The Kiwi spam-protection package

The popularity of the internet has caused numerous people, often of questionable legality, to send out mass emails, or spam to as many addresses as these people can find.

No rational person wishes to receive such email in their mailbox. One common technical solution is for people to modify the email address they use to post to newsgroups in to an invalid email address. It is usually obvious to a human looking at the email address what the actual email address is, but a computer program run by a spammer to obtain email addresses will not obtain the email address in question. A look at most Usenet newsgroups shows that this is a very common practice. This practice is called munging.

Munging, while effective, has a number of downsides:

We can see that munging is, in many ways, undesirable. For many people, however, making their private email address available to the world every time they have a "mailto" link on their web page or post to Usenet is not a viable option.

The Kiwi package provides a method of allowing one to send out email with a valid return address, without placing one's personal email address on spammers' lists. The way it works is by taking an email address in the form
and converting it to the form
Where the cookie is a short (32-bit) encrypted message that can contain information such as:

The Kiwi system works was designed and tested on RedHat Linux 5.2 and RedHat 6.2 systems, and is geared toward UNIX systems.

All software and other files included with Kiwi infringe on no patents, and is released to the public domain.

The file Files.html is a "Quick start" guide geared for experienced Unix users.

The file Start.html gives detailed information on how to set up a Kiwi-enabled mailbox.

The file Webmailto.html gives detailed information on placing Kiwi-enabled email addresses on your web pages.

The file Spec.html describes the binary format that Kiwi uses.

The file Faq.html answers some frequently asked questions about the Kiwi program.

The file Lists.html explains how to generate permanent Kiwi cookies for mailing lists, web forms, and other places where a unique permanrnt Kiwi cookie is desired.

The file Bouncemail.html explains how to set up Kiwi to send bounce messages to people who email an address with an invalid Kiwi cookie.

The file Kiwirc.html describes all of the parameters that can be set in the .kiwirc file.

The file Env.html describes all of the environmental variables that the Kiwi software suite sets.

If you have any comments or suggestions about Kiwi, you can mail me from this web page: