: views from the Hill

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Gmail - Brad Templeton's take and other bits and pieces

Brad Templeton's a bright guy. His take on Gmail raises some questions I hadn't thought about plus he manages to limn better than I could the reasons behind my reluctance to stash my e-mail at Gmail despite the nifty search capabilities Google is offering.

One suggestion I read on someone's blog (forgive me ... I flit around so much I can't remember whose) was to use Gmail to archive mailing lists, news-source e-mails, newsletters from Powell's and Chronicle Books and the National Women's Law Center and other bits and pieces that arrive on a regular basis. The stash would be easily searchable, but there wouldn't be any worries about whether or not the archives were covered by the ECPA and easily available to the DHS or a snooping attorney.

My advice is to keep your personal e-mails on your hard drive. Why make it easy for someone to snoop? Of course, if you're worried about the DHS snooping through your e-mail, you need to remember that given a solid set of reasons they can get a search warrant for your hard drive just as easily as they can get a search warrant for your Gmail archives.

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