Time to start encrypting email

I know, I know. Wendy (and probably others) thinks I'm a "privacy nut." I digitally sign all my emails, and would prefer it if all the email I sent and received were encrypted as well. But read on.

The government (and it's agents) need a search warrant to read your mail. Most people, myself included, assumed that applied to electronic mail as well as physical mail. As this article explains. that's not true. Apparently, the argument is that, since the mail is stored in a third-party location (your ISP's server, usually), it's fair game for law enforcement. I personally don't buy that. You're renting that space from the ISP, so I don't see why it's any different that renting your house (and mailbox) from your landlord.

Many people argue that, since they have nothing to hide, what difference does it make whether the police can read my mail or not? Well, I think it makes a big difference. Even disregarding the basic principles involved, comments in emails can easily be taken out of context. I think a burden of proof equal to that of postal mail is appropriate. How would you feel about your local police department secretly opening and reading your private mail, whether postal or electronic?





Don't worry about the local police rummaging through your mail. They don't have the resources nor the technology to spy on your e-mail. It's the FBI Counter-terrorism teams that you should be afraid of.


Steve! Long time since I've heard from you! How's it going?

And, yes, I'm aware that, currently, the local police don't have the resources to do much along these lines. But if this continues, then that won't necessarily remain true.