Monday, June 14, 2010

23 Things You Need to Fear Writing in an Email

At NPR Jacob Goldstein writes:
Every e-mail you write could wind up in court. Everybody knows this, but people still act like it'll never happen to them.

If you can't help yourself — if you just have to write that incriminating e-mail — you can at least avoid a few obvious red flags.

The lawyer appointed to figure out what went wrong at Lehman Brothers used lots of different search terms to mine 34 million pages of documents from the bank, Bloomberg News recently pointed out.

The searches are described in great detail starting on p. 158 of this section of the examiner's report. While some are technical — phrases like "mark to market," and the names of banks, auditors and the like — others are pretty general.

One search in particular targeted a bunch of words and phrases that anybody might use in an incriminating e-mail. They are:


huge mistake

big mistake


can’t believe

cannot believe

serious trouble

big trouble




too late


not comfortable

I don’t think we should

very sensitive

highly sensitive

very confidential

highly confidential

do not share this

don’t share this

between you and me

just between us
One interesting about these words is that they can all be classified as "fishing expeditions" they are not searching out a particular wrongdoing, they are searches to see if there is any wrong doing. I would certainly classify the searches as "unreasonable search".

It's really time to put emails beyond the reach of snoopers, as I have written:
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 then 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment