NYT published today a Deborah Solomon interview with former Bear Stearns chairman Ace Greenberg. At one point the interview goes like this:
Solomon: Do you e-mail your clients?This is really a common situation with the power elite, and just plain super-rich.
Greenberg: No. I never use e-mail. The girls use the e-mail.
It's been publicly reported that billionaires Phil Anschutz, developer of L.A. Live, and Warren Buffett don't use email. Like Greenberg,all emails go through a secretary.
In a private conversation, Council of Foreign Relations chairman Bob Rubin told me that all his emails go through his secretary.
These guys simply have too much to lose to have emails coming or going directly, so they build a wall between their emails with a secretary.
It's only the rest of us schmucks that can't afford to have a secretary read us our emails while we lounge and eat grapes, who are going to get nailed by the government for something we wrote in an email. For Greenberg, Anschutz, Buffett and Rubin when the government comes to ask about their email accounts, they just answer, "Don't have one. The girls use the email."
This is why I wrote some time ago:
Quite simply private correspondence is at the heart of freedom, no one should have to think twice about whether some government authority will at some future date demand copies of a person's emails. Correspondence is an extension of our minds and our souls, to others. If we are not free to correspond without the threat that some regulatory body may look at such emails in the future, people will start hedging on what they write. They will fear an email getting into the wrong hands. How are we to know what others really think, unless we meet them in some dark ally and whisper? I propose that The Right to Email Privacy Act ban the ability of government agencies to use and acquire emails for any reason at any time.Big Brother monitoring suffocates life. Let's at least stop their access to email. Afterall, email is nothing but electronic first class mail, and the government isn't allowed to open our first class mail. This act will, if nothing else, put us on an even standing with our emails with the super-elite.