Net Gains: Return to sender

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Most people are aware of how easy it is to send email to the wrong person, and how a message written in the heat of the moment can come back to haunt you in cold print days, or even weeks, later. However, anonymous remailers offer some safety.

If you haven't come across one before, you should take time to try them out. You send your email via a third party, who strips off your address (and any other clues as to your identity, hidden in the invisible data fields that accompany emails) and then forwards the message to the recipient. But it's not a cast-iron way of guaranteeing your anonymity. People monitoring your out-going email can catch you sending the message to the remailer and you have to be able to trust the remailer, but despite all this, they are far easier to use than they were two or three years ago. Back then, setting up a reliable connection to an anonymous remailer was a nightmare. Nowadays, there are Web pages which make it easier.

Now that email is commonplace, and most people in offices have access to email, it's never been easier to tell people what you really think about something without them ever knowing who you are.