reply-block.

    Delete Account
    If checked, JBN will send a request to the nym-server asking it to permanently delete your account and wipe your reply-blocks from the server. The nym-server will send you a final notice of account termination.

    Change Account Key
    If you wish to change the key used to control your nym account, follow this procedure:

    • Create a new RSA key for the account.

    • Enter the new key in Account PGP Key. Check the Change Account Key box and press Create. The new key will be sent to the nym-server. Your Nym Accounts Registry will NOT be updated with the new key. This allows messages you send before the key is changed at the nym-server to be signed properly with the old key.

    • When you receive a message from the nym-server stating that your configuration request was completed, open this nym book, uncheck Change Account Key, and run (Create) this book again. (You do not need to send the request.) This will update the Nym Accounts Registry.

    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.

    Additional Nym-Commands
    This box is used to add additional Nym-Commands which are not displayed on the Account page. At the time of this writing there are no such commands, and this box should be left empty.

    Press this button when you are ready to create a nym configuration request. The request will be created, and if successful, your Nym Accounts Registry will be updated and a Message Book will open containing the request. This Message Book is used to encrypt and sign the request, and send it to the nym-server through several remailers (which you should select).

    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.

    Like in Message Books, the Preview button in Nym Books may be pressed in to enable Preview Mode. Each stage of reply-block construction will be displayed. Additionally, if AUTO remailers are used, you will be asked to approve the selection.

Reply-Blocks Page

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.

    Max-Size; Max-Count
    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.

    This field, at the bottom of the page, applies to all active reply-blocks. If a value is specified, the directive will be added to each remailer in each reply-block which supports the max capability. This field effectively sets a date when the reply-blocks expire. The date used the last time the book was run will be displayed to the right of the field. Each time you open a Nym Book, JBN automatically adjusts the Max-Date value based on your last usage.

    This field is used to add a probability variable to a reply-block. For example: p=0.5

    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
    Check these boxes to indicate which type(s) of destination directions you wish used at each remailer. A remailer must support remix or remix2 to use Remix-To, or repgp or repgp2 to use Encrypt-To.

    Note: If you check more than one of these directives, then the remailer must support the ext capability.

    Encrypt-3DES, Encrypt-CAST
    Clicking on the Encrypt-Key label will change the field to these alternate directive values. Encrypt-3DES and Encrypt-CAST may be used as a replacement for Encrypt-Key, or they may be used in conjunction with it.

    Decryption File/Folder
    If a decryption file or folder is specified, when JBN decrypts a message from this reply-block it will save the message to the specified file or folder. This feature allows mail to be automatically sorted by reply-block.

    Update Reply-Blocks
    If checked, all active reply-blocks are created and included in the nym configuration request when Create is pressed. If unchecked, only the information on the Account page is updated, and the reply-blocks for the account are not changed.

Notes Page

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.

Log Page

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.

Menu Items

Several menu items available from Nym Book menus are detailed below.

    Edit|Replace Passphrases
    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
    Use these functions to copy an entire reply-block to another reply-block tab or another Nym Book. (An internal clipboard is not used for this function, separate from the Windows clipboard.)

    Options|Show Advanced
    This setting helps reduce the clutter of the window for new users. Checking this option adds several directive fields to the book window, and enables the Remailer Editor.

    Options|Update Log
    If checked, the book's Log page is updated with each request creation.

    Options|Remix Compliant
    If checked, JBN will warn you if the remailer chain you have selected does not use remix remailers at each hop. (The last remailer need only support mix and cpunk.) Also, when choosing AUTO remailers, JBN will insure they are remix compliant.

    Options|Update Nym Registry
    If checked, each time a nym request is created successfully, Window|Nym Accounts Registry is updated and maintained to correctly reflect the account. It is highly recommended that you leave this option checked.

    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.)

    Edit|Copy Passphrases
    This function is only necessary if Options|Update Nym Registry is unchecked (see above). To export passphrases to the registry, create the nym request and send the message (don't close the Nym Book). Return to the Nym Book and select Edit|Copy Passphrases. This will copy the passphrases, including the correct tags for the reply-blocks which were sent. Open Window|Nym Accounts Registry, and paste the passphrases in the box for the correct account, moving the old passphrases to the Prior Passphrases box. Remove any passphrase blocks which are defunct.

    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.)

    Tools|Export Subject
    This function is used to copy the subject header (and Encrypt-Subject passphrase if present) of the reply-block to a News profile for automatic NNTP retrieval. Use this feature if your reply-block terminates at a newsgroup.

Remailer Editor

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:

    Remix-To: squirrel, random, random, $next

(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.

Note: If using Post: or Anon-Post-To: in a Message Book, $final will be 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.

Adding Garbage

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:

    Cutmarks: -----BEGIN GARBAGE-----

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.

Changing the Default Directive Template

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: +3:00r
With 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.)

AUTO and RANDOM Remailers

AUTO Remailers

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

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.

Continue to Part II...