Email is not private / by kevin murray

Most people consider email to be a modern version of our postal system in which you can correspond with love ones, friends, associates, and so forth through your computer email provider as compared to going to the trouble of mailing a letter and purchasing a postal stamp to mail it.  Email is absolutely wonderful because it will get to your recipient's email inbox typically in less than thirty seconds from the time that you hit "send".


I have been using email for many years and consider email to be another way of communicating in confidence with others, but sadly this is not true.  Essentially, if you are using any of the "big boy" email providers such as Gmail, outlook, or yahoo, each and every one of your emails is subject to their perusal and data mining.  This isn’t a situation that you can opt-out of, this is business as usual with these companies which is a moral outrage and should be illegal.  I can't emphasize it enough, all of your emails are read, they may say that they are not being read by a physical human being, but they are being assimilated and scanned by sophisticated tools with algorithms and consequently compromising your privacy.


This questionable legality which undermines all of your emails is allowed based on a court decision that statesthat you lose your right to privacy when you hand over documents to a third party.   Even if this somewhat dubious ruling is the law of the land, there isn't any truly valid reason that necessitates our email providers having the ability or the need to poke and sniff through our emails.  The email providers claim that what they do is for the purpose of targeting ads that meet our needs or to reduce spam or to provide proper email indexing, but if their purposes were so above-board then they would readily allow you to opt-out of their snooping once and for all.


What is a consumer to do to overcome this compromise of our communication privacy?  One could use some encryption software to send and receive messages but I doubt that any encryption that I would utilize, would not within days, or not within minutes, be revealed by sophisticated algorithms that specialize in these sorts of things.  One could also use a different email provider, one that isn't resident within the USA and that has security measures in place to protect the privacy of your communications.  Obviously, the more people that do make this change, the more pressure is put on email providers such as Gmail to take a long and hard look at their policies if people vote with their feet and utilize their service substantially less.


You can absolutely forget about the US government helping to protect your privacy in any way in regards to the internet or email, it loves the current policies of these large multi-national corporations and whether these conglomerates want to own up to the reality of the situation, the government and the email providers essentially work hand-in-hand with each other.  When the government wants something from Gmail, Google protests that they are doing everything that they can to protect their client's privacy and data, but I suspect that they protest too much, methinks.